Published on: April 27, 2024

The “Wasath Siriya 2024” New Year festival celebrated with grandeur attracting large local and foreign crowds

  • President joins the celebrations.

The 2024 Wasath Siriya Sinhala and Tamil New Year celebration commenced today (27) at 7.00 am at the Shangri-La green grounds in Colombo, attracting a considerable crowd from both local and international communities right from the onset.

Under the guidance of President Ranil Wickremesinghe, the Presidential Senior Adviser on National Security and Chief of Presidential Staff, Mr. Sagala Ratnayaka, along with the President’s Secretary, Mr. Saman Ekanayake, orchestrated the festivities, collaborating with ministries and governmental bodies.

Numerous competitions unfolded across three distinct categories: public, open, and guest sectors, drawing participants from diverse provinces of the island.

A picturesque representation of traditional village life, complete with a model village house, served as a centrepiece, underscoring the enduring bond between rural communities and their dwellings. The event showcased an array of exhibits, including traditional sweets, attire, Sinhala New Year customs, and rural games. Additionally, the grounds featured captivating attractions such as swings, bamboo crackers, a bustling market place, and a local physician’s cottage known traditionally as a ‘Veda Gedara’.

The young and old alike eagerly participated in the competitions, with prizes bestowed upon every victorious participant.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe graced the New Year’s Festival site this afternoon, engaging warmly with attendees and witnessing various contests. He also paid a visit to the model village house and the Veda Gedara, engaging in friendly conversation with foreign visitors enjoying the festivities.

The President personally presented awards to winners in categories including the weaving of the coconut branch, fortune pot breaking (Wasana Muttiya bindeema), and coconut the coconut scraping contest.

In the 2024 Wasath Siriya Marathon for Men, Sri Lanka Army’s Dilum Madushanka clinched the top spot, followed by RAD Hemantha Kumar of the Sri Lanka Police in second place, and Sri Lanka Army’s K. Samugeswaran securing third.

Meanwhile, in the Women’s category of the Wasath Siriya 2024 Marathon, Army’s W.A.M.R. Wijesuriya clinched the first position, with Army’s H.M.W.G.W.M. Herath coming in second, and Air Force’s K.S. Dilshani finishing third.

The Wasath Siriya 2024 Standard Cycling Race saw Lahiru Madushanka leading the pack in first place, followed by Nidush Nirantha in second, and Sachin Maduwantha claiming third among the men.

For the women’s segment of the Wasath Siriya 2024 Standard Cycling Competition, Dinesha Dilrukshi clinched the top spot, W.A.A. Sadamini secured second place, and Sudharika Priyadarshini grabbed third.

In attendance for the prize-giving ceremony were Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, Minister Wijayadasa Rajapakshe, Minister of State for Sports Rohana Dissanayake, Minister of State Kader Mastan, as well as Presidential Senior Adviser on National Security and Chief of Presidential Staff Sagala Ratnayaka, President’s Secretary Saman Ekanayake, President’s Director General of Trade Unions Saman Ratnapriya and the Presidential Media Director General Dhanushka Ramanayake. Representatives from sponsoring organizations also joined the event.

The Chief of Defence Staff, General Shavendra Silva, the three armed forces commanders, the Inspector General of Police, along with other heads of security departments, and a distinguished group of guests graced the occasion with their presence.

The “Wasath Siriya – 2024” Avurudu Kumara and Avurudu Kumariya selection contest is scheduled to commence today at approximately 6:00 pm. Following that, the “Wasath Siriya 2024” Miyesi musical concert will kick off at 7:00 pm at the venue, featuring performances by numerous renowned singers alongside the popular band INFINITY.


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