Marking Tamil and Sinhala New Year on Wednesday, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader R Sampanthan called for bonding between Tamil and Sinhala people.
Full statement reproduced below:
"My hearty New Year wishes to all the Tamil and Sinhala people living across all parts of the world.
I wish the New Year that has blossomed, brings in prosperity to every one of you.
Tamil New Year is not a mere festival; it is a reflection of our art, culture, traditional sports and many other elements, interlaced with our centuries old heritage in a characteristic way.
Besides, as two distinct unique communities, we celebrate Tamil New Year in the most traditional way. Apart from bonding the Tamil and Sinhala people; it must be borne in mind with pride that Tamil New Year is the only festival that is jointly celebrated by the Tamil and Sinhala communities.
Hence in the New Year that has blossomed, I appeal to every one of you, to come forward and build cordial relationships, between the two communities and mend the bonding that was impaired by many past incidents.
While we celebrate the New Year with ecstasy, let us also remember there are thousands of families who are not in a position to celebrate the New Year with extravagance.
I pray let this New Year fulfill all your wishes and bring prosperity to all of you."