The Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in New York hosted a Christmas celebration for Sri Lankan community members on 27th December 2017 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. Hashendra.
In his remarks, Ambassador Perera noted that Christmas is a special occasion whose unique spirit lies in its celebration of the values of love, compassion, faith, togetherness, and peace. He further quoted from the speech of Pope Francis, delivered during his visit to Sri Lanka in 2015, in which His Holiness highlighted that “whenever people listen to one another humbly and openly, their shared values and aspirations become all the more apparent. Diversity is no longer seen as a threat, but as a source of enrichment.”
Rev. Fr. Hashendra delivered a short sermon, recalling that Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Lord Jesus Christ and his teachings wherein we were reminded of the importance of compassion and kindness.
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.