Sri Lanka celebrates its 64th Independence Day in Washington, D.C.

Ambassador and Mrs. Jaliya Wickramasuriya greet guests. Ambassador and Mrs. Jaliya Wickramasuriya greet guests.

SRI LANKA’S 64th year of independence was celebrated in Washington, D.C. by the Embassy of Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankan community at the University of the District of Columbia’s auditorium on Saturday afternoon, Feb. 4, 2012. Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya and Mrs. Wickramasuriya personally greeted the many guests.

THE CELEBRATION featured a reception with Sri Lankan dishes and Ceylon tea before a program started with traditional Sri Lanka dances and speeches and appearances by notable diplomats and U.S. government officials.

ASSISTANT Secretary of State Robert Blake, as well as a number of other diplomatic dignitaries, took part in the celebration, which highlighted the economic and social progress that Sri Lanka has achieved since its 26-year long conflict with the terrorist group LTTE ended in May 2009.

Guests at the Sri Lanka Independence Day celebration in Washington, D.C.Guests at the Sri Lanka Independence Day celebration in Washington, D.C.

THE PROGRAM also included performances by the world-renowned dance troup Channa Upuli Performing Arts Foundation and the talents of local dancers from the Washington, D.C. area. The Washington area Sri Lankan soprano Anjalika Silva sang the U.S. National Anthem and a group of Sri Lankan-American children sang the Sri Lankan anthem.

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