ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has extended good wishes for the traditional New Year which is celebrated by the island’s Sinhala and Tamil communities.
“The Sinhala and Tamil New Year is our principal cultural festival,” President said in a statement.
“We have a strong belief that the prosperity of the coming year will be the result of all our citizens performing the rituals at the same auspicious time.”
The festival is known as Avrudu among Sinhalese and Puthandu among the Tamil community.
The festival is celebrated in most areas of India as well as South East Asia in former territories of the Chola Empire, which extended as far as Sri Lanka, Maldives, Thailand and also Indonesia during the reigns of Rajaraja Chola 1 and Rajendra Chola 1.
In Myanmar, citizens are using the festival as a tool to protest against the military coup.
The full message is reproduced below:
Sinhala and Tamil New Year Message
To welcome the dawn of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year with fresh hopes and renewed determination to materialize them is a valuable tradition deeply rooted in our culture.
Although adverse health conditions prevented us from celebrating last year’s Sinhala and Tamil New Year, this year all of us together have made it possible to enjoy the New Year festivities, duly observing the age-old customs and traditions while adhering to health guidelines. It is a fulfillment of the hopes of young children who look forward to the New Year, with excitement, as well as all other citizens.
The Sinhala and Tamil New Year is our principal cultural festival. We have a strong belief that the prosperity of the coming year will be the result of all our citizens performing the rituals at the same auspicious time.
The cheerfulness of the adults is reflected through their children who are delighted with their new clothes, sweets and games for the New Year. In addition, the pleasant changes in the environment bring us physical and emotional bliss.
It is also a noble attribute of the New Year season that adults who struggle in life with complexities, settle grudges and animosities and reconcile with each other.
It is my hope and expectation that all citizens without any discrimination will join the Sinhala and Tamil New Year celebrations with tender and righteous thoughts.
I respectfully commend the commitment and sacrifice of all those who are engaged in essential services and who are employed overseas and unable to be with their families during this season of New Year.
May the dawn of Sinhala and Tamil New Year bring happiness, good health and prosperity to all.