The Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in New York hosted a Christmas celebration for members of the Sri Lankan community on 21st December 2018 at the Mission premises. The event commenced with a welcome address by H.E. Dr. Rohan Perera, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka, followed by a short sermon by Rev. Fr. Nalaka Silva.
In his remarks, Ambassador Perera noted that the spirit of Christmas is embodied in those who spread good cheer, and provide warmth and comfort to all. He stated that this message of peace should prevail throughout the year. He further quoted from the speech of Pope John Paul II, delivered during his visit to Sri Lanka in 1995 not long after Christmas, in which His Holiness highlighted that “peace is in fact a divine gift, but it is also a task, a challenge, a moral responsibility of the men and women of our time. It has always to be forged step by step.” Ambassador Perera emphasized the continuing relevance of this message as Sri Lanka strives to move forward in its quest for peace, stability and reconciliation.
Rev. Fr. Nalaka delivered a short sermon and spoke of the value of kindness and charity towards others, stating that the values of Christmas are expressed through our compassion towards others throughout our lives. He spoke of his own experiences witnessing these values in action, and blessed those present with the hope that these ideals will be undertaken by all in the years to come.
This was followed by a singing of carols by all those in attendance. The young children present were then treated to a visit by Santa Claus and received gifts, and the event was concluded with a dinner.
Ambassador Perera delivers welcome remarks at the Christmas Celebration hosted at the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka
Rev. Fr. Nalaka Silva delivers a short message on the spirit of Christmas
Children from the Sri Lankan community pose with Santa Claus after having received Christmas gifts