Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena today wished for unity between the country's Sinhala majority and its Tamil minority on the occasion of Sinhalese New Year, which is celebrated by both communities.
"What is special in this New Year celebration is the spread of festivity amidst the commitment to good governance that transcends differences of ethnicity, caste and community with important strides being taken to realise the need for unity among all our people," Sirisena said.
He has received overwhelming support as the opposition unity candidate from both Tamil and Muslim minorities in the January elections against former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Rajapaksa had said the minority support for Sirisena was the main reason for his defeat in the elections.
US Secretary of State John Kerry in a message to mark the Sinhala and Tamil New Year last week noted, "the extraordinary positive change that has occurred in Sri Lanka over the past several months."
In his message, Kerry has stressed the renewed opportunity for the people of Sri Lanka to join together "in the spirit of reconciliation, tolerance and peace".
The Sinhalese and Tamil New Year is celebrated on April 14.