Sinhala & Tamil New Year adds strength to national unity – Minister John Amaratunga

It is a time for all communities in the country to join hands shedding differences for a meaningful re-awakening linked in actual peace and harmony with profound hope and rightful direction for a progressive way forward for the prosperity of the country, John A. E. Amaratunga, Minister of Tourism Development, Wildlife and Christian Religious Affairs, said.

Let the inspirations unity of the New Year add strength to the efforts of rebuilding the nation to reach new horizons realizing the aim of making Sri Lanka the "Wonder of Asia" and the tourism hub of the region, he said in a message to mark Sinhala & Tamil New Year.

The traditional Sinhala & Tamil New Year is celebrated in the auspicious month of ‘Bak’ meaning April, known as ‘Aluth Avurudha’ to the Sinhalese and ‘Puthandu’ to the Tamils. It is celebrated both by Sinhala and Tamil people worldwide, but unique in Sri Lanka as the only country to celebrate the event as a National Festival, the message further said.

The dawn of the New Year based on the sun’s astrological movements and according to Buddhist and Hindu culture and traditions is an eagerly looked forward mega festival celebrated island-wide with the participation of all communities, it noted.

Also referred to as the "Sun Festival", it highlights the close interaction between man and nature. The Festival also underlines the common cultural heritage between the Sinhalese and Tamil people which inherently binds the two communities as one family, the statement added.

"I wish all a happy and prosperous Sinhala & Tamil New Year".

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