Sri Lanka Army

Defender of the Nation

National Independence Day at Trincomalee Mirrors Strong Commitment to Make the Country 'Wonder of Asia'

The 65th National Independence Day ceremony under the theme ‘Asirimath Mawubimak - Isurumath Hetadinak’ (A Glorious Motherland - A Flourishing Tomorrow) at Black-Bay, Trincomalee this morning (4), headed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, re-affirmed the determined commitment of all to turn the country to be the ‘Wonder of Asia’ while strengthening Sri Lanka’s sovereignty and peaceful co-existence.

Pomp and pageantry rich this year’s spectacular national event, held in Trincomalee after sixty years, was dignified by the presence of His Excellency, the President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the First Lady Mrs Shiranthi Rajapaksa, accompanied by Prime Minister, Speaker, Chief Justice, Minister of Public Administration and Home Affairs, Governor for Eastern Province, Chief Minister for Eastern Province, Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Secretaries of Ministries, Chief of Defence Staff, Army, Navy and Air Force Commanders, Inspector General of the Police, Diplomats and a host of other distinguished invitees.

This year’s anniversary celebration leaves a landmark in the country’s post-war phase of speedy development, reconstruction and reconciliation as the country is fast marching for prosperity after bitter experiences before the year 2009.

Today’s ceremony commenced with the arrival of HE, the President, along with the First Lady Mrs. Shiranthi Rajapaksa. They were warmly received by the Prime Minister, Minister of Public Administration and Home Affairs. His arrival at the venue, accompanied by Military Police outriders and mounted Policemen in a colourful pageant, was heralded by blowing of trumpets.

Seconds after that, the Chief of Defence Staff, Commander of the Army, Commander of the Navy, Commander of the Air Force and the Inspector General of the Police ushered the President to the main flag post where he hoisted the National Flag, amidst rhythmic beating of Magul Bera (auspicious drums) and blowing of conch shells as 100 school girls from girls’ schools in the province, sang the national anthem, filling all patriotic hearts with pride of being an independent nation, rich with age-old, unmatched cultural ethos.

Afterwards, the President from the special dais received the blessings of the recital of ‘Jayamangala Gatha’ and ‘Devo Vassatu Kalena’ stanzas, presented by a bevy of 100 girls.

It was followed by observance of a one-minute silence in memory of all the patriots and War Heroes who laid their lives for the noble cause of defending the territorial integrity of the Nation.

The next phase of the day’s agenda was the colourful tri-service Guard of Honour, accorded to the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, followed by the customary 21-Gun Salute in his honour.

It was time for the much-awaited President’s address to the nation. (See President's address in News Highlights)
Soon after his address, the smart parade comprised of tri-service Officers and Other ranks, Police and the Civil Defence Force personnel in their respective ceremonials was reported by the Parade Commander, to the Chief Guest who took the Salute in accordance with military traditions.

A total of 3716 troops, including Police and Civil Defence Force personnel attired in their ceremonial dresses afterwards began their march-past, according their salute to His Excellency, the President, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. In addition, 625 members of the National Cadet Corps and the Yowun Senankaya also coloured the parade.

Rhythmic cultural troupes, made up of well-known artistes, 860 school students from 6 schools in the Trincomalee district and others added special colourfulness to the parade as the day’s programme drew to a close. These cultural dances were from different provinces in the country.

Religious dignitaries of all denominations, Governors, Diplomats, Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Chief Ministers, Project Ministers, Parliamentarians, State Secretaries, State Officials and a massive crowd of spectators witnessed the National Independence Day proceedings at Trincomalee.

To coincide with the main event, separate Buddhist, Hindu, Islamic, Catholic and Christian religious ceremonies and prayers to invoke blessings on the National Independence Day got underway on Monday (4) early in the morning at the Vilgamvehera Raja Maha Viharaya, Thirukoneshwaram Temple, Mohideen Andhwar Jummah Mosque, St Mary’s Cathedral in Periyakadai and the Methodist Church dockyard in Trincomalee respectively.