The Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations held its annual Christmas celebrations on 15 December 2019 at the Mission premises. The event was attended by a large gathering of members of the Sri Lankan community from the New York tri state area.
Welcoming the gathering Ambassador and Permanent Representative Kshenuka Senewiratne said that Christmas was an exceptional time of peace, joy and good will and marked a period of sharing, generosity and inclusivity. Looking around the room she noted that seeing so many Sri Lankan faces she was reminded of the fabulous spirit of Christmas and the enchanting and exciting atmosphere that prevailed in Sri Lanka. This was a testament to the country’s richly diverse multi ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-religious society that all can enjoy and celebrate with each other, thereby uniting as one Sri Lankan family in New York, she observed.
The Permanent Representative noted that it is in this spirit of unity and harmony that all have joined the Christians in the community and around the world in celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. She also appealed that it would be fitting to celebrate with friends and loved ones and count the blessings, but also a thought must be spared for those who have little, those who are cold and hungry and lonely this Christmas.
Ambassador Senewiratne recalling the triumphs and devastation encountered this year by Sri Lanka, was thankful that despite the horrific events of Easter Sunday, the country had emerged stronger as a nation by unifying in adversity. This is a clear demonstration of the peoples’ innate ability of being united, which she warned must be secured against becoming a pawn to questionable agendas.
Father Ruwandana Mendis of Saint Charles Church and Father Berny Stainwall of Holy Rosary Church both of Staten Island New York conducted the religious observances and blessed the country and people in their prayers. Christmas carols were sung together by the guests, in the Sinhala, Tamil and English languages. The event featured several items of traditional Christmas fare including Yule log and mince pies, with Santa and his elves making a surprise visit to distribute gifts.
The Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations
16 December 2019