Sri Lanka High Commission in the UK Celebrates Deepawali
By Janaka Alahapperuma
Oct 26, 2009
Sri Lanka High Commission in London celebrated Deepawali Festival on 24th October (evening) with participation of a huge number of Sri Lankan Hindu, Christian, Buddhist and Muslim people.

The event was commenced with Hindu religious observances by His Holiness Kurukkal Shree who blessed Sri Lanka and the gathering.

High Commissioner Justice Nihal Jayasinghe addressing the gathering said, “I believe that there is another meaning in celebrating Deepawali for Sri Lankans today. As Sri Lankans living in the UK – as British Sri Lankans – it is a way of joining your family members, relatives and friends in Sri Lanka through the umbilical cord of our culture. It is a way of remembering and revisiting our culture. It is an expression of unity in diversity as Sri Lankans – wherever you live. Moreover, I believe, it is a lighting of an array of hope for a peaceful and prosperous Sri Lanka.”

Quoting from the Deepawali message of H.E. the President the High Commissioner stated that “As the Hindus of Sri Lanka, join their fellow believers the world over in the joyous spirit of Deepavali, we are now at the threshold of a new era, where the suffering faced by the Hindu community will be a thing of the past; and they could all look forward to living in peace and harmony in the comfort and tranquillity of their own homes”.

The High Commissioner further stated that “I believe as the President says in his message, we will be seeing rapid strides in Sri Lanka, to alleviate all the suffering of our brothers and sisters there. There will be a new era of peace and prosperity. Today, I believe, we all should light that hope in our hearts – not only as Hindus who are celebrating Deepawali, but also as Sri Lankans”.

Mr. P. M. Amza, Deputy High Commissioner delivering the vote of thanks stated that this is an event to get together as Sri Lankans but not as different communities. He thanked all the participants too.

The gathering enjoyed a splendid cultural performance by Sanskruthi Dance Troupe and a sumptuous reception of traditional Hindu cuisine.

The event was also graced by Dr. Palitha Kohona, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in New York.

Pix: Nimal Navaratna