Independence day of Sri Lanka: Vice Admiral Mohan Wijewickrama, RSP, VSV, USP, Ndc, High Commissioner of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka to Pakistan
TEXT: Sri Lanka achieved its independence on the 4th of February 1948 after being a British crown colony for over a century. Since then, Sri Lanka has enjoyed a stable democracy and steady economic growth in spite two insurgencies experienced in the north and the south of the country. Sri Lanka was admitted to United Nations in 1955, seven years after independence and is a member of number of multilateral organisations.
The Independence Day of Sri Lanka is a great national event celebrated by Sri Lankans all over with parades and cultural pageants combined with the spirit of patriotism and national pride. Independence Day holds much significance for the people of Sri Lanka as it reflects the history of great sacrifices made by Sri Lankans in the realisation of its freedom at various stages under the colonial rule and also to remember and pay tribute to all who made the supreme sacrifice to ensure the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka.
Today, Sri Lanka boasts of being a modern industrial economy, famous as a much sought out tourist destination, owing to its natural splendour, in the form of tropical forests, inland lakes, picturesque beaches and mesmerizing scenery. Sri Lanka is known for its famous orthodox tea that is grown mainly in the mountainous terrain and for the brand of cricket that is famous in the subcontinent. Sri Lankan President Excellency Gotabaya Rajapaksa has emphasized that the top most priority of the government being economic development and as a nation has chosen a neutral foreign policy. Sri Lanka has stressed its principle offriendship towards all, enmity towards none in its diplomacy.
Pakistan and Sri Lanka have always been trusted-partners with historical linkages dating back to the period of Gandhara civilization. Since achieving independence both Pakistan and Sri Lanka have extended cooperation to each other in different sectors and share similar perceptions in various international and regional fora. Both countries have maintained excellent social, political and defence relations whilst trade has seen a gradual increase. There had been frequent high-level visits and the visit of Excellency Imran Khan to Colombo in February 2021 gave a boost to trade between both nations and an opportunity for Sri Lankans to visit the historical Buddhist sites that are spread over in Pakistan.
I take this opportunity to wish the peoples of both countries a very prosperous, bright and a peaceful future.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022