Jan 14, Colombo: Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena says he considers Thai Pongal as a festive occasion that would strengthen the government's efforts to achieve self-sufficiency in food and make those efforts meaningful.
Issuing a message to mark the Hindu festival today, the President said in a material world, the celebration of Thai Pongal depicts the ardent desire to protect and cherish ancient traditions.
The Hindus in Sri Lanka and world over celebrate the festival of Thai Pongal today.
Full text of the President's message:
I am extremely happy to convey my greetings to all the Hindus across the world celebrating Thai Pongal, the festival that expresses gratitude to the nature.
Since the dawn of civilization, the importance of agriculture was widely known to human beings. In a background of rural community migrating to urban areas abandoning agricultural farming to obtain material benefits from the industrial and technological growth, the celebration of Thai Pongal depicts the ardent desire to protect and cherish ancient traditions to refill humanity with culture, kindness, peace and reconciliation with utmost devotion towards fellow human kind.
I would like to consider the Thai Pongal festival, which has bestowed the supreme status upon agriculture, as an occasion to make the efforts taken by the government to take the country towards self-sufficiency in food meaningful and providing strength to these efforts.
The Tamil community following Hinduism considers the Thai Pongal festival as dawn of their New Year which provides new expectations and opportunities. On this auspicious day, I wish a happy and prosperous Thai Pongal to the Hindus in Sri Lanka and abroad. I also join with the devotees who celebrate the Thai Pongal festival closely associating with the deep values of agricultural traditions and customs.