Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Toronto organized a cultural event to mark the 72nd Independence Day of Sri Lanka at the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto on 15 February 2020 with the participation of religious leaders, dignitaries, members of the Consular corps in Toronto and Sri Lankan community residing in Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and its suburbs. There were about 550 expatriate Sri Lankans despite severe weather condition. Member of the Federal Parliament of Canada and Chair of the Canada- Sri Lanka Parliamentary Friendship Group Yasmin Ratansi graced the occasion as the Chief Guest.
The Cultural event commenced with hoisting of the national flag followed by singing of the national anthem of Sri Lanka and the Canadian national anthem. Two minutes silence was observed in memory of those who sacrificed their lives for the motherland followed by lighting the traditional oil lamp by dignitaries and Sri Lankans representing all communities. Multi-faith religious observances were conducted with Buddhist, Hindu, Islam and Christian practices.
Addressing the gathering, Consul General Kapila Jayaweera highlighted the sentiments expressed by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa excerpting from the National Policy Framework of the Government “Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour” and the messages of the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Relations were also read on the occasion. He emphasized that Sri Lankans in GTA to unite and work together for the benefit of them and for the motherland.
Speaking at the occasion, Yasmin Ratansi emphasized the importance of bilateral visits to exchange and understand the ideas important to people, recalling her last two visits to Sri Lanka and requested all Sri Lanka to be united and be solidarity with Sri Lanka.
The cultural performances, which entertained the gathering include various forms of traditional dances and Sri Lankan classical and contemporary music and songs in Sinhala and Tamil. The vibrant performances added colour to the event and depicted the essence of Sri Lankan culture, followed by reception.