‘Let’s celebrate 75th Independence with pride’ – President

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe has instructed his officials to make arrangements to celebrate the
75th Independence Day with pride and grandeur despite the current economic situation, in a cost-effective manner.

President Wickremesinghe said, this during the first meeting of the 75th Independence Day Commemoration Committee held at the President’s Office on Wednesday (7), under his patronage.

The 75th National Independence Day will be celebrated in the evening at Galle Face, with the inclusion of various cultural elements, and apart from the parades and ceremonies of the Armed Forces and Police, the President also informed that cultural elements that showcase Sri Lankan pride and youth-friendly elements should be included.

The President also emphasised on the need to organise each of these events meaningfully so that the public can participate and enjoy them.

It was also decided to invite foreign ministers of the SAARC nations as special guests in a bid to strengthen international ties.

President Wickremesinghe advised officials to prepare the necessary background to provide the main state auditoriums, theatres and Colombo Nelum Pokuna Theatre, Tower Hall, Elphinstone and John de Silva Theatres and venues in respective provinces at a very special price for a specified period.

It is also planned to build 1996 houses for low income families in Peliyagoda, Dematagoda, Moratuwa, Maharagama and Kottawa to mark Independence Day. The housing complex to be built in Kottawa will be allocated for artistes. The President was also informed officials to immediately prepare a necessary system to provide all housing projects on priority-basis and not political affiliations.

Officials were also instructed to plan the events in a colourful manner with various cultural elements, to hold various competitions concurrent to Independence Day, engaging school children and the youth at regional, district and provincial levels, and plan programmes that evokes patriotism.

Exhibitions under various themes in all provinces and a bicycle procession between Point Dondra and Point Pedro was also part of the suggestions.
The President also proposed to issue a special commemorative stamp. He further instructed officials to launch a programme to highlight articles published during the 1948 Independence Day celebrations in a manner that would inculcate a sense of pride in the hearts of the public.  
The President also advised that relevant sub-committees be appointed under the chairmanship of the President’s Secretary under the supervision of Prime Minister
Dinesh Gunawardena.

Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, Ministers Douglas Devananda,
Susil Premajayantha, Vidura Wickramanayake, Kanchana Wijesekera, MP Vajira Abeygunawardena, Colombo Mayor Rosy Senanayake, Public Administration Secretary M.M.P.K. Mayadunne, Defence Ministry Secretary retired General Kamal Gunaratne, Secretary to the Ministry of Buddha Sasana and Religious and Cultural Affairs Somaratne Vidanapathirana, Chief of Defence Staff General Shavendra  Silva, Army Commander Lieutenant General H.L.V. Liyanage,
Air Force Commander Air Marshal
S.K. Pathirana, Navy Commander
Vice Admiral Nishantha Ulugethenna, IGP C.D. Wickramaratne, Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs Dharmathilaka, and Chief Alliance Officer of the Ministry of Home Affairs Senarath Dissanayake attended the meeting.