Reconciliation key theme in Sri Lanka’s 70th Independence celebrations in Toronto

Arabi Sivamohan performs at the 70th Independence Day Celebrations in Toronto. Pictures by Mahesh Abeyewardene for lankareporter.com

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By Srimal Abeyewardene and Mahesh Abeyewardene

A full house attended Sri Lanka’s 70th Independence Day ceremonies on a blustery winter day at Toronto’s Ontario Science Center auditorium.

“It’s very appropriate to express my sincere appreciation to all of you for the cooperation and support the Consulate General has been receiving in fulfilling its mandate,” said ULM Jauhar Consul General of Sri Lanka.

Consul General of Sri Lanka, U.L.M. Jauhar.

Consul General of Sri Lanka, U.L.M. Jauhar.

“I mention very often that one of our main goals is working towards bringing reconciliation among Sri Lankan origin communities in Canada in general and in the Greater Toronto Area in particular.”

Jauhar said Canadian business people of Sri Lankan origin who have been away returned the island for investment opportunities.

Dancers perform during the cultural show.

Key Investment

“Twenty six Sri Lankan origin business leaders accompanied Hon. Ratansi to Sri Lanka, some of them for the first time in over 20 years,” he said citing a key visit last year. “The visit of this delegation added importance to the bilateral relations and further strengthened the relations between the two countries.”

Yasmin Ratansi, Member of Federal Parliament and Chairperson of the Canada-Sri Lanka Parliamentary Friendship Group

“Some members of this delegation have already decided to make significant investment in the hospitality industry and are taking steps in this regard.”

Section of the full house which attended the National Day Celebrations in Toronto,

Guests included: Yasmin Rattansi, Member of Federal Parliament and Chairperson of the Canada-Sri Lanka Parliamentary Friendship Group, Dr. Reza Moridi, Minister of Research, Innovation & Science and Member of the Ontario Provincial Parliament, Dr. Shafiq Qaadri, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and Member of the Ontario Provincial Parliament.

Consuls General of Pakistan and Turkey, Imran Siddiqui and Excellency Erdeniz Sen, and Consul Jamila Aman from the Afghanistan Consulate were also attendance.