The High Commission of India marked the eighth edition of International Day of Yoga on June 21 in Colombo with a mega event at Independence Square.
The event was attended by Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, India’s acting High Commissioner Vinod K. Jacob, a host of senior ministers from the Sri Lankan government, senior officials of the Indian High Commission, and yoga enthusiasts in the country.
Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, in a message to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, observed that Yoga was a medium of attaining physical, social, and mental well-being. The theme this year, “Yoga for Humanity,” was especially apt in view of the COVID-19 pandemic that was rampaging around the world.
The event at Independence Square started with prayers and invoking the blessings of the Buddha. Yoga practitioners from yoga institutes and academies in the country, present at the event, conducted a session in Yoga and meditation. The event was telecast live in India in consonance with other similar events around the world as a part of the ‘Guardian Ring’ initiative of the Indian government. It places Yoga as a unifying force.
In Sri Lanka, a number of events have been held throughout June revolving around Yoga. Schools, religious and cultural institutions, temples, and universities have held programs, while workshops have been conducted at places such as Galle Face and Point Pedro. The most ambitious of these programs is the nationwide Online Yoga Asana championship.