Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena has urged all citizens of Sri Lanka to work together towards the transformation and development of the country.
In his wish for Sri Lanka’s 75th Independence Anniversary, Gunawardena stated that “As proud citizens of this country, it is our responsibility to sincerely perform our duty to work together and transform the growth and development of our country”.
“Keeping the sacrifices of our ancestors to win freedom in mind, we should take an oath to carve a better future for our motherland”, the Premier said, adding that it is not only the freedom of the people of Sri Lanka being celebrated today, but also that it is a tribute to the ones who fought for it, to the ones who held a vision for our country, and to the ones who sacrificed themselves for the same”.
“The great rebellions of Uva-Wellassa in 1818 and Matale in 1848 resulted in untold sacrifices and miseries and in the last century a nonviolent freedom struggle took place. The galaxy of leaders from Anagarika Dharmapala, D B Jayathilake, F R and D S Senanayake, Henry Pedris, T B Jayah, Ponnambalam Ramanathan, N M Perera, Phillip Gunawardena, S A Wickremesinghe to many other carried forward the independence movement towards its success. We must also pay our homage to the valiant members of armed forces who made similar sacrifices to sustain and safeguard the hard-won freedom from extremists and separatists during the last 75 years”, he said.
Speaking on the island nation’s ongoing economic crises, Gunawardena noted that the government has taken a series of actions to ensure the recovery of the economy, adding that “our ardent desire is to overcome challenges and build an economically sound progressive nation”.
Meanwhile, Speaker of Parliament Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena also extended his wishes for the diamond jubilee of Sri Lanka’s independence.
“There is no better opportunity than this to make a mark on the world map as one country, an undivided Sri Lankan nation, a community that appreciates each other’s differences”, he said, adding that “however, to be united as a country and put our name before the world, we have to present many more significant innovations to the world. It is not wrong to say that such changes apply to the Sri Lankan state and society in which we live”.
He noted, however, that despite these celebrations, it must not be forgotten that Sri Lanka still has a multitude of challenges to be won.
“I do not think it is a good practice to defame the country without fulfilling our duty by overcoming various challenges as senior Sri Lankans of the country. The way in which our heroes of the past came to face imperialism strongly standing strong until February 04, 1948, let us dedicate this day for a sustainable future and eternal freedom. That is the message that we who are celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of an independent Sri Lanka should understand thoroughly”, the Speaker concluded.
Speaking on the occasion of Sri Lanka’s 75th independence, Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa urged all persons to stand together, “not in a display of vanity or pride, but in a testament to our unwavering commitment to creating a brighter future for all Sri Lankans”.
“While facing our challenges, let us remain steadfast in our belief that we can and will overcome them”, he said in this regard.
In an uplifting message on Twitter, Premadasa emphasised that this event be used as an opportunity to “reignite the flames of hope, be a beacon of inspiration for one another and come together to create a legacy that will endure for generations”, adding that the hardships faced by the people of Sri Lanka and sacrifices made by those who came before us must also be remembered on this occasion. – ada derana