57th Independence day, a solemn commemoration
[February 04, 2005 -06.00 GMT] 

Sri Lanka’s 57th anniversary of Independence was commemorated this morning sans the usual pomp and pageantry. As in previous years the venue was the Independence Square in Colombo. The Prime Minister, the Speaker, Members of Parliament and the Diplomatic Corp were in attendance.

The formal ceremony began after the VIPs and the others present rose up and stood in respectful silence. For two long minutes all heads were bowed in memory of those who were felled last month by the tidal waves and for the men and women who laid down their lives for the country.

President Chandrika Kumaratunga looking solemn and clad in white addressed the nation in Sinhala. Her speech was telecast live nationwide. As expected the focus of her address was the December 26th catastrophe which she referred to as the ‘most devastating experience in our living memory’. However she said as a nation we took control in a comparatively short time. She said, “I salute our people for their resilience and am proud to be Sri Lankan.” She ended her address by calling on the nation to unite, and rise above cast, creed and religion to rebuild our nation into a modern, progressive, yet, Sri Lankan nation State.” 

The full text of the President’s Address to the Nation:
 

 

 

 

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Last Updated Date: February 04, 2005 - 06.00 GMT

 


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