I wish the Sinhala and Tamil New Year festival, which is the most splendid cultural extravaganza of the nation, to be a peaceful, a joyful, a prosperous as well as a healthy period for every citizen of our country.
Despite the challenges we have experienced as a country and a world over the past few years, we have not lost sight of the value of a New Year. Even when the world is surrounded by fear-doubt, the recent past when our older generation celebrated the Sinhala-Tamil New Year customs with their children, considering them as their valuable wealth, is still not erased from my memory. Like then, today and tomorrow, we should pay more respect to the Sri Lankan woman. They are the real financial guardians of a country who manage the wealth earned for the family sparingly for such joyous occasions, preserving the love and happiness of the home even in the midst of economic difficulties.
Today, all of us adults who love Sri Lanka are surrounded by a group of children and grandchildren who want to see a new world. If we do not envision a new world, we will be stuck in the bonds of conservatism. However, the New Year is a loving invitation to this new generation, regardless of age, to come to the country, worship temples, experience the smell of cashew nuts and the traditional swing.
Not only that, the New Year is also a mirror that reflects the value of our customs to the world. Current mainstream media and new media open that window to the world before April dawns. It is important to live in a spiritual culture nourished by Buddhism as well as Hinduism without getting caught up in commercialization. A good change of thoughts is worth more than buying things that increase our expenses in the New Year. Although a small child cannot learn this example all at once, all of us adults are in such a difficult situation that we cannot waste even a single rupee.
May the Sinhala and Tamil New Year bring you happiness, health, wealth and prosperity!
Mahinda Yapa Abeywardene,
Parliament of Sri Lanka