Representatives of the Anglican, Methodist, Baptist and Catholic Churches prayed together with Shiranthi Rajapaksa, wife of Sri Lanka’s president, Army Chief Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya, and Chief of Defence Staff General Sarath Fonseka, the highest-ranking military officer in the Sri Lankan Armed Forces.
Mgr Malcolm Ranjith, archbishop of Colombo, led the Catholic delegation during the prayer, which was conducted in Sinhala, Tamil and English.
The prelate called on the Lord “to protect our country” and “bless all the leaders and our people to live in true harmony.”
Representatives of other Christian denominations added their voice to the moment.
On behalf of the Sri Lankan Army Christian Fellowship, Colonel Rodrigo called on God to “make us an effective instrument of your peace.”
During the celebrations, Mgr Ranjith blessed the flags of the various army corps (pictured) and reminded those present of the soldiers who died or were wounded during the long war between the military and the Tamil Tigers.