A Grand Celebration of Sri Lankan Independence in North Hollywood

On February 3rd, North Hollywood, California, became a vibrant hub of cultural pride as hundreds of Sri Lankan expatriates and American guests gathered to celebrate Sri Lanka’s Independence Day. The event, splendidly organized by the Sri Lanka America Association in collaboration with the Consul General, showcased a stunning array of talent and cultural heritage, leaving attendees in awe of the beauty and richness of Sri Lankan traditions.

The celebration was graced by the presence of prominent figures from the Sri Lankan community, including Founder President of SLAASC Jayam Rutnam, Chairman of Sri Lanka Foundation Dr. Walter Jayasinghe, and Aeshea, along with past SLAASC Presidents Palitha Pelpola, Senani Abeygoonesekera, Sondra Wise, Manilal Fernando, Samantha Kurera, Keith Ranga, and Indika Manage. Their attendance highlighted the significance of the event in fostering unity and pride within the Sri Lankan diaspora.

Buddhist monks from various temples in Los Angeles added a spiritual dimension to the glamorous occasion, which also saw participation from dignitaries of the Consular Corps, underscoring the event’s importance in the broader cultural and diplomatic community.

Under the leadership of President Niro Kahawatte, alongside his committee members, the Consul General, and dedicated volunteers, the event was a magnificent showcase of Sri Lankan culture and independence. Their efforts were met with widespread acclaim, reinforcing the communal pride of being Sri Lankan and celebrating the nation’s heritage abroad.

Keith Ranga, a popular actor and past President of SLAASC, served as the English-speaking MC, with Sithara and Suganya providing commentary in Sinhala and Tamil, respectively. Their exceptional hosting skills ensured the event ran smoothly, providing a warm and inclusive atmosphere for all attendees.

The celebration was further enlivened by performances from talented drummers Nalinda Dilupama, Dinesh Wijesinghe, and Waruna Hemachandra, whose skills and charismatic stage presence captivated the audience. Additionally, dancers from the Sri Lanka Foundation Academy of Performing Arts, Thath Jith Academy, Savithri Arts Academy, Rushani Dance Troupe, Yasmin RuwanPathirana Group, and the Indu Wickramasuriya Team, contributed to the festive ambiance with their exquisite performances, showcasing the diverse and rich tapestry of Sri Lankan dance traditions.

The event not only commemorated Sri Lanka’s independence but also served as a vibrant testament to the enduring spirit and cultural heritage of the Sri Lankan community in Southern California. Congratulations to all involved in organizing such a memorable and impactful celebration, which undoubtedly strengthened the bonds of the Sri Lankan diaspora and shared cultural pride.