The ceremony on April 16 commenced with the lighting of the traditional oil lamp by Permanent Representatives, diplomats and distinguished guests present at the event, followed by a short video presentation depicting the traditions and customs of the New Year celebrations in Sri Lanka.
Delivering the welcome address, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations Dr. Rohan Perera outlined the significance of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year as a celebration of the harvest season and the abundance and prosperity it brings. He also noted the unique importance of the festival in Sri Lanka as one that is celebrated by both the Sinhala and Tamil communities, thus serving as a cultural bridge between them. He stated, “The rich cultural festival that brings the Sinhala and Tamil communities together in Sri Lanka is an opportune moment to strive towards greater harmony and national reconciliation with fresh resolve and determination. Thus, the New Year provides a great window of opportunity for achieving one’s internal reconciliation and the larger goal of social and national reconciliation.”
The ceremony concluded with the serving of traditional food associated with the festival.