Sri Lanka has marked its 72nd Independence Day on Tuesday, February 4, 2020. This milestone was celebrated on a grand scale, with the main event held at Independence Square in Colombo.
President of Sri Lanka, Gotabaya Rajapaksa addressed at the ceremony themed 'A Secured Nation' and 'A Prosperous Country', his first Independence Day commemoration since the election in November 2019.
A total of 2,500 guests gathered for the Independence Day ceremony which featured military pageantry, cultural dances by students and civil society organizations.
Government Officials present at the event include, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, members of parliament and diplomats as well as Russias Commander-in-Chief of the Land Forces Gen. Oleg Salyukov.
Emphasizing on the freedom of the nation's citizens, President Rajapaksa said, "Sri Lanka is a Unitary State. It is a free, sovereign, independent and democratic Republic. On this occasion when we celebrate 72 years of Independence after nearly 500 years of imperialist colonial rule, I address you as the Head of the State with a pledge to further strengthen your freedom."
He also paid tributes to all Sri Lankan citizens of different religions for their dedication to achieving and ensuring independence from British rule in 1948.
"We will always ensure their right to think freely, hold independent opinions, and express themselves without any hindrance. We will always respect the right of every citizen to follow the religion of his or her choice," he further added.
The Sri Lankan President also further highlighted essential factors; a strong executive, a legislature and an independent judiciary for the well-being and advancement of any democratic society.
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