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Sri Lankan National Day is celebrated on 4th February every year to commemorate the country’s independence from British rule in 1948. Also known as Independence Day, this year the country will be celebrating it’s 74th National Day. Sri Lanka has faced several conflicts including the invasion by British. All this, particularly freedom from the British rule, is remembered during the National Day.
History of Sri Lankan National Day
Because of it’s location and geography, Sri Lanka was a point of attraction for the Europeans who came to Asia for trade. The Portuguese were the first to invade Sri Lanka in the 16th century. The island was then partitioned into seven conflicting kingdoms and the Portuguese found this as a perfect opportunity to gain control over them as they were unfit to fight off foreign invaders. The Portuguese forced the Buddhist majority to convert to Christianity which gave birth to hatred against them. Nearly a century later, the Dutch too wanted authority over Sri Lanka which led to clashes between the Dutch and the Portuguese. The people of the island wanted to get rid of the Portuguese and extended their support to the Dutch thus forcing the Portuguese to flee the country. The Dutch granted freedom of living to the Hindus, Muslims, and Buddhists. The flaw of the Dutch rule was that they taxed the nation far more heavily than the Portuguese. The British eventually took control of the coastal areas in 1796 and named it Ceylon. By 1815, the British brought the entire island under their rule.
The British gave Sri Lanka a semi independent ‘dominion’ title on 4th February,1948 and Don Stephen Senanayake became its first Prime Minister. Thus after 450 years of colonial rule by three great powers, the island nation finally became independent. Sir Henry Monk Mason was sworn in as the first Governor-General of the Dominion of Ceylon. It became a complete republic within the Commonwealth on 22 May, 1972 and renamed Ceylon as Sri Lanka. The constitution was introduced in 1978. The movement to drive away the British was led by educated men in the 20th Century. D. S. Senanayake, D. B. Jayatilleke, Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan, Sir Arunachalam and W. A. de Silva were some of the great souls who fought for Sri Lanka’s independence. The Sri Lankan independence movement was a peaceful one and the Uva Rebellion in 1818 and the Matale Rebellion in 1848 were some of the famous struggles for independence.
National Day of Sri Lanka 2023 Celebration
The Sri Lankan National Day is celebrated all over the country with great pomp and fervor. At a meeting held on 29 November in Colombo, the Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has decided that the 74th Independence Day celebrations should be held at the Independence Square in Colombo on 4th February, 2022 under the theme ‘Prosperous Motherland that Overcomes Challenges’. Invitation will be extended to all Diplomats, including Ambassadors and High Commissioners. The traditional Parithrana Dhamma Sermon that is usually held on the day before the Independence Day will be conducted on February 2, 2022 at the Independence Hall.
In his National Day speech, the President highlights the achievements of the government during the past year, vows to get rid of extremism, enlightens the people about the issues of national importance and calls for further development. The President also pays tribute to the national heroes of Sri Lanka who had laid down their lives for the nation and observes two minutes of silence in their memory. A large military parade is also conducted. Recently the Army, Navy, Airforce have used this platform to demonstrate their might. The Sri Lanka Navy accords a 21 gun salute to the nation from the traditional artillery gun installation at the Colombo Lighthouse.
National Day is celebrated all over the country through flag-hoisting ceremony, dances, parades and performances. Several cultural activities are held across the country to showcase the national unity. Various lectures on topics such as Sri Lankan history, colonization, and sovereignty are held at universities during National Day. Religious events and commemorative programs are organized across the country as part of the celebrations.
National Day of Sri Lanka 2023 Wishes
“This is the product of several courageous people’s efforts and hardships. Therefore let’s all commemorate these heroes. Happy Independence Day, Sri Lanka.”
“Let this day remain as a motivation for us to remain tall and proud. Be pleased to call yourself a Sri Lankan.”
“Say a few quiet blessings for all those who have created the opportunity for us to believe in free nation on this day.”
“Freedom is one of the most expensive commodities. No amount of money can be enough to buy freedom.”
“May the glory of independence be with us for ever. Let’s celebrate the spirit of Sri Lanka all together.”
“Sri Lanka is a proud country because our independence isn’t a result of long battles and war, rather we are one of those countries that got is with peace.”
National Day of Sri Lanka 2023 Quiz
In which year did Sri Lanka gain independence?
Ans: (b) 1948
Who is the current President of Sri Lanka?
(a) Chandrika Kumaratunga
(b) Maithripala Sirisena
(c) Mahinda Rajapaksa
(d) Gotabaya Rajapaksa
Ans: (d) Gotabaya Rajapaksa
What is Sri Lanka’s ranking in terms of tea export?
Ans: (b) Second
Which was the first country to establish colonies in Sri Lanka?
Ans: (c) Portuguese
Which are the official languages of Sri Lanka?
(a) Tamil and English
(b) Sinhala and Tamil
(c) Sinhala and English
(d) English and Hindi
Ans: (b) Sinhala and Tamil
Sri Lanka was formerly known as ________________.
Ans: (d) Ceylon
_________________ is the largest religion of Sri Lanka.
Ans: (d) Ceylon
What is the currency of Sri Lanka?
Ans: (a) Rupee
Which is the legislative capital of Sri Lanka?
(b) Sri Jayawardanapura Kotte
Ans: (b) Sri Jayawardanapura Kotte
The first executive President of Sri Lanka was_____________.
(a) Sir Arunachalam
(b) M R Ferdinand
(d) D.S Senanayake
Ans: (d) D.S Senanayake
Entri wishes all Sri Lankans a very happy National Day.