Tuesday, December 5, 2023

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Prime Minster’s Independence Day Message

This year, we celebrate Sri Lanka’s 74th Independence Day amidst many great challenges. The challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has plagued the world for two years, are not insignificant.

Whilst historically, the people of this country had lost their freedom due to foreign invasions and separatist terrorism, today we have lost our freedoms due to the Covid pandemic which deprived us of the opportunity to develop the country for two years. The economy, education and livelihoods were completely overturned. However, as a nation that has sacrificed for freedom, we cannot allow this frustration to overcome us.

Although the world faced massive setbacks, we have also used all the positive steps taken globally to recover from the pandemic. We have already taken steps necessary to provide the population with all three vaccinations as a solution to the pandemic. It is this approach that has enabled us to recover from the pandemic to a great extent and return public life to a sense of normalcy.

Freedom is not something that ends with the victory. It is something that should be won day by day, and it is this fact that we must highlight on each Independence Day. However, I firmly believe that a nation inspired by hundreds of years of relentless struggle for freedom, is fully capable of remaining undaunted and facing up to this challenge as well. As a nation accustomed to unceasingly fighting for independence, on this Independence Day, let us resolve to overcome these challenges as well.

Mahinda Rajapaksa
Prime Minister of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

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