76th National Independence Day Celebrations Proudly Led by President
The 76th National Independence Day celebration took place with pride and grandeur at Galle Face Colombo, symbolizing a renewed commitment to “Let’s Build a New Country.” The event, chaired by President Ranil Wickremesinghe, was honoured by the presence of the Prime Minister of Thailand, Hon. Srettha Thavisin, and received greetings from world leaders, including His Holiness Pope Francis and King Charles III.
The festivities commenced with the Sri Lankan Army heralding the President’s arrival through trumpet calls. The Chief of Defence Staff, Commanders of the three armed forces, and the Acting Inspector General of Police escorted President Wickremesinghe to the main flagpole, where he raised the national flag amidst the beats of auspicious drums and the sound of conch.
Following the flag-raising ceremony, the President joined a special stage, where 100 students melodiously sang the National Anthem. Additionally, 25 schoolgirls performed Jaya Mangala Gatha and the auspicious chant “Devo Vassathu Kalena”. A poignant moment of silence honoured the Sri Lankans who sacrificed their lives for the country’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.
The ceremony continued with a 21-gun salute, followed by a vibrant Independence Day parade featuring the Tri-forces, Police, Civil Defence Force and National Cadet Corps, showcasing Sri Lanka as a sovereign state. The parade highlighted the strength and magnanimity of the nation, featuring personnel from the Army, Navy, Air, Police, Civil Security Department and the National Cadet Corps.
The parade also featured combat vehicles from the three armed forces, with 22 retired officers and 29 disabled soldiers participating. The cultural parade added musical splendor to the event.
Noteworthy was President Wickremesinghe’s presence on the special stage until the parade’s end, paying respects to all the war heroes in attendance.
The celebration included an impressive air show, featuring F7 aircrafts displaying Sri Lanka’s air power and a showcase of naval power. A parachute show with thirty paratroopers representing the armed forces and police added to the festivities.
The global significance of the event was underlined by congratulatory messages from world leaders, including His Holiness Pope Francis, His Majesty King Charles III of the UK, His Majesty the Emperor Naruhito of Japan, President Joe Biden of the United States, President Vladimir Putin of Russia, President Xi Jinping of China, President Yun Suk Yeol of South Korea, President Droupadi Murmu of India, President Tharman Shanmugaratnam of Singapore, President of Libya Dr. Mohamed Y. AL-Menfi, Governor General of Australia General David Hurley as well as the President of Pakistan, President of Bangladesh, Amir of the State of Kuwait and other dignitaries.
The ceremony was attended by the Maha Sangha and religious leaders, Prof. Maithree Wickramasinghe, Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, Cabinet Ministers, State Ministers, Provincial Governors, Members of Parliament, Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand Phumtham Wechayachai along with the delegation from Thailand, foreign Ambassadors & High Commissioners. Notable attendees also included the Senior Advisor to the President on National Security and Chief of Presidential Staff Mr. Sagala Ratnayaka, Secretary to the President Mr. Saman Ekanayake, Secretary to the Prime minister as well as various government officials and war heroes.
The 76th Independence Day celebration in Sri Lanka was a spectacular display of national pride, unity and resilience, symbolizing a collective commitment to building a new and prosperous future.