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* Essential to build national unity to usher in rapid development in Sri Lanka- President
Sun, Apr 13, 2014, 09:58 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Apr 13, Colombo: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa said the country is welcoming the traditional Sinhala and Tamil New Year at a time when production and development in agriculture and other spheres are making immense progress and it is essential to build national unity to usher in rapid development in the country.

In his New Year message the President said the coexistence and reconciliation are the most outstanding traditions in the New Year festivities.

Full text of the President's message:

We celebrate the dawn of this Sinhala and Tamil Aluth Avurudda with pride in our success towards building a nation self-sufficient from an abundant harvest of nature's blessings.

Only a great cultural heritage and righteous values could provide the world with people who are rich in humane values. The foundation for this is provided to us by great celebrations of national culture such as this festival. The continued sustenance of rich cultural traditions is symbolic of a nation progressing rapidly towards prosperity.

We welcome this Aluth Avurudda at a time when production and development in agriculture and other spheres are making immense progress. It is essential to build national unity to usher in rapid development in the country.

What is outstanding in the traditions of these festivities are coexistence and reconciliation. The most valued quality of this Avurudu festival is taking the ideal of understanding and cohesion beyond the family, to the village, the city and the entire country. Taking this spirit of reconciliation towards Sri Lanka being crowned the Wonder of Asia should be a firm commitment of us all at this Aluth Avurudu festival.

I wish you all a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

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