Deepavali Celebrated in the Sri Lanka High Commission in Canberra, Australia

        

The High Commission celebrated the Deepavali, “The festival of Lights” with the traditional festivity at the High Commission on 24th November 2013. A cross- section of the Sri Lankan Tamil community resident in Canberra, the representatives of the Sri Lankan Associations and the Sri Lankan community of other faiths were present at the event.

The celebrations were held in keeping with the tradition of the High Commission, celebrating important festivals of the major religions practiced in Sri Lanka.  

High Commissioner Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe welcomed the audience and in his welcome speech, he highlighted the importance of Deepavali, indicating that Deeapavali is supposed to unify people and encourage peaceful coexistence. Further while explaining,  Deepavali gives a universal message on love, peace and hopes in the minds of the people, he said that the symbol of the festival was hope over despair, victory of good over evil, the shedding of light over darkness, defeat of arrogance, evil and the triumph of knowledge over ignorance and the attainment of wisdom. Its light of hope provides the opportunity for greater understanding among communities, increased harmony among peoples. 

The Vishnu Shiva Mandhir priest Shri Pradeep Bhat, conducted the religious observances and offered blessings and harmony among all communities in Sri Lanka. Following the Hindu religious ceremony, the cultural items including musical programmes, Bharatanatyam and Sinhala dances organized by this Mission were performed. Mrs. Prashanthi Kiran sang a number of devotional songs and a beautiful violin performance by Ms.  Prathiba Nagapushan accompanied on the Tabla by Mr.Sukumar Subramaniam and Miruthangam by Mr. Saravanan Kandasamy. Miss. Kavitha Ravendran presented solo Bharatanatyam with a devotional song to “ Jagathesewaram” and the students of Mrs. Wijitha Lokusooriya , the Canberra School of Sri Lankan Language & Dance performed a beautiful dance.

Mr. Periyasamy Pillai Selvaraj, Minister delivered the Vote of Thanks.

The Vishnu Shiva Mandhir priest Shri Pradeep Bhat has also conducted a special religious pooja to invoke blessings on H.E. the President Mahinda Rajapaksa on his 68th Birthday, which falls in November.

The participants also had the opportunity to enjoy Sri Lankan food and sweets which included an array of traditional Hindu foods, following the religious ceremony as customary. 


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