The High Commission of Malaysia together with Buddhist MahaVihara Brickfields, Sri Lanka Buddhist Temple Sentul, celebrated the Sinhala-Tamil New Year at Kinrana Cricket Ground, Malaysia on Sunday, 15th April 2018. Sponsorship for the Sinhala Tamil New Year was provided byNational Savings Bank of Sri Lanka, Jaya Lanka SdnBhd, LITLO Material SdnBhd, Looktower SdnBhd, SLBFE and FOMSO.
Most Venerable DatukDr.KirindeSri DhammaratanaNayakaThero, The Chief High Priest of Buddhist MahaVihara, Brickfields, Most VenBhanteSaranankaraNayakeThero, Chief Incumbent of the Sri Lanka Buddhist Temple, Senthul and Religious dignitaries representing Hindu, Islamic and Christian faiths graced the occasion. Mr. Tan Yang Thai, Under Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affars and High Commissioner-Designate for Sri Lanka was the Chief Guest at the said celebrations. Mr. Wan Zaidi bin Abdullah, Deputy Chief of Protocol, Mr. Abdullah Zawawi Tahir, Chief of Protocol II from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia also participated at the event. Dato’ S. Kulasegaran, President of FOMSO, Mr.LasanthaTheverapperuma, Head, Strategy from Group Strategy & Marketing, Axiata, Mr. Mahinda Vallipuram, President, Malaysian Cricket Council also attended the event. The guests were welcome by the traditional Sri Lankan Dance Troup.
The Celebrations began with the hoisting of the National Flags of both countries followed the lighting of the traditional oil lamp by Religious dignitaries, His Excellency A. J. M. Muzammil, High Commissioner of Sri Lanka, the Chief Guest and representative of the Sri Lankan Associations in Malaysia.
Well over 1500 Sri Lankan workers participated at the event fostering friendship among the members of the community. Free transportation was provided by the organizing committee for over 1000 Sri Lankan workers who attended the event from factories in Johor Bharu, Ipoh and Penang. Traditional games and also Cricket tournaments added colour to the Celebrations and the winners were cash gifts and children were given presents worth more than SLR 1 Million. A live Sri Lankan band performed throughout the event to entertain the participantsgiving a truly Sri Lankan ambience. Breakfast, Lunch and Refreshments too were provided free of charge for all the participants.
Chief of Defence Staff, Commander of the Army, Chief of Staff of Sri Lanka Navy and Air Force who are presently in Malaysia attending Defence Services Asia (DSA) also attended the celebrations.
The High Commissioner whilst thanking the Organizing Committee for their tireless efforts to organize this event, in his speech highlighted the significance of the New Year and how it contributes towards preserving traditional values among the Sinhala and Hindu communities of Sri Lanka, which would be passed down to younger generations thus strengthening the peace and ethnic harmony among all Sri Lankan communities both living in the country and abroad.