Trincomalee spruced up for Independence Day celebrationsView(s):
On February 4, the nation will be focusing its attention on Trincomalee, the venue for Sri Lanka’s 65th Independence Day celebrations. “A glorious motherland, a flourishing tomorrow” will be the theme of the celebrations. This is only the second time in 65 years that the main Independence Day observances are being held in the east coast town. Up to 100,000 persons are expected to converge on Trincomalee for the occasion.
“Trincomalee was one of the towns that were subjected to brutal terrorism,” Minister of Public Administration and Home Affairs, W. D. J. Seneviratne said at a press conference. “The people of this district were tormented, murdered and displaced. But now that peace has been restored, life here is very different. This is one reason the Government decided to take this important event to Trincomalee.”
The main event will be held at Black Bay beach. Several roads are being prepared and repaired, including the Kantale-Trincomalee road, the Fort Frederick road, the main road and coastal roads, while the McHeyzer Stadium is being refurbished.
The 2,500 invitees include the President, the Ministers and Members of Parliament, members of the diplomatic corps, the top brass of the Armed Forces, as well as 55 disabled soldiers. More than 3,000 personnel representing the Army, Navy, Air Force, Police, Civil Security Department, National Cadet Corps and National Youth Corps, will take part in the national parade.
The ceremony begins at 8.30 am, with 100 female students from schools in Trincomalee singing the National Anthem. A total of 860 artistes from 16 cultural groups will take part in a cultural pageant that day. The cultural treat is being organised by the Ministry of Culture and Arts, the Ministry of Education, and the Eastern Provincial Council.
A Buddhist religious programme will be held at the Wilgamwehera Raja Maha Viharaya, Trincomalee, at 6.30 am, under the direction of the Ven. Ampitiye Seelawanshatissa Nayaka Thera, while Hindu religious observances will take place at the Thirukoneshwaram Shiva Kovil, under the direction of High Priest Siva Sri Muthukumaraswami.
The Religious Affairs Department has arranged for Muslim, Roman Catholic and Christian religious observances to be held respectively at the Mohideen Andervour Jumma Mosque, the Cathedral of St. Mary’s, and the Dockyard Methodist Church.
In Colombo, there will be a Pirith chanting at Independence Hall, Independence Square. The ceremony starts at 10 pm. Attendees will include Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratane and other Ministers, including the Minister of Buddhist and Religious Affairs, M. K. A. D. S. Gunewardhana. The pirith chanting will be followed by a Sangika Dhaana the next day at the Mahanayaka Charikaramaya in Wijerama Mawatha, Colombo 7.
UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya and Colombo District Mayor A. H. M. Muzammil will take part in a floral tribute at the foot of the D. S. Senanayake statue in Independence Square at 7.30 am. The national flag will be hoisted at all state institutions on February 3 and 4. These buildings will be illuminated. Minister Seneviratne has requested all citizens to raise the national flag in their houses and on their vehicles on February 3 and 4.
Trincomalee is a popular tourist destination, and is famous for its harbour, which is ranked fifth among the world’s great natural habours. The town is also known as “Gokanna,” a reference to the harbour.
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