Nation indebted to forebears for freedom we enjoy : President
Unity paves way for a stronger Sri Lanka : Prime minister
Impressing the importance of independence day on our political leaders – Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa
Nation indebted to forebears for freedom we enjoy : President
Many freedom struggles of humankind have aggrandised the story of human progress. The nation is indebted to our forebears, whose selfless sacrifice of sweat and blood have brought about the freedom in which we breathe today, states President Maithripala Sirisena in an Independence Day message.
The message adds: “We Sri Lankans too have inherited a long history of such struggles, that brings forth memories of grief and glory, from the times of our Kings to that of modern democracy.
“It is at a challenging and decisive moment, that we celebrate the 69th Independence anniversary this year. The responsibility of strengthening the recently secured democratic freedom, as well as ensuring that, enriched by indigenous wisdom. So that all communities could live with dignity, lies on our shoulders. We have been able to overcome a dark era
and re-illumine our un-surmountable aspirations for democracy, freedom and human dignity. However, the realisation of the true meaning of freedom and independence lies in our potential to free ourselves from the shackles of all kinds and forms of poverty, ill-health, and confines of divisive identities of race, religion and caste and enrich ourselves, as a society that values equity and rights of all.
“We are a nation that deserves to live a prosperous life in a country where peace and justice and equality prevail.
“It is my sincere wish that we continue to prosper by vanquishing ignorance by knowledge, untruth by truth, hatred by compassion and violence by nonviolence and become a compassionate nation.”
Unity paves way for a stronger Sri Lanka : Prime minister
As Sri Lanka celebrates its 69th Independence Day, I believe that we are also celebrating the second anniversary of the election of Good Governance Government,states Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in an Independence Day message .
The message adds: “Only a path that unites all can pave the way for a stronger Sri Lanka, a path that calls for what each of us can give of ourselves to our nation, to our common future and to a better tomorrow.
“In order to make the spirit of freedom more meaningful to us all, the Government must take steps that reaffirm the liberties of the people with regard to their economic, social and spiritual well being.
During the last two years, we have been able to achieve many steps in the right direction; restore democratic values, rebuild relationships with friendly nations and affirm mutual trust while focusing on revitaliSing the economy towards laying the foundation for a nation that has overcome various differences and is firmly anchored on principles of freedom and human values.
Impressing the importance of independence day on our political leaders
Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa
We will be marking the 69th anniversary of our independence from colonial rule on February 4 . This is a day on which parents, elders and teachers impress upon schoolchildren and young people the importance of contemplating the significance and value of our independence and sovereignty. Today, however, the need is not to impress upon the younger generation the importance and significance of our independence and sovereignty, but to impress upon our
political leaders the importance and significance of our independence and sovereignty. We celebrate the 69th anniversary of our independence in a situation where it is uncertain whether there would be a country left to celebrate the 70th anniversary.
Present day political leaders are engaged in a feverish quest to dismantle the Sri Lankan state by creating semi-independent provincial administrations with their own police forces and public administration mechanisms. In addition to this the national budgets of 2016 and 2017 have envisaged the sale of virtually every government owned asset from small operations like the Grand Oriental Hotel to the biggest project that our government completed the Norochcholai
power plant. Entire free ports, consisting of the harbours in Hambantota and Trincomalee and the surrounding territories have been put on sale.
All politicians should ask themselves on this 69th independence day whether we gained independence from colonial rule only to divide the unitary state that even the colonial powers had left intact when they left, into unviable provincial units and to sell every valuable national asset we have, to foreigners? On this independence day, it is my hope that our political leaders will make an attempt to understand the true meanings of freedom and sovereignty.
Unite to eliminate racism
“May we as Sri Lankans possess the courage and the determination to choose that path this Independence Day”.
Economic and physical development should be gained with spiritual qualities
Malwathu Chapter of the Syamopali Maha Nikaya of the Mahavihara Ancestry Mahanayake Thera Most Ven. Thibbatuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala
It is a pleasure that the government has taken steps to hold a colourful Independence day celebration as usual. The first threat of invasions affected the Sri Lankan sovereignty and independence was from Chola Empire. Subsequently, Portuguese, Dutch, and English invasions have severely affected our independence as well as national, religious, social, academic and cultural aspects. This caused a decline in spiritual aspects and lifestyle of people.
Although 69 years have been spent after the independence, bad consequences of the colonial age have not been completely overcome. The time has come to consider this matter deeply by the leaders as well as the public and it should be understood as their foremost task and responsibility. May all Sri Lankans have the blessings of the Triple Gem and Tooth Relic to enjoy the true meaning of independence.
Independence is wholly a practical process
Asgiri Chapter of the Syamopali Maha Nikaya of the Mahavihara Ancestry Mahanayake Thera Most Ven. Warakagoda Dhammasiddhi Sri Pagngnananda Gnanarathana
Independence is wholly a practical process. The independence becomes meaningful when we gain the economic and social freedom. Countries that have gained independence with us and after us have developed into a higher level with exercising this practical process. Social analysts say that the independence of Sri Lanka has not become practical as it is a bestowed one rather than a gained one.
Sri Lankan laic and ascetic leaders have created the environment needed to implement the independent struggle without any racial, religious and caste separation and with the clamorous situation in the country. English rulers had to name Sri Lanka as an independent nation but their objective was to keep Sri Lankans as a divided nation.
Psychological slavery and racist conceptions in Sri Lankan society are a great obstruction to the society. We would not be free from the western slavery until we are liberated from psychological slavery. However, it is a duty of all Sri Lankans to commemorate all ascetic and laic leaders who led the struggle for independence.
I wish on this Independence Day that all could fulfill their obligations to themselves, their families, their religion, their country and their nation in national and religious reconciliation and deviating from narrow politics.
We are far behind the other Asian countries
Sri Lanka Amarapura Maha Nikaya Mahanayake Thera the Most Ven. Davuldena Gnanissara
Sri Lanka, our country, has a written history of about 2,358 years ruled by 182 kings. There were invasions in those days too but they were defeated with the assistance of religious leadership. It is evident in Sri Lanka’s history that Sri Lanka was completely defeated in March 2, 1815 due to the separations of Sinhalese leaders caused by revenge, and lust to power, wealth and positions. The country was self-sufficient, and it is said that about hundred thousand paddy fields (Wellassa) were in the Monaragala District alone and about 35,000 reservoirs were made to preserve rainwater. It is said that giants were in the country and before 69 years the independence was gained by citizens who are not physical giants but giants with their patriotism. As the country was surrendered by English in 1815, Sinhalese were brave to perform a riot again in 1818. We have such a history.
This is the 69th independence celebration. In retrospect it is clear that we are far behind the other Asian countries who received independence after our country no matter who ruled the country within this period. Hence, I kindly bless on behalf of all the monks that this celebration will open the way to build a united and developed country with a broad dialogue between the rulers and public.
Bless everyone for the well-being of all beings with the power of the Triple Gem!!!!
Independence Day important to all Sri Lankans
Sri Lanka Ramagna Maha Nikaya Mahanayaka the Most Ven. Napana Pemasiri Thera
Independence Day is the day that is important to all Sri Lankan citizens. Sri Lanka became an independent nation on February 4, 1948 after being ruled by Europeans for over four hundred years. It reminds the struggles launched by all Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim leaders with unity. As the unity among ethnic groups has decayed after the independence, all Sinhala, Tamil, and Muslim communities had to experience massive disasters within the past decades. That separation is the main cause that obstructed the economic prosperity of our country. The separation was done by politicians who misled the public to gain their political power. Some who did not realise this truth are doing the same mistake again. I kindly request all citizens to work together by promoting the national reconciliation to overcome the present economic crisis in the country in a moment that the country is being healing after the end of a 30 year cruel war. Religious and political leaders should lead this way. Many of our problems will be automatically solved when the country becomes an economically developed country.
Auspicious occasion for all Sri Lankans
Ramakrishna Mission (Ceylon Branch) Vice-President/Chairman Swami Sarvarupanada
As we all know we are celebrating our 69th Independence day, which is an auspicious occasion for all the Sri Lankan citizens. It is the day when Sri Lanka got freedom from the British rule after many years of hard struggle by the great freedom fighters of Sri Lanka.
This day is of great importance to all Sri Lankan citizens as it gives opportunity to remember all those freedom fighters who had sacrificed their lives just for giving us a beautiful, peaceful and happy life. Freedom is inseparable from responsibility.
Every citizen of Sri Lanka should dedicate and take an oath today, of being highly responsible and well-educated citizens of the tomorrow’s Sri Lanka. Everyone should sincerely perform his/her duty and do work hard to get the nations goals fulfilled and successfully lead this democratic nation. Sri Lanka’s rise will be measured by the strength of the religious and cultural values, but it will equally be determined by the economic growth and equitable distribution of the nation’s resources.
If we have the freedom to think, it is everyone’s responsibility to think positively. If we have the freedom to speak, it is our responsibility to speak properly and meaningfully. If we have the freedom to act, it is our responsibility to act correctly. If every Sri Lankan could feel responsible in that way, Sri Lanka would be growing more and more in the right direction, then it will be a better place for everyone.
On this happy occasion, I pray to the Lord to shower His choicest blessings on the President Mathripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, all the their Cabinet colleagues, parliamentarians and all the people of Sri Lanka to live with peace, prosperity and happiness.
All should unite with equal rights
Archbishop of Colombo His Eminence Rev.Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith
In this moment which Sri Lanka is celebrating their 69th Independence Day, a great opportunity has occurred to recall the past for creating a better future. There was the responsibility to convert the political independence, which was won through facing various challenges in 1948, into an economic and social freedom for past 69 years. But unfortunately, we were engaged in a war that destroyed a large number of lives and properties as the political field is polluted with a narrow racial and religious separations and we all have suffered throughout the war.
Narrow racial and communal attitudes are not the way to experience the true independence. All should unite as citizens with equal rights to gain the true independence. We should create an atmosphere that enjoys the unity within diversity and that protects needs and self-esteem of all citizens. It is a pleasure that the government led by the President is heading towards that direction.
However, all political parties and opinion should be united to achieve this goal. It could not be gained alone.
Moreover, it is our duty to search for the true independence that protects the culture and civilization of this country by freeing from neo-colonial and globalization trends.
Let us affirm and commit to achieve this aim in this esteemed day. Hail mother Sri Lanka
Wish happier and better future
Bishop of Colombo Rt. Revd. Dhiloraj R. Canagasabey
Since 1948, we have travelled a goodly distance as a nation, progressing in many areas such as health, access to primary and secondary education, life expectancy, equal opportunities, and poverty alleviation. We have also made commendable gains. In economic and infrastructure development, in addressing income inequalities, in higher education, although our progress in these areas has been much below our potential.
It is where we have gone wrong and even regressed that has led us to the present moral crisis the country faces.
Indiscipline, dishonesty, corruption, the hunger for power, position and easy riches, the breakdown of the rule of law, mistrust, animosity between various ethnic groups and even the deliberate stoking of racial and religious hatred, these are the moral and ethical faults or sins, which have gradually sapped and devastated the nation from within.
Merely wishing or praying for prosperity and peace does not bring them about. There is a sacred duty cast on all of us, the rulers first and foremost but also on all our citizens to work honestly, sincerely and with dedication to create that country in which we could all live with pride, that Nation the dear homeland of us all. In the words of that great lover of Sri Lanka Rev. W. S. Senior of Trinity College.
“But most shall he sing of Lanka
In the bright new days that come.
When the races all have blended
And the voice of strife is dumb
When we leap to a single bugle,
March to a single drum.”
To realize this vision, may we all dedicate ourselves this Independence Day.
With Prayers and Blessings
Right to Information : Remarkable victory to be celebrated today
Chief Government Whip of Parliament and Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media Minister Gayantha Karunatilleka
The universal right for information that the general public expected from various governments for a considerable period of time has been granted to them by the present government of good governance.
According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that reads “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and is to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers,” the present government has taken steps to grant that supreme rights to the general public. I, hand in hand with the people in Sri Lanka, enjoy the pleasure of submitting the pertinent historical Act.
Freedom is a spiritual requirement. Not only humans but also the animals yearn for freedom. It is quite natural that they get uneasy when the freedom is either restricted or disturbed. Therefore, personal freedom may be considered as the pioneer in social progress.
It is because Sri Lankans are a nation praising freedom in its every aspect, that this motherland never experienced a lack of heroes ever ready even to make the supreme sacrifice for freedom in their struggle to gain it.
The freedom for dialogue, expression and information are essential factors in maintaining respect and self-esteem of the human kind which needs to be safeguarded for democracy.
I would like to pay tribute of the nation to all patriots who fought and sacrificed their lives for freedom of their motherland.
Pay tribute to all heroes of Mother Lanka
Public Administration and Management Minister R. M. Ranjith Madduma Bandara
At this remarkable juncture when our country proudly celebrates the 69th anniversary of independence, I would like to pay the tribute of the nation to all heroes of Mother Lanka who sacrificed their blood, sweat and lives to win the freedom for the whole nation. The epochal mission carried out by the countrymen as one nation to liberate the country from the yoke of colonisation, which had been our fate for centuries, and to build a sovereign country should be commemorated.
However, we should ask ourselves whether we have been successful in our effort to maintain unity, which we had proved during the struggle for independence. We are still struggling with a number of issues for which we should find sustainable solutions as one nation even after lapse of 69 years from the independence.
The poverty emerges as one of the main issues. Building a concrete trust among nationalities, formulation of national policies for sustainable development as well as establishment of reconciliation within the country are the important matters, which demand priority. Even under such challenges, still there are certain aspects of which we can be satisfied. Today, the two main political parties have set a good example leaving behind their different political views and working together in one and the same mission for the progress of the country. The government, which was elected in order to alleviate poverty, the major issue of the country, has declared this year as the year of alleviating poverty. Therefore, this year will open avenues to provide long lasting solutions to several burning issues of the country. At this juncture, it is a great achievement that we could win significant democratic rights within a short period such as the right to information and the right to express ideas for the well-being of the country and people.
The reality we should understand correctly as a country is that the capability of our nation depends on the unity of all nationalities devoid of political divisions and the unity is the only mean through which we can face all the challenges successfully. The example given by the political authority should be followed by all nationalities in our country.
The first condition of our effort to make the mission a success is unity among people. Therefore, we must understand that any split means the destruction of the country.
If we need to emerge as a proud nation, we should make every effort to step forward as one nation.
Therefore, at this remarkable juncture where Sri Lanka celebrates the 69th Independence Day, I take this opportunity to wish the Sri Lankan nation courage and vision to build our country ensuring mutual respect and safeguarding the dignity of country.
Much expectation for this year ushering reconciliation
Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan
There is much expectation that this year will usher reconciliation amongst all people in this country on the basis of equality and dignity which will enable them to be true beneficiaries of democracy.
This is essential for the benefit of all people in our country. Though violent conflict has come to an end, the causes of the conflict yet need to be addressed.
The country’s future depends on these issues being addressed on the basis of a reasonable and acceptable consensus. We should all pledge to extend our utmost cooperation to this joint endeavour in the best interests of our country.
Wishing everyone happiness and prosperity.
We are celebrating true independence today
Home Affairs Minister Wajira Abeywardana
This is the second Independence Day celebration commemorated under the incumbent unity government of Sri Lanka. At this moment of time we are celebrating true independence, we should recall with gratitude our national heroes who gave leadership and committed themselves selflessly to the struggle to free the country from the yoke of two centuries of colonial rule and our valiant war heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice to liberate the country from the clutches of brutal terrorism.
All these victories were achieved when we remain untied; not divided. Similarly, as is evidence from history, future challenges can only be surmounted by working in unison like the links of a chain. Therefore, we celebrate 69th Independence Day with the objective of ushering in “national unity” fostering national reconciliation and achieving democracy and development goals.
Following the genuine democratic space that was crated in the aftermath of January 8, 2015, the national and political reconciliation was steered towards a new direction thanks to the sheer commitment and dedication of President Maithripala Sirisena and the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. The immediate as well as far-sighted vision of our government is to realise the dream of a Sri Lanka where people can enjoy economic, social, political and cultural freedom to the fullest and to fulfill the aspirations of people for a flourishing and prosperous future enabling the achievement of scientific victories.
In accord with a decision taken by our government to promote national reconciliation, the national anthem was sung in Tamil at the 68th Independence Day national ceremony.
That decision, which won widespread plaudits from all concerned, will be implemented unchanged in the future.
The all important goal of our government is to bring the national programme of “Beginning of the third year of a sustainable era” implemented under the theme of the President for the realisation of development plans and sustainable development goals during the next three years to crate a thriving and prosperous country to fruition.
All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama General Secretary Ash-Sheikh M. M. A. Mubarak
The All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama has the pleasure in releasing this message of blessings to all citizens of the country on the day of celebrating the 69th Independence Day of our motherland, Sri Lanka.
Let us all unite to eliminate racism from our beautiful country. We should take forward this country towards development and prosperity living in peace and coexistence.
This can be achieved only by defeating racism and establishing unity among the communities.
Our prayers and expectations are that all Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, and Christians in this multi-ethnic society should strive to achieve prosperity, development and progress by following the respective religious advice and developing the ethic of respecting other religions.
The All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama, therefore, supplicates to the God, the Almighty, to shower His blessings on every Sri Lankan citizen who shall make effort to bring unity, peace, coexistence and reconciliation through which build a prosperous Nation.
People are enjoying fruits of freedom
Muslim Welfare Association of Sri Lanka President M. Faisal Faleel – JP (WI)
On behalf of the Muslim Welfare Association of Sri Lanka, I have the pleasure to issue a message on 69th Independence Anniversary.
We are celebrating this anniversary on the second year of the Yahapalanaya Government. We are pleased to note the government’s peace and reconciliations programmes and initiatives to launch development programmes to improve the economy of our country. Since the people are enjoying the fruits of freedom and want to improve other living conditions, we are confidence that the current regime under the leadership of President Mithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe would forge ahead to unify the nation and bring a prosperous era for all Sri Lankans.