The History and Significance of the Sri Lanka National Anthem

a train pulling into a train station at night


The Sri Lanka national anthem, also known as “Sri Lanka Matha,” holds a significant place in the hearts of Sri Lankans. It is a patriotic song that symbolizes the unity, pride, and rich cultural heritage of the nation. The lyrics of the national anthem, written in Sinhala, speak of the country’s natural beauty, diverse traditions, and the harmony among its people.


The complete original lyrics of the Sri Lanka national anthem are as follows:

Sri Lanka Matha, apa Sri Lanka
Namo Namo Namo Namo Matha
Sundara siri barini surandi athi soba
Mana jaya bhoomiya ramya
Apa hata sapa siri setha sadana
Jeevanaye Matha
Piliganu mena apa bhakthi pooja
Namo Namo Matha
Apa Sri Lanka Namo Namo Namo Namo Matha


The Sri Lanka national anthem holds immense significance for the people of Sri Lanka. It serves as a unifying symbol that represents the pride and love for the country. The lyrics evoke a sense of patriotism and remind citizens of their duty to protect and preserve the nation’s values and heritage. The national anthem is sung on various occasions, including national celebrations, sporting events, and official ceremonies, fostering a sense of unity and belonging among the people.

Historical Context

The Sri Lanka national anthem was adopted as the official anthem of the country on November 22, 1951. The lyrics were written by Ananda Samarakoon, a renowned poet and composer, who was inspired by the beauty and diversity of Sri Lanka. The melody was composed by Ananda Samarakoon himself, and it perfectly complements the lyrical content, creating a powerful and melodious composition.

Over the years, the national anthem has become an integral part of Sri Lankan culture and identity. It has witnessed the country’s journey through various historical events, including independence from colonial rule and the challenges faced during times of conflict. The anthem has served as a source of inspiration and strength for the nation, reminding its people of their shared history and aspirations.

Contemporary Relevance

The Sri Lanka national anthem continues to hold contemporary relevance as a symbol of national pride and unity. It reflects the country’s commitment to diversity, harmony, and progress. The anthem serves as a reminder of the values that Sri Lankans hold dear, such as respect for each other’s cultures, traditions, and the natural beauty of the country.

In recent years, there have been discussions and debates regarding the use of the national anthem in different languages to promote inclusivity and accommodate the diverse ethnic and linguistic groups in Sri Lanka. However, the original Sinhala version remains the official and widely recognized version of the anthem, representing the shared heritage of the nation.

Despite the challenges faced by the country, the Sri Lanka national anthem stands as a testament to the resilience and determination of its people. It serves as a reminder of the importance of unity and working together towards a brighter future.

Additional Information

In addition to its significance and historical context, it is worth mentioning that the Sri Lanka national anthem is not only sung on official occasions but also in schools, at the beginning of the school day. This practice instills a sense of patriotism and pride in the younger generation, fostering a deep connection to their country.

The national anthem is also a source of inspiration for Sri Lankan athletes, who proudly sing it before international sporting events. It serves as a reminder of their duty to represent their country with honor and sportsmanship.

In conclusion, the Sri Lanka national anthem is a powerful and meaningful composition that represents the pride, unity, and cultural heritage of the nation. Its lyrics, significance, and historical context make it an integral part of Sri Lankan identity. As the country moves forward, the national anthem continues to inspire and remind its people of the values they hold dear.


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