On February 4th, 2020, Sri Lanka celebrated its 72nd year of independence. Sri Lanka first fell into the hands of foreign monarchies with the arrival of Portuguese in 1505. The island which was under the British monarchy from 1815 gained independence on 4th of February 1948 ending the British reign of 133 years. Thereafter, Mr. D.S. Senanayake was appointed as the first Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.
On every 4th of February, to celebrate the Independence Day, people all around the island hoist the national flag, showing their respect and devotion to the nation. It can be seen in every house, shop, vehicle and even in Colombo hotels, where not only the hoisting of the flag, but more special deals are offered to the public in celebration.
The main ceremony, with the attendance of the president takes place in Colombo. The complete ceremony televised live as it happens, which provides the opportunity for the whole of Sri Lanka to stand together proudly while singing the national anthem. The president takes the chance to hoist the national flag amongst the salutes from the forces. The ceremony is filled with traditional acts and dances as well as a parade performed by the military, showcasing the power and unity between the forces of army, navy, air force, police and civil defense force.
The president addresses the nation during the Independence Day ceremony. This year, the newly elected President Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapaksha talked about the past fallen heroes and paid tribute to them by observing two minutes of silence. He also commended the achievement of the past government and urged people to come together as one to commemorate this historic celebration.
Sri Lanka has a vast history where many battles were fought, and many heroes fell during the war for independence. The forefathers of Sri Lanka made many sacrifices and fought bravely for this country. Remembering and honoring these heroes as well as celebrating the achievements since then is the main intention of this grand celebration.