68th Republic Day of India celebrations in Sri Lanka
The High Commission of India and the Indian expatriate community in Sri Lanka celebrated the 68th Republic Day of India on Thursday, January 26, 2017 at India House in Colombo. High Commissioner Mr Taranjit Singh Sandhu unfurled the Indian flag and inspected a Guard of Honour presented by a contingent of the Border Security Force. He read out excerpts from the Address to the Nation on the eve of the Republic Day by the Hon´ble President of India, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee.
- High Commissioner while reading out excerpts, credited strong democratic institutions built over the last six and a half decades for making India an oasis of stability. He highlighted India’s achievement in social, political and economic fields in the last six and half decades. Today, India is the fastest growing economy amongst the major economies of the world. India is the second largest reservoir of scientific and technical manpower, the third largest army, the sixth member of the nuclear club, the sixth member in the race for space, and the tenth largest industrial power. From a net food grains importing country, India is now a leading exporter of food commodities. Highlighting recent initiatives of the Government of India, President mentioned flagship initiatives such as Swachh Bharat Mission, MGNREGA, Aadhaar, Digital India programme, Start-up India, Atal Innovation Mission, and Skill India initiative.
- High Commissioner congratulated the Government of Sri Lanka on completion of two years in office. Stating that Sri Lanka continues to be a key part of India’s “neighbourhood first” policy, he expressed hope that Sri Lankan businesses will take advantage of their proximity to the fastest growing major economy in the world. High Commissioner added that India’s total development assistance commitment to Sri Lanka is now around US$ 2.6 billion, with over US$ 435 million as outright grants. High Commissioner stated that the Indian flagship housing project, aiming to construct 50,000 houses, is proceeding well with over 45,300 houses constructed till date. High Commissioner cautioned against the threat posed by the dark forces of terrorism and stressed the necessity of defeating these forces decisively.
- High Commissioner and officials of the High Commission paid their respects to the memory of fallen soldiers of the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in a solemn ceremony at the IPKF memorial in Colombo.
- To commemorate India´s 68th Republic Day, famous Odissi dance group from India ‘Rudrakshya’ led by Guru Sri Bitchitrananda Swain performed a concert “Taal Taranga” onJanuary 25, 2017 at the Bishop’s College Auditorium, Colombo. Hon’ble Mano Ganesan, Minister of National Co-existence Dialogue and Official Languages, Government of Sri Lanka was the Chief Guest at the function. The performance was extremely well received.
- The Consulates General of India in Jaffna and Hambantota and the Assistant High Commission of India in Kandy also celebrated the 68th Republic Day by organizing flag hoisting ceremonies this morning.
26 January 2017