The High Commission of India and the Indian expatriate community in Sri Lanka celebrated the 69th Republic Day of India at India House in Colombo today.
High Commissioner Taranjit Singh Sandhu unfurled the Indian flag and inspected a Guard of Honour presented by a contingent of the Border Security Force. He read out excerpts from the Address to the Nation on the eve of the Republic Day by the Hon´ble President of India, Ram Nath Kovind.
The High Commissioner congratulated the Government of Sri Lanka on completion of three years in office. Recalling that both India and Sri Lanka celebrate 70 years of independence, he highlighted the special place Sri Lanka has in the hearts of Indian people. He recalled the exceptional high level bilateral visits including the landmark visit of Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi in May 2017.
He further enumerated some of the many achievements in the last year including the expansion of Indian assisted 1990 Emergency Ambulance Service nationwide, completion of nearly 46000 houses in the North and East and ongoing construction of 14000 houses in the plantation sector, fresh infrastructure assistance of US$ 318 million for development of Sri Lanka Railways and US$ 45 million for renovation of Kangesanturai Harbor among others. He added that India’s total development assistance to Sri Lanka stood at US$ 2.76 billion, with over US$545 million as outright grants.
The High Commissioner and officials of the High Commission also paid their respects to the fallen soldiers of the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in a solemn ceremony at the IPKF memorial in Colombo.
To commemorate India´s 69th Republic Day a special cultural event “Bollywood and Beyond” was organized at BMICH, Colombo on January 17, 2018. The event featured an enthralling performance by Indian violin wizard Dr. L. Subramaniam and renowned Indian singer Kavita Krishnamurthy accompanied by other eminent musicians.
President Maithripala Sirisena, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, a number of Ministers, Members of Parliament, senior officials and diplomats were among the dignitaries who participated in the event.
The Consulates General of India in Jaffna and Hambantota and the Assistant High Commission of India in Kandy also celebrated the 69th Republic Day by organizing flag hoisting ceremonies this morning. (Colombo Gazette)