Prime Minister Ranil Wickremeisnghe in his Thai Pongal message stressed the people to strive for unity in diversity and keep the spirit of the festival going throughout the year.
The Premier in his message said: "The Thai Pongal Festival that started as a celebration of the first harvest during the time of Chola kings in South India, has today become a major religious festival commemorated by Tamils living all over the world. The rising of the sun is observed as the dawning of the New Year at Thai Pongal - it also signifies the strong bond maintained in agrarian communities with nature - the sun, the rain and the animals who contribute towards a bountiful harvest. The Thai Pongal Festival shows us the value of sustainability in a diverse community while reminding us of the importance of gratitude and strong bonds, the Premier stated in a special message on the occasion."
He said that he wished all those celebrating Thai Pongal Festival prosperity and good wishes; in a spirit that truly celebrates unity in diversity, one that reaffirms our capacity as a nation to face the challenges of tomorrow as one people.