On this Thai Pongal Day, the most popular event in the Hindu religious calendar, I wish the Sri Lankan Hindus prosperity, peace and happiness in the coming Year and beyond.
Traditionally a thanksgiving ceremony of the farming community Hindus offer prayers of gratitude to the Sun God for a bountiful harvest and also pay tribute to the farm animals who helped them in the cultivation.
A feast of freedom, peace, love and compassion it provides new opportunities for family re-union, meeting friends and aquaintances and reconciliation between estranged relatives and friends.
As Sri Lanka is advancing towards prosperity and betterment of the lives of its people I call upon the Hindus and all people to re-kindle their resolve to bring about further social cohesion and unity of all communities co-existing in the new peaceful environment in the country.
Let Thai Pongal signify not only the beginnning of the month of Thai but also the beginning of a new life of peace and friendship among all peoples.