In a special media briefing held on Friday (31), State Minister of Public Administration and Home Affairs Mahinda Samarasinghe told media that Independence Square has been chosen to hold the national celebration considering the minimum disturbance to the public. Sri Lanka holds the celebrations here after a lapse of 13 years.
State celebration of Independence Day will start with a floral tribute to the first Prime Minister of Independent Ceylon, the late Deshamanya D.S. Senanayake. Celebrations will include traditional events such as religious observances, Jayamangala Gatha, 21 gun salute to honour the head of state, singing the national anthem, President’s address to the nation, march past and cultural demonstrations. Two thousand five hundred state guests including Ministers, Deputy and State Ministers and foreign diplomats and 1,000 public attendees are expected at the ceremony.
Meanwhile, Buddhist, Hindu, Islam and Christian services will be held on February 4 at the Dharmakeerthi Aramaya in Kollupitiya, Sri Bhadrakali Kovil in Colombo 6, Jumma Masjid in Kollupitiya and Baptist Church in Colombo 3, respectively. The special traffic plan started on January 31 will continue till February 4 as several access roads to Independent Square will be closed for rehearsal during the mornings. Accordingly,vehicle movement from the Glass House junction to Nanda Motors, from the Public Library to Glass House junction and Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha, from Dharmapala Mawatha to F.R. Senanayake Mawatha, from De Soyza roundabout to C.W.W. Kannangara Mawatha, from Wijerama Mawatha through Rosmead Place to C.W.W. Kannangara Mawatha, from Baudhaloka Mawatha to Maitland Place and Premakeerthi De Alwis Mawatha and from Stanley Wijesundara Mawatha to Padanam Mawatha have been barred.
The Ministry of Education has decided to close 15 schools in Colombo tomorrow (3) to provide facilities to the military personnel attending the Independence Day ceremony.The schools closed tomorrow are D. S. Senanayake College, Royal College, Thurstan College, Yasodara Vidyalaya, Musaeus College, St. Bridget’s Convent, Colombo Ladies’ College, Colombo International School, Wycherley International School, Mahanama College, St. Mary’s College, St. Mary’s Girls’ School including the primary school, Mihindu Maha Vidyalaya, Al-Hidhaya Maha Vidyalaya, and Asoka College.