The 75 th Anniversary of Sri Lanka's National Independence was celebrated in France on 04 th February 2023 at the Huatian Chinagora Hotel, Paris.
The programme commenced with hoisting the national flag by Chargé d' affaires a.i. Dinesha Samarasinghe followed by the singing the national anthem, in the presence of
members of Sri Lankan community and well-wishers. A two minute silence was observed in honour of all the national heroes and members of the armed forces who had sacrificed their lives for the motherland. Multi-religious observances were followed by the reading out of the National Day messages of the President, Prime Minister, and the Minister of Foreign Relations in Sinhala, Tamil and English.
Addressing the gathering Chargé d'affaires a.i. Dinesha Samarasinghe noted that Sri Lanka has made significant progress in terms of political, economic, and social development since independence. Despite the challenges faced along the way, the country has remained a democracy, a fact that the nation can be proud of. While highlighting President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s Independence Day message she invited Sri Lankan expatriates living in France to become partners in the development of the motherland and to promote the interests of the country. Traditional Sri Lankan refreshments were served to the invitees, while midday alms were offered to the venerable Mahasanga and religious dignitaries who participated at the event.
On 7 th February, a reception followed by dinner, for the diplomatic corps was also organized at the Embassy of Sri Lanka France to mark the occasion, and Hon. Jacquemet Annick, Senator, Vice President of the Sri Lanka France Friendship Group graced the occasion as the Chief Guest.
Speaking on the occasion, Chargé d'affaires a.i. Dinesha Samarasinghe said that the global pandemic has had a devastating impact on the Sri Lankan economy and the subsequent social and political crisis the country faced. However, following a peaceful political transition, Sri Lanka has made progress on several fronts and the Government of President Ranil Wickremesinghe is focused on achieving a sustained recovery, which is essential for the welfare and progress of the people.She also referred to the strong bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and France, and the longstanding people to people engagement. The Chargé d'affaires further emphasized the country's trade and investment opportunities across various sectors, including the recently opened Colombo Port City for investment by French entrepreneurs.
While congratulating for the 75th anniversary of the independence of Sri Lanka, as well as the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between France and Sri Lanka, Chef Guest Hon. Jacquemet Annick, Senator, Vice President of the Sri Lanka France Friendship Group, expressed her support for the Sri Lankan people who, despite facing numerous challenges, continue to inspire the world with their resilience and strong spirit. She also extended her thoughts and support to the 22 million citizens of Sri Lanka who are currently facing economic and social difficulties, hoping for a swift recovery for the country. France stands in solidarity with the Sri Lankan population and is committed to supporting them in their endeavors.
The reception was attended by Members of Parliament, Government officials, diplomats, the private sector, media, and investors. Video clips showcasing Sri Lanka's potential as a tourist, investment, and travel destination were played during the reception, while information material was also provided to the invitees.