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International Day of Yoga marked at Independence Square (Pics)

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In the morning of 17 June 2023, High Commission of India and Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre (SVCC), the cultural arm of the High Commission, in collaboration with various yoga institutes organised a yoga event at the iconic Independence Square in Colombo to mark the 9th International Day of Yoga (IDY).

The event saw participation of nearly a thousand people including the special invitees: Minister of Education – Dr. Susil Premajayantha, Minister of Transport & Highways and Mass Media – Dr. Bandula Gunawardena, Minister of Foreign Affairs – Ali Sabry, State Minister of Indigenous Medicine – Sisira Jayakody, State Minister of Education – A. Aravindh Kumar, State Minister of Higher Education – Dr. Suren Raghavan, High Commissioner of India – Mr. Gopal Baglay, officials and staff of the High Commission, students, police personnel, members of the Indian community and yoga enthusiasts in Sri Lanka also participated. The event was organised in partnership with Ministry of Health of Sri Lanka with hundreds of traditional medicine doctors and practitioners joining the programme.

The event at Independence Square commenced with prayers by the Chief Priest of the Parama Dhamma Chethiya Pirivena in Ratmalana, Most Venerable Dr. Maitipe Wimalasera Thero, invoking the blessings of the Buddha for humanity’s overall wellbeing. The highlight of the programme was a 20-minutes long Yoga and Meditation Session for the participants conducted by experts from 25 eminent Yoga institutes of Sri Lanka, such as Astanka Yoga Mandir, Ashtanga Yoga Lanka, Aum Kriya Babaji Yoga Aranyam, Brahma Kumari Raja Yoga Centre, Hatha Yoga Centre, Institute of Human Excellence, Rhythmic Yoga Academy, The Art of Living, Yoga for Divine Life, Rama Krishna Mission, Sethsada Yoga Nikethanaya, University of Colombo, University of Kelaniya, University of Sri Jayewardenepura and SVCC. This was followed by an Advanced Yoga Performance by a group of children from Mayurapathy Sri Bhadrakali Temple.

In the run-up to International Day of Yoga 2023, SVCC in collaboration with government institutions, yoga organisations and local partners, organised over 90 Yoga events, workshops, lectures and demonstrations for different age-groups and professions across the island. These events are an effort towards reinforcing the significance of the shared heritage of Yoga for holistic wellbeing among the people of Sri Lanka

IDY 2023 celebrations at Independence Square in Colombo formed a part of the special feature of IDY 2023 that brings together countries from ‘Arctic to Antarctic’, connecting them through the practice of yoga. High Commission of India will also organise another yoga event at the Port of Colombo on 21 June 2023, thereby joining the ‘Global Ocean Ring’ as a unique initiative marking IDY 2023. This year’s IDY celebrations resonate with the theme of India’s ongoing Presidency of the G20, Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam or ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’.

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President participates in deposition of sacred relics at historical Dighavapi Chaitya

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe participated in a significant cultural and religious ceremony yesterday (14) at the historic Deegawapiya Stupa located at the Deegawapiya Raja Maha Vihara. 

The ceremony marked the deposition of relics and treasures, an important event in the ongoing restoration of the ancient stupa.

The renovation project, which began in 2020, has been supported by the Ministry of Defence. 

The event saw the attendance of senior government officials, politicians, and religious leaders, emphasizing the national importance of the restoration work.

Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, General (Retd.) Kamal Gunarathne, addressed the gathering, outlining the ministry’s efforts since 2020. 

He highlighted the contributions of the armed forces in providing labor and the role of public and well-wisher donations in funding the project. 

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President inaugurates 2nd phase of Kompannavidiya flyover (Pics)

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe today (July 11) inaugurated the second phase of the flyover project connecting Kompannavidiya and Justice Akbar Mawatha.

This phase, constructed by the Ministry of Transport and Highways at a cost of LKR 5,278 million, spans between Kompannavidiya and  Justice Akbar Mawatha over the railway line.

The Road Development Authority, in collaboration with Maga Engineering, undertook this project to alleviate the delays and traffic congestion caused by the frequent closing of railway gates for 109 daily train journeys.

In the bustling commercial area of Kompannavidiya, which hosts various institutions including government offices, hospitals, religious places, restaurants and cinema halls, it has been observed that nearly three hours of the day is wasted due to the closing of railway gates.

With the completion of the flyover, travel from Kompannavidiya towards Galle Face and the Presidential Secretariat will be smooth and free of traffic jams, thereby contributing significantly to the national economy by reducing the time people spend on the road.

The inauguration ceremony was attended by Minister of Transport, Highways and Mass Media Dr. Bandula Gunawardena, Senior Advisor to the President on National security and Presidential Chief of Staff Sagala Ratnayaka, and Secretary of the Ministry of Transport and Highways Ranjith Rubasinghe.

(Excerpts : President’s Media Division)

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Sampanthan championed rights of all Sri Lankans – President (Pics)

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The funeral ceremony of late parliamentarian R. Sampanthan was held in Trincomalee yesterday (July 07).

The funeral ceremony, honouring the former Leader of the Opposition and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), as well as the late Trincomalee District Member of Parliament, was attended by numerous political leaders, both from the Government and the opposition.

Paying tribute to the late MP and senior politician, President Ranil Wickremesinghe acknowledged Mr. Sampanthan as a leader who championed the rights not only of the Tamil people but also of all Sri Lankans.

He emphasized that both Mr. Sampanthan and himself were committed to the cause of an undivided Sri Lanka. The President also urged everyone to unite in successfully concluding the discussions initiated with the late Mr. Sampanthan.

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