Sri Lanka’s 71st year of Independence is commemorated today. Sri Lanka gained independence from the British rule on the 4th of February 1948 after being a colony for 133 years.
The Independence Day celebrations will get underway at the Galleface Green this morning under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
The national flag will be hoisted by the President to commence the Independence Day celebrations. President Sirisena will be accorded a Guard of Honour and a gun-salute at the Galle Face Green to mark the celebrations.
A two-minute silence will be observed across the country in honour of fallen heroes, who sacrificed their lives and limb for the country.
The Head of State will then deliver the Independence Day Address to the Nation.
Meanwhile, President of Maldives Ibrahim Mohammed Solih will attend the independence celebrations as the special guest while more than 100 delegates from over 100 countries will also participate in the 71st Independence Day celebrations.
A special procession of the Sri Lanka Navy, Air Force, Police and Civil Defence Force and the National Cadet Corps will follow the initial ceremony.
Around 5,637 persons are expected to be a part of the procession.
Accordingly 162 Army officers and 3710 other personnel, 47 Navy Officers and 5637 other personnel and 49 Air force officers and 5637 other personnel are due attend the ceremony.
The ceremony to commemorate the 71st National Independence Day is scheduled to commence at 8 this morning.
Speaking to media Police Media Spokesman Superintendent of Police Ruwan Gunasekara said a special traffic plan will be in place in and around Colombo.
Accordingly Galle Road will be closed from the Colpetty junction till the Colombo Fort Ceramic Junction and Lotus Road, from 5am till the Independence Day parade concludes.
Motorists travelling towards Colombo Fort along Galle Road from Mount Lavinia, Dehiwala and Wellawatte can turn right at the Colpetty Junction and reach Fort through the Liberty roundabout, Pittala Junction, James Peiris Road, Slave Island Junction, Justice Akbar Road, Malay Street, Sir Chitthampalam A Gardiner Road and Regal Roundabout. Lotus Road will also be closed temporarily from the Ceramic Junction, for vehicles travelling out of Colombo from Fort along the Galle Road.
Accordingly vehicles exiting Colombo from Fort can enter Galle Road through Regal Roundabout, Sir Chitthampalam A Gardiner Road, Kumara Ratnam Road, Slave Island Junction, Sir James Peiris Road, turning left at the Pittala Junction towards Flower Road, Ananda Coomaraswamy Road, Liberty Roundabout and R A De Mel Road.
Police Media Spokesman SP Ruwan Gunasekara added that vehicles exiting Colombo can resort to Olcott Mawatha, Panchikawatte and Maradana and take the approiate route from there on.
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