Sri Lanka independence day celebrated

Last updated 05:00 05/02/2014
sri lanka
ROBYN EDIE/FAIRFAX NZ
FLYING THE FLAG: Southern Institute of Technology Sri Lankan staff and students, from left, marketing manager Chami Abeysinghen, Manji Jayasinghe, Upeksha Padmachandra and Warnisha Razmin celebrate the 66th Sri Lankan independence day with a flag-raising ceremony at SIT.

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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 yesterday.

SIT marketing manager Chami Abeysinghe said yesterday 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 being there" on independence day, she 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 yesterday made her feel a little bit closer to home, she said.

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