UPDATE : 2019.4.21 SUN 09:31
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Sri Lanka can achive colossal tasks, gigantic achievements of other great civilizationsSays President Sirisena of Sri Lanka on the Independence Day

President Maithripala Sirisena of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka declared, “We could accomplish colossal tasks, similar to those gigantic achievements of other great civilizations of the world in the past, by being independent.”

Mayor Yoon Wha-sup speaks to the meeting hailing the achievements and contributions made by the Sri Lankan residents in his city of Ansan.

Speaking on the occasion of the Independence Day of Sri Lanka on Feb. 4, 2019, President Sirisena then declared: “We are a people who established our own national identity from the beginning. Therefore, on this auspicious occasion. I would like to emphasize that time has come to build the economy of our country on the foundation of agriculture.” (See excerpts from his speech at the end of this report.)

Charge d’Affaires Jagath Abeywarna of Sri Lanka in Seoul delivers a congratulatory speech at the Independence Day celebration meeting in Ansan on Feb. 6, 2019.

This message of President Sirisena was delivered by Charge d’Affaires Jagath Abeywarna of Sri Lanka Embassy in Seoul at a meeting of Sri Lankan residents and Korean local authorities and citizens in Ansan at the Grand Ballroom of the Square Hotel in Ansan on Feb. 6 in celebration of the 71st Independence Day of Sri Lanka. It was attended by Mayor Yoon Wha-sup of Ansan City and leading Korean and international citizens of the city as well as civic figures and media representatives. Several hundred people attended the meeting, including Mayor Yoon Wha-sup.

The host and guests light the celebration lights.

Among the Korean and international media covering the event were Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik and other editorial leaders of The Korea Post media, established 34 years ago in 1985.

Mayor Yoon and CDA Abeywarna (left and right) pose for the camera after Abeywarna presented Yoon with a plaque of appreciation.

Mayor Yoon then said, “We have a total of over 86,000 expatriates living in our Ansan City, which represents 12% of the total population of our city.”
“The Ansan City,” said Yoon, “is the ‘Central Multi-cultural City of the Republic of Korea’ where Koreans and peoples of many other countries of the world live and work all in a ‘win-win’ spirit and harmony and to this end everyone in my city does the best they can to help all the peoples who came and live in our city!”
Then he declared, “I highly appreciate the great contributions made by the Sri Lankan people and all the other expatriate residents in my city!”

Second Secretary Ms. Nilanthi K. Pelawaththage (right) introduces the Sri Lankan Independence Day while Ambassadoriall Assistant Ms. Hyo Jeong Kim offers a Korean-language interpretation.

The meeting also heard the message of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe of Sri Lanka.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said, “While celebrating our country’s liberation from long years of foreign rule, ‘Independence Day’ is the ideal opportunity to inspire public discourse and social activism for a more broad based ‘National Independence’ that transcends ethnic and religious biases.”

Then he said, “Since being propelled into power by the people, the ‘Yahapalana’ government has overcome countless challenges and obstacles to establish a refreshingly new social and political culture, while taking significant steps to strengthen democracy. We are savoring the positive results of these collective efforts, as this transformed society has already proven its resolve to defeat anti-democratic, extremist forces.” (See further details toward the end of this report.)

Mayor Yoon Wha-sup of Ansan City (left) is congratulated on the brilliant achievements of the Ansan City by Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post media.

Independence Day message of the President of Sri Lanka:

Sri Lanka, which had been under the British rule for 133 years, gained independence on the 4th of February 1948. Each year, this day is celebrated with glory. Our prime objective should be to collectively commit ourselves to achieve the true meaning of the freedom we obtained. With a new vision and renewed vigour.

CDA Abeywarna and Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post media (third and fourth from right) pose with Honorary Consul and Mrs. Seo Min-jae (right and second from right) plus vice Chairpersons Choe Nam-suk and Cho Kyung-hee (left and second from left)

Having gained independence from imperialist rulers, as a nation we expected a political, socio economic and cultural forward march with a unique national identify, free of colonial shackles. To entrust the future of the nation to minds enslaved by imperialism for more than a century is more dangerous than being under the colonial rule itself.

Hence, for future progress, we need a people with spirits invigorated by national customs. Values and culture.

Mayor Yoon and CDA Abeywarna of Sri Lanka (sixth and seventh from left, respectively, poses with Korean and Sri Lankan guests.

We could accomplish colossal tasks. Similar to those gigantic achievements of other great civilizations of the world in the past, by being independent We are a people who established our own national identity from the beginning. Therefore, on this auspicious occasion. I would like to emphasize that time has come to build the economy of our country on the foundation of agriculture.

Mayor Yoon Wha-sup of Ansan City and Charge d’Affaires Jagath Abeywarna of Sri Lanka (seventh and eighth from left) pose with the leading figures from all walks of life from Korean society at the Indepdence Day celebration of Sri Lanka.

The common enemies of the progress of national revival are poverty and corruption. We must resolve to eradicate these evils completely.

All those patriots who sacrificed their lives for the sake of independence of the nation since the colonial era are commemorated on this occasion with honour and dignity. All the service men and women dedicated to safeguard the freedom and independence of the nation today are also remembered with gratitude.

Sri Lankan men performers present traditional Sri Lankan dances.

It is my wish on this important occasion that all political parties together with all of us will be able to march forward with courage and peace towards accomplishing the ultimate goals of independence.

Independence Day Message of the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka:

Celebrating ‘independence not necessarily mean it has been entirely achieved. It’s true meaning is realized only when all human beings in a nation achieve a state of environmental, economic, political, social and spiritual coexistence. This demands an organized program and collective sacrifice.

Mayor Yoon Wha-sup of Ansan City and Charge d’Affaires Jagath Abeywarna of Sri Lanka (sixth and seventh from left, respectively) poses with the prominent citizens of the Ansan City.

While celebrating our country’s liberation from long years of foreign rule, ‘Independence Day’ is the ideal opportunity to inspire public discourse and social activism for a more broad based ‘National Independence’ that transcends ethnic and religious biases.

Since being propelled into power by the people, the ‘Yahapalana’ government has overcome countless challenges and obstacles to establish a refreshingly new social and political culture, while taking significant steps to strengthen democracy. We are savoring the positive results of these collective efforts, as this transformed society has already proven its resolve to defeat anti-democratic, extremist forces.

Sri Lankan male performers march into the vevue clad in traditional Sri Lanka costumes.

On our 71st national Independence Day, I invite each and every one of you to join me in building a robust economy, stable government and a prosperous nation, so that all our citizens can enjoy the true freedom of living in a socially and politically developed society.

Son In-seong  edt@koreapost.com

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