President Rajapaksa in a statement said that the traditional New Year becomes more meaningful through the embellishment of friendship and unity.
”It is best if every step is taken to build good relations and cooperation with each other during this season of festivity. The observance of the many important traditions associated with the New Year strengthens great unity and understanding between family and village. Such unity is a great encouragement to solidarity for national prosperity. As the country moves towards prosperity, the observances of these traditions by all at the auspicious hours would bring great blessings,” Rajapaksa said in his New Year message.
Sri Lanka is celebrating the New Year just a month before it also celebrates three years since the end of a bitter war between the military and Tamil Tiger rebels.
The rebels fought for 30 years for an independent Tamil homeland in the Tamil dominated north and east of the country.
However with the defeat of the rebels in May 2009 the Sri Lankan government faced allegations of committing human rights abuses in its attempt to bring a quick end to the conflict.
Acting media minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena in a statement today said that Sri Lanka continues to face obstacles as it looks to achieve “economic victories” three years after defeating the rebels.
He called on the public to unite and march forward with one objective as it celebrates the traditional Sinhala and Tamil New Year.
The traditional Sinhala and Tamil New Year include a host of festivities at auspicious times which will continue till Monday.