Washington, Apr 13: US Secretary of State John Kerry has offered greetings to the people of Sri Lanka and Nepal on the occasion of their new year.
"On behalf of President Obama and the American people, I join you in celebrating the Sri Lankan New Year," Kerry said in a statement.
The past year's accomplishments have been historic, demonstrating the deep commitment of the Sri Lankan people for reconciliation, tolerance and peace, Kerry said.
"I offer my best wishes for a happy New Year and continued success as you move ahead with the new constitution and further efforts to strengthen Sri Lanka's democracy and prosperity," Kerry said.
72-year-old Kerry also greeted people of Nepal on the occasion of their new year. "On behalf of President Obama and the American people, I offer my warmest wishes for a joyous New Year to Nepalis all around the world," Kerry said in a statement.
"Today is an opportunity to reflect on the progress Nepal has made on its democratic journey and to reaffirm national unity and goodwill," he said.
Noting that the US looked forward to strengthen its partnership with Nepal, Kerry said the "friendship between our people continues on the path to peace and prosperity in the New Year".
Nepali Calendar is nearly 56 years and 8 months ahead of the English Calendar known as Gregorian Calendar or AD.
The new year in Nepal starts from the middle of April. Sinhalese New Year is generally known as Aluth Avurudda.
It is a major anniversary celebrated by not only the Sinhalese people but by most Sri Lankans. The festival has a close semblance to the Tamil New year, Thai New year and Bengali New Year.
According to Sinhalese astrology, new year begins when the sun moves from Meena Rashiya (the house of Pisces) to Mesha Rashiya (the house of Aries). It also marks the end of the harvest and spring.