Freedom Day celebrated at Independence Square | Daily News


Freedom Day celebrated at Independence Square

The 72nd Independence Day, under the theme “A Secured Nation - A Prosperous Country”, was celebrated ceremoniously at the Independence Square yesterday.

The celebrations were held under the patronage of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.Prime Minister, Ministers, State Ministers, parliamentarians and foreign diplomats graced the occasion.

The visiting Commander-In-Chief of the Land Forces, General Oleg Salyukov of the Russian Federation and his wife also attended the Independence Day celebrations as special guests.

The venue of the annual Independence Day ceremony was shifted from Galle Face Green to the Independence Square this year. Meanwhile, yesterday’s ceremony consisted of a march past and drives past by the Tri-Services, Police, Special Task Force and Civil Security Department and cultural items representing all ethnicities.

The parade consisted of 154 military vehicles and the foot column consisted of 105 officers and 2,940 other ranks from the Sri Lanka Army, 42 officers and 638 other ranks from the Navy, 42 officers and 582 other ranks from the Air Force, 32 officers and 469 other ranks from the Police, 15 officers and 268 other ranks from the STF and 11 officers and 363 other ranks from the CSD. In total the parade consisted of 247 officers and 5,260 other ranks.

In addition, the vehicle column of the parade also consisted of 25 officers and 153 other ranks from the Army, 02 officers and 32 other ranks from the Navy, 11 officers and 86 other ranks from the Air Force, 10 officers and 18 other ranks from the Police and 20 officers and 124 other ranks from the STF totaling 68 officers and 413 other rankers.

Accordingly, the total number of troops attending the parade is 315 Officers and 5,673 other ranks.

Concurrent to the National Independence Day Ceremony, the Sri Lanka Navy held its

annual gun salute for the nation at the Lighthouse opposite the Navy Head Quarters at 1200 noon. Further, the Navy presented its Naval salute from the sea, using five advanced

Offshore Petrol Vessels (OPVs) anchored off the Galle Face. The public were treated to a

special display of naval craft at sea along the coast of Galle Face at around 2.00 pm while there were a range of Naval exhibits on display at the venue.

The Sri Lanka Air Force used 30 aircrafts for its fly past at the Independence Parade.

The SLAF Flying Training Wing consisted of three K-8 Air Craft, five PT-6 aircraft, five C-150 aircraft. The No.04 and No. 07 Squadrons comprised of 01 Bell 212 Helicopter, and 03 Bell 412 Helicopters.The No. 05 Squadron comprised three F07 aircrafts, the No. 06 Squadron had three Mi-17 helicopters, No. 08 and No. 03 Squadrons consisted of four Y- 12 aircraft, one B-200 air craft and two MA-60 aircrafts.

The parade commenced at 8.17 with the arrival of the President and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the Tri forces Commanders stood on the podium and Jayamangala Gatha was recited at 8.28 am. Two minutes silence was observed in remembrance of service personnel who had laid down their lives for the country at 8.36 am.

At 8.38 am the Guard of Honour was presented to the President and at 8.40 the 21 gun salute took place.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa addressed the nation at 8.45 am and the Independence parade commenced at 9.10 am.The parade concluded around 11.00 am.The Independence Parade was commanded by Major General Mahinda Mudalige while Brigadier Harendra Ranasinghe was the Second-In-Command.


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