Feb 09, Washington, DC: The Embassy of Sri Lanka in the United States celebrated the nation's 70th Anniversary of Independence at the prestigious United States Institute of Peace in Washington D.C. The event also marked 70 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Ambassador Thomas Shannon, the third-highest-ranking official in the State Department, represented the U.S. government as the chief guest at the event.
Speaking at the occasion, Ambassador Thomas Shannon noted the remarkable partnership between the United States and Sri Lanka and said just as the United States is proud to have been among the first nations to recognize an independent Ceylon in 1948, it remains proud to stand with Sri Lanka as a friend and partner today.
Chargé d'affaires a.i. of the Embassy of Sri Lanka Priyanga Wickramasinghe addressing the gathering said that Sri Lankans are very proud of their country's democratic heritage. She said Sri Lankans have always had faith in the island's democracy and its democratic institutions. She stressed that this strong confidence in democracy and democratic governance will be the cornerstone of Sri Lanka's future progress.
Underlining the importance of the U.S.-Sri Lanka relationship Chargé d'affaires Wickramasinghe said the very old friendship between the two countries is now stronger than ever.
Over 500 invitees attended the event including guests from the Washington-based foreign diplomatic corps, senior officials from the U.S. administration as well as many Sri Lankan-Americans.
In the morning of February 4, the Embassy hosted a solemn independence commemoration event with multi-faith observances conducted by religious dignitaries representing the Buddhist, Hindu, Islam and Christian faiths.