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Sri Lanka's Jaffna gears up to celebrate Gandhi's 150th birth anniversary

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Sri Lankas Jaffna gears up to celebrate Gandhis 150th birth anniversary
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Colombo: Sri Lanka's northern city of Jaffna is all set to celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi in a grand style with extensive arrangements being made by the Indian Consulate to mark the occasion on Wednesday, a senior Indian official said on Tuesday.

Local organisation Gandhi Seva Samaj is collaborating with the Indian mission in Jaffna to gear up for the event.

"We have planned for a series of commemorating events to take place throughout the day on October 2," a senior Indian Consulate official told PTI.

"There will be garlanding of statues in Jaffna and in Mulllaithivu and Kilinochchchi," the official said.

Altogether, there are six statues of Gandhi in Lanka's northern province.

"There will be interactive sessions with the community, including prize distribution of an essay competition on Gandhiji," the official said.

Local artistes are expected to sing Gandhi's favourite hymn 'Raghupathy Ragava Rajaram'.

Jaffna has a historical association with Gandhi. According to historians, Gandhi visited the city in November 1927.

The Jaffna house he stayed at has been renovated by the famous Tamil architect Anjalendran.

Anjalendran's work has meant that it now houses the association of architects, artists and lovers of art and literature.

In the eastern town of Batticaloa, the Gandhi statue adorns the modern park along the water front of the town which is named after the apostle of peace.

"This park and the Gandhi statue have been there over decades and an important Batticaloa landmark," R Udayakumar, a Batticaloa resident recalled.

Both were given a face lift around 2013.

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