Raising the flag

Nithi Rajakafunanayake, left, and Upeksha Padmachandra raise the Sri Lankan flag at the Southern Institute of Technology, in Invercargill.
Nithi Rajakafunanayake, left, and Upeksha Padmachandra raise the Sri Lankan flag at the Southern Institute of Technology, in Invercargill.

Southern Institute of Technology students and staff who hail from Sri Lanka celebrated Sri Lankan independence day with a flag-raising ceremony at SIT in Invercargill this morning.

SIT marketing manager Chami Abeysinghe said today marked the 66th year of independence from British rule for the nation.

''Today is a national holiday in Sri Lanka, there are parades which the defence force, school-aged children, and dancing troupes all participate in.''

If they were still in Sri Lanka, they would be going to watch the parades, Ms Abeysinghe said.

Post-graduate diploma of business enterprise student Manji Jayasinghe said she moved to New Zealand last year with her family.

''It is a great privilege to come to New Zealand but I love Sri Lanka, and I miss not being there today,'' Mrs Jayasinghe said.

One of the biggest differences between the two countries was the weather, she said.

''It often feels like it is winter here all of the time, but in Sri Lanka we really do get all four seasons in a year.''

The sunny weather today made her feel a little bit closer to home, she said.

The Southland Times