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    Sri Lankans and Austrians celebrate New Year in Vienna

    April 24, 2015

    Reinforcing the theme of unity, reconciliation and peace, over 300 Sri Lankans in Austria came together in Vienna, joined by the Austrian community and friends of Sri Lanka, to celebrate the Sinhala and Tamil New Year on Saturday 11 April 2015 at the Sri Lanka Embassy in Vienna.

    Addressing what was an eventful all-day programme organised together with Vienna Dhamma Zentrum and the Sri Lankan community, Ambassador A.L.A Azeez, Sri Lanka's envoy in Vienna, elaborated on the progress made, and measures currently underway, to strengthen Sri Lanka's resilient, inclusive national fabric under the pragmatic leadership of President Maithripala Sirisena. Ambassador Azeez stressed that the time-tested, diverse social and cultural features of Sri Lanka, combined with their intrinsic tenets and values, provided the bedrock on which national togetherness and reconciliation were being cemented.

     

    The Sri Lanka New Year programme was held in two components. The morning programme started with a religious event where all of Sri Lanka's faiths were represented. Religious rites invoking blessings were conducted by Most Ven. Dr. Wijayarajapura Seelawansa Thero, Ven. Nipponzan Myohoji Gyosei Masunaga, Shri Bimal Kundu, Rev. Abbot Gregor Heckel-Donnersmarck and Imam Vehid Podojak.


    A large number of Ambassadors, diplomats, senior officials, professionals, representatives of business and tourism sectors, as well as members of civil society organisations attended the event with members of the Sri Lankan and Austrian communities. Among the distinguished guests at the event were His Worship the Mayor of the 4th District Mr. Leopold Plasch and Hon. Omar al Rawi, member of the Vienna State Council. They opened the event with the lighting of the traditional oil lamp. They also addressed the gathering and awarded certificates to all performing artists and children who participated.

     

    All who attended the event were treated to a traditional New Year breakfast consisting of milk rice, sweetmeats and pure Ceylon tea, and a traditional buffet lunch.


    A door prize draw was also held as part of the programme, with an Austrian doctor being the lucky winner of a return air ticket to Sri Lanka, provided by Emirates Airlines. Megallan Tours in Austria and Siddhalepa Spas at Hotel Savannah in the Czech Republic provided the second and third prizes.

     

     

    Last modified on Friday, 24 April 2015 09:08

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