Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Sydney celebrated Sinhala and Tamil New Year on 15 April 2018 at the city’s Royal Botanical Gardens with the participation of a section of Sri Lankan university students in Australia including those who are under Australian Award scholarship programme.
Sri Lankan flag was flown in the historic Royal Botanical Gardens overlooking Opera House and the Habour Bridge, iconic landmarks of Sydney. Consul General Lal Wickrematunge welcomed the gathering and highlighted the importance of celebrating Sinhala and Tamil New Year in unison. He invited the guests to enjoy the wide spread of traditional sweets, performances and the array of new year games.
Varuni Wickermasinghe and Dushan Ranasinghe from the University of Sydney performed a New Year song while Ishi Yogya from the Western Sydney University performed a folk song. All guests took part in Avurudu games such as musical chairs, identifying the hidden guest, lime and spoon race, blindfold feeding, musical hats and tug o’ war.
Undergraduate and postgraduate students from the University of Sydney, University of New South Wales, Macquarie University and the Western Sydney University, and members of the Sri Lankan community were also present at the celebrations. Last year too, the Consulate General had celebrated Sinhala and Tamil New Year with Sri Lankan university students, providing them with a platform for networking.
The main community event to celebrate Sinhala and Tamil New Year, Sunfest, was held on 14 April 2018. The event had been organised by the Sinhalese Cultural Forum of NSW Inc in collaboration with other community associations including the Sri Lanka Association and the Austra-Lanka Muslim Association. Consul General Lal Wickrematunge attended this event as the Chief Guest and the Consulate General maintained a stall at the venue to provide information on consular services as well as on travel and trade in Sri Lanka.