Commencement of 150th Birth Anniversary Celebrations of

Mahatma Gandhi in Sri Lanka

Series of events were held on 2nd October to begin the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi. Many more events focusing on life and philosophy of Gandhi ji would be organised during the next two years. Mahatma Gandhi traveled extensively in Sri Lanka during his visit in 1927.

H.E. President Maithripala Sirisena held a special programme to pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhi at the Presidential Secretariat. High Commission of India has created a special Video “Vaishnav Jana To”, a bhajan liked by Gandhi ji, sung by popular Sri Lankan artists – Bathia, Santhush and Umaria. The video was launched at the event by H.E. President Sirisena. H.E. High Commissioner Taranjit Singh Sandhu gifted a portrait of Gandhi ji to H.E. President Sirisena. H.E. President Sirisena thanked High Commissioner and announced that the Gandhiji’s portrait would be permanently displayed at the President’s office.

As a tribute to Gandhi ji, special commemorative postal stamps were released by Hon. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at Temple Trees.

Hon. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya launched a well-researched book in Sinhalese on Mahatma Gandhi’s visit to Sri Lanka, written by veteran journalist Mr Sampath Bandara at Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre.

A special musical performance by the Violin Maestro Dr. L. Subramaniam and the National Leipaja Latvian Philharmonic Orchestra was held at Nelum Pokuna auditorium in the evening.  The event was attended by Hon. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, Prof. Maithree Wickremesinghe, Hon Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, Hon. Leader of Opposition R Sampathan, Governor Hemakumara Nanayakkara, and many other distinguished dignitaries from cultural, professional, academic and business areas.

Iconic Colombo Municipal Town Hall was lit with special LED lights to showcase Gandhi ji’s images.