(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – High Commission of India, Colombo celebrated India’s 74th Republic Day in Colombo on 26 January 2023.
It may be recalled that it was on 26 January 1950 that the Indian Constitution-the world’s largest written Constitution-entered into force. The Preamble to the Constitution declares India to be a Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic, Republic. This is the first Republic Day celebrations after India became the fifth largest economy in the world in September 2022.
After paying tributes to the fallen heroes of Indian Peace Keeping Force(IPKF) at the IPKF memorial, High Commissioner Gopal Baglay unfurled India’s national flag at India House – residence of High Commissioner of India – and inspected the Guard of Honour. High Commissioner also read out excerpts of President of India’s Republic Day address. A special video message by Hon. Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana, Speaker of the Parliament of Sri Lanka was also played on the occasion.
The event featured songs by the Sri Lanka Navy band and a cultural programme organized by High Commission’s cultural arm, Swami Vivekananda Cultural Center. Members of the Indian community attended the ceremony in several hundreds.
A ceremonial reception would be organized in the evening at India House. Several dignitaries from all walks of life in Sri Lanka are expected to attend this event.
This year’s Republic Day celebrations take place less than two weeks after India became the first bilateral creditor of Sri Lanka to give written financing assurances to the IMF for an Extended Fund Facility programme. This support which is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ Policy is a continuation of the unprecedented USD 4 billion of economic, financial and humanitarian support given to the people of Sri Lanka in 2022.
Further, this year’s Republic Day celebrations coincide with the commemoration of 75 years of Independence by both India and Sri Lanka. Also, the two friendly neighbours shall celebrate the establishment of 75 years of diplomatic ties this year.
Consulates General of India in Hambantota and Jaffna and the Assistant High Commission in Kandy also observed the 74th Republic Day of India by organizing special events.