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    First International Day of Yoga in Sri Lanka: June 21, 2015 Featured

    June 16, 2015

    Special events have been planned in Sri Lanka on the occasion of the first “International Day of Yoga’’ (IDY), which is being celebrated across the world on June 21, 2015.

    Addressing a Press Conference on Monday, the High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka, Mr. Y.K. Sinha, stated that the highlight of the activities in Sri Lanka would be a large public event at Galle Face Green from 6.30 a.m. to 8.30 a.m. Apart from the print and electronic media, the Press Conference was attended by a number of well known Sri Lankan celebrities, who endorsed the International Day of Yoga celebrations in Sri Lanka. These included Ms. Sangeetha Weeraratne, Film Artiste and Mr. Muttiah Muralitharan, Cricketer.

     

    The High Commissioner said that Yoga is an invaluable gift of ancient Indian tradition, and it embodies unity of mind and body, thought and action, restraint and fulfillment, harmony between man and nature. Yoga, like Ayurveda, forms a part of shared heritage of India and Sri Lanka. High Commissioner also noted that global health is a long term objective, which requires closer international cooperation, and wider dissemination of knowledge about the benefits of Yoga would be beneficial for the health of the people of the world. It was in this spirit that the United Nations General Assembly had adopted a Resolution piloted by India, on December 11, 2014 declaring June 21 each year as the “International Day of Yoga”. The resolution was supported by more than 170 countries, with Sri Lanka being one of the first co-sponsors of the Resolution.

     

    The High Commissioner recalled that the UN Resolution followed the call for the adoption of June 21 as International Day of Yoga by the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, during his address to UN General Assembly on September 27, 2014 wherein he stated "Yoga embodies unity of mind and body; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself”. In suggesting June 21, which is the Summer Solstice, as the International Day of Yoga, Prime Minister also said that it is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and has special significance in many parts of the world.

    The High Commissioner stated that the Ministry of External Affairs of India has developed a special webpagehttp://www.mea.gov.in/idy.htm to disseminate information about celebrations of the International Day of Yoga across the world.

     

    The High Commissioner mentioned that events to celebrate the first International Day of Yoga in Sri Lanka were being organized by the High Commission of India in collaboration with local community organizations, and established yoga and spiritual centres. The public event at Galle Face Green on the morning of June 21 would include the release of a special e-book on Yoga, telecast of a message of the Hon'ble Prime Minister of India on the significance of Yoga, and Yoga demonstrations. The Yoga demonstrations would be conducted by Indian Cultural Centre; Sky Consciousness; Brahma Kumaris Raja Yoga Centre; OM Space; Art of Living Foundation; and Sethsada Yoga Institute. In this regard, the High Commissioner appreciated the efforts of the participating organizations, all of whom are actively involved in the promotion and propagation of Yoga in Colombo. The High Commissioner also thanked the Government of Sri Lanka, IRCON International, Brandix Limited and Mayurapathi Temple Trust for their assistance in organizing the public event. Participation in the event is free for all members of the public, with prior registration at https://www.facebook.com/IndiaInSriLanka.

     

    In addition to the event on June 21, other Yoga related activities have also been planned in Colombo to celebrate the first International Day of Yoga, including interaction with senior Yoga instructors of Sri Lanka and Yoga demonstrations from June 22-25 at the Indian Cultural Centre. The High Commissioner released a poster that provides details of the various activities planned. (These details are also available on the website of the High Commission of India, its Facebook page and on its Twitter account.)

     

    The Consulates General of India in Jaffna and Hambantota, and the Assistant High Commission of India in Kandy, have also planned events to celebrate the first International Day of Yoga across Sri Lanka.

    The High Commissioner invited members of the public to participate in the events being organized so that the First International Day of Yoga is celebrated in Sri Lanka in a befitting manner.

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