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Prince Edward chief guest at 70th freedom festival
Published Date: 09/01/2018 (Tuesday)

By Chandani Kirinde

Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and youngest son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh is expected to be the chief guest at the 70th Independence Day celebrations on February 4, a senior Home Ministry official said.

The main parade on that day will be held at the Galle Face Green, the same venue that independent Lanka’s first Prime Minister, D.S. Senanayake, brought down the Union Jack, and hoisted the Lion flag to mark Sri Lanka’s freedom from 400 years of colonial rule, some 150 years under the British.The official said the invitation to a member of the British Royal family was sent through the Foreign Ministry, and had been accepted.

Queen Elizabeth II is the Head of the Commonwealth, of which Sri Lanka has been a member since Independence in 1948.
The Sunday Times learns that the official announcement is due in the next two weeks. Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II represented the Queen at Sri Lanka’s 50th Independence Day celebrations in 1998.

Invitations also has been extended to members of the Royal families of Japan and Thailand. Meanwhile, the Home Affairs Ministry is making arrangements to celebrate Independence Day on a district basis on the theme “One Nation”.

Source: Sunday Times

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