The Church of Ceylon joins all Sri Lankans in greeting the nation on this joyous occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Independence of our dear Motherland.

Our country has been blessed with abundant beauty and natural resources and a people who are generous, hospitable and intelligent. As we look back at the past seven decades, there is much that we can be thankful for, and many Sri Lankans that we can unreservedly be proud of. Foremost among these are our achievements in education, initiated through the reforms proposed and carried out by a great visionary. Education opened the door to the development and the impressive standards of our health care system, comparable to that of many richer countries.

Much as we ought to be proud of what we have acheived, we need also to reflect honestly on where we have failed and gone wrong. This is a duty cast not only of our leaders, although their example is of primary importance, but a duty laid on each one of us.

We need to ask ourselves the reasons why  since independence we have not been able to build a nation of justice, peace and fairness to all ?  Why is it that we have had three bloody and hugely costly insurrections and several race riots with the loss of tens of thousands of lives ?.Why is there so much indiscipline, corruption, waste and selfishness in our private and public lives.? Why are we unable to accept those who speak  a different language, believe in different Gods or teachings and have different cultures, as our own Sri Lankan sisters and brothers having equal rights and an equal place in this country ?  Sadly, all this happens in a country which boasts of so many temples, Kovils, churches and mosques and where religion plays such an important part in our daily lives.

Let us on this memorable day, re-examine our hearts and re-dedicate ourselves with honesty to the great responsibility that lies upon all of us. That of making our own contribution however small to building a free, just and peaceful nation.

May God bless Sri Lanka and all her peoples !

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