Australia - Independence Day Celebrations in Sydney
Published: 15 Feb 2015
Saman Mahanama Dissanayake - Editor - Sinhalese Cultural Forum.
For the first time in its history the Sinhalese Cultural Forum (SCF) organised the Independence Day Celebration on the 7th of February 2015 in association with the Sri Lanka High Commission, Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Sydney and many other Sri Lankan community Organisations.
The event started with an exhibition of carvings, drawings and books. These were contributed by Late Mr Ananda Fernando’s Family, Mr Dinesh Perera, Mr Somaratne, Sinhala Language School children and members of Writer’s Guild of SCF.
The official ceremony started at 6.00 PM with the raising of the Sri Lankan, Australian and newly made SCF flags. With the magul bera vadana in the background the flags were raised by Acting Consul General Mr D. M. Ratnayake representing The High Commissioner and Consul of Sri Lanka, Mr Jeffries, the Mayor of the Hills Council and Mr InduPrematilake, the President of SCF. It was followed by the singing of the National Anthem by students of Sinhala Language School and then the lighting of the traditional oil lamp by invitee guests D. M. Ratnayake, Dr Geoff Lee MP, Member for Parramatta, Hills Council Mayor, Councillor Andrew Jefferies, The SCF president Indu Premathilaka, President Of SLA Dr Ruwan Palpola representing all other organisations and The president of TYG Keshani Weragama.
Transport was provided by Tharuna Youth Group (TYG) of SCF to a group of senior Sri Lankans, to show gratitude to the elderly Sri Lankans for their services to young generation. It was highly appreciated by the audience.
Then blessings were offered to the four main religious devotees in our motherland by Buddhist, Hindu, Christian and Muslim religious leaders in Sydney. Pradhana Sangha Nayaka of Malwatta Chapter of the Siamese Sect in Australia and the Chief Incumbent of the Sydney Lankarama Buddhist Vihara, Rajakeeya Pandith Venerable Meegahakumbure Dhammagavesi Thero, provided blessings and briefly described the history of Sri Lankan independence struggle. Other religious leaders and the crowd regarded this as a very valuable speech.
Kurukkal Chandrasekaran, Father Chrishantha Kumar, and Dr Ryla Deen blessed the occasion on behalf of Hindus, Christians and Muslims respectively.
Mr D.M. Ratnayake, Mayor of Hills Council Mr Andrew Jefferies, Mr Maithree Panagoda and Indu Premathilaka addressed the audience. Culturally valued entertainment was provided in between by students of Wagga-Wagga Sinhala School (Perahara), Deepa Gangoda (Patriotic Song), Sanka Ridma Dancing ensemble (Wes Dance), Muthuhara Australia (Patriotic Song and dance), Tharuna Youth Group (Traditional Sri Lankan Dance). Members of Sri Jayawardenapura University Alumni Association helped manage the stage.
Before the cultural show, the crowd was given an opportunity to enjoy delicious dinner and desert.
The cultural show was filled with patriotic songs and dances. The audience was entertained by well known and popular singers of Sydney Thisal Padukkavidana, Asiri Ambagahawatta, Prasadika Wickramarachchi, Mihiri Fernando and Cicil Fonseka with the students of Minto Sinhala School, Ayomi Bosco, Reggie Dissanayake, Ari Sitinamaluwa and Bonny Fernando. Dances were performed by Manuki Dance Group, OBA of Ceylon German Technical Training Institute, Thilini Wanigatunga and Dinesh Perera.
Master of Ceremonies, Asela Jayanath, Madura Dissanayakeand Thilak Ranasinghe did a very good job by keeping the audience with the flow of the events.
In conclusion the event was another success story very well organised by Sinhalese Cultural Forum.
Courtesy of ozlanka | Full Photo Album in ozlanka by Robin Bosco at the event