Sri Lanka marks the 74th Independence Day today in much pomp and pride.
Sri Lanka gained independence on the 4th of February, 1948 after 443 years of Portuguese, Dutch and British rule.
The 74th Independence Day celebrations are scheduled to begin at 8am today at the Independence Square in Colombo, under the patronage of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
A large group of people including religious leaders, Members of Parliament, VIPs and diplomats are scheduled to participate in the celebrations.
Commander of the Army General Shavendra Silva said the ceremony will commence with the arrival of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at 8.13am.
Commenting on the proceedings the Army Commander noted the national flag will be hoisted following which school children will sing the Jayamangala Gatha.
General Silva said the Tri-Forces will present the Head of State with a Guard of Honour, following which a two minute silence will be observed to remember those who sacrificed their lives to gain independence.
He added the President will then address the nation, after which the Independence Day celebratory parade by the Tri-Forces and other cultural groups will get underway.
The Army Commander noted the Tri-Forces, Police, Sri Lanka Civil Security Force and the National Cadet Corps will be part of the parade on foot columns while a military vehicle parade will also be held.
He added 111 vehicles will be used for the parade.