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 yesterday (07) 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 the 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 organize each of these events meaningfully so that the public can participate and enjoy them.
It was also decided to invite the foreign ministers of the SAARC countries as special guests in a bid to strengthen international ties.
President Wickremesinghe advised to prepare the necessary background to provide the main state auditoriums, theatres and Colombo Nelum Pokuna Theater, Tower Hall, Elphinstone and John de Silva theatres in the respective provinces at a very special price for a specified period.
It is also planned to build 1996 houses for low income families in conjunction with Independence Day and these houses are to be built in Peliyagoda, Dematagoda, Moratuwa, Maharagama and Kottawa areas. The housing complex to be built in Kottawa will be allocated for artistes. The President also informed officials to immediately prepare the necessary system to provide all these houses based on priority and actual need and not on political basis or affiliations.
Responsibilities were also assigned to the officials to celebrate the 75th National Independence Day in a colorful manner with various cultural elements, to hold various competitions concurrent to the Independence Day, engaging school children and the youth community at regional, district and provincial levels, and to plan programs in such a way that everyone will feel proud of the country.
It was suggested to the President to hold exhibitions under various themes in all the provinces of the island in line with the 75th Independence Day celebrations, and to hold a bicycle procession between Dondra Point and Point Pedro.
The President also proposed to issue a special commemorative stamp to mark the occasion. He further instructed the officials to launch a program 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 the 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, Member of Parliament Vajira Abeygunawardena, Colombo Mayor Rosy Senanayake, Public Administration Secretary M.M. PK 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 Ulugethanna, Inspector General of Police C. D. Wickramaratne, Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs Dharmathilaka, and Chief Alliance Officer of the Ministry of Home Affairs Senarath Dissanayake were present on the occasion.