SRI LANKA’S 64TH YEAR OF INDEPENDENCE CELEBRATED BY EMBASSY OF SRI LANKA, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Posted on February 11th, 2012

EMBASSY OF SRI LANKA UNITED ARAB EMIRATES PRESS RELEASE

On the 4th February 2012  the National Flag was hoisted by the Sri Lankan Ambassador H.E. Sarath Wijesinghe  at the Embassy Premises  in the presence of the staff and a large gathering of Sri Lankan Community .

 The main Reception on the  7th February 2012  was held at Hotel Hilton,  Abu Dhabi for diplomats and the business community was  also well attended.  Almost all the Ambassadors and a large section of the community over 400 gathered at the main reception at Hotel Hilton, Abu Dhabi.   His Highness Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education, His Excellency Saqr Ghobash Saeed Ghobash, Minister of Labour attended the function to represent the UAE Government. Hon. Alavi Mowlana, Governor of Western Province of Sri Lanka was also present as a guest of honour.  There were a cultural pageant, music, raffle draw and various other items of entertainment. 

 The second half of the function was a networking session.  The main themes of this session were Image Building, Investment Promotion, Tourism Promotion and Employment Generation. Special emphasis was given for Tourism.  Mr. Anura Lokuhetty, President of the Hotels Association of Sri Lanka, Mr. Arjun Dharmadasa, Managing Director   of Lanka Exhibition & Conference Services (Pvt) Ltd, and a large number of UAE business community were present at the networking session. The speech made at the Hotel Hilton by His Excellency Sarath Wijesinghe the Ambassador is enclosed. 

 First Nenasala Overseas was declared open 8th February 2012 by Hon.  Alavi Mowlana, the Chief Guest.  The Nenasala   was sponsored by Express Money in which Dr. B.R. Shetty  is the Managing Director.

 09th February 2012

Abu Dhabi, UAE

Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan
Your Excellency Saqr Ghobash Saeed Ghobash

Your Excellencies and Distinguished guests

Assalamu Alaikum!
Ayobowan!
Wannakam!

 I extend my warm welcome and wishes on the occasion of the 64th National Day Celebrations of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. Today the Nation is on the main crossroads towards prosperity, stability, and development aiming to be the Wonder of Asia.  Currently Sri Lanka is one of the most sought for tourist destinations, a centre for investment, emerging hub of business in South Asia, and one of the  most secured and stable democracies.  Our friendship and relationship with the rest of the world is excellent. We maintain extremely cordial relationships with the world body and the members of the World Family.   We have had very close links with the Middle East- especially United Arab Emirates over thousands of years.  Our friendship with the United Arab Emirates- the jewel of Middle East is in the zenith.    Economic, political and social links are developing and growing day by day between the two countries, the rulers and individuals.

 Over 300,000 Sri Lankan expatriates are a part of the progress and the development of this beautiful and accommodative host country.  They contribute immensely for the economy and development of the host country as well as the motherland.  Despite passing through  most difficult periods,  Sri Lanka is fortunate to sail towards development, amity, progress and prosperity through reconciliation, reconstruction and development.  We are achieving economic and political freedom with the help of the World Family, World Body, Non-Governmental and International Organizations.  His Excellency MahindaRajapaksa outlined in his message on the Independence Day that formulation of policies for Sri Lanka and Sri Lankans are based on MahindaChintana“”…” aimed at a vision commonly applicable to the world community.  Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission is a major achievement towards peace, reconciliation and peaceful co-existence of different cultures reaching towards Progress and Prosperity.

 His Excellency President Rajapaksa further reiterated in his speech that the country should be brought forward developing its value systems.  He said, it is only then that the prosperous life would emerge in a peaceful environment. 

 The nation has just and vibrant mechanism for the protection of human rights with a Human Rights Commission and a vibrant judiciary. The Non-Governmental organizations are effectively assisting maintenance of international standards.  The Economy, Tourism, Stock Market and the general economic growth is in the upward trend. Our standard of living is above average, unemployment rate is low, average income is high, peace and stability which are main ingredients for investment and prosperity have been achieved. Road network and infrastructure has reached international standards.    It is a happy and smiling nation where the citizens are famous for friendship and warmth. The people are bestowed with a nation with one of the most beautiful sceneries and shallow beaches, water falls, network of rivers, excellent environment and over 250,000 archaeological sites.

 UAE is a unique model of integration.  Whilst   the oil money is well invested with a vision for the future, the nation is developing, the non oil economy setting an example to the rest of the world.  UAE is in the forefront in renewable energy having pioneered in setting up of IRENA- the world body of renewable energy.   The official and non-official visits of the rulers, ministers, diplomats and business community from UAE to Sri Lanka and vice versa has strengthened the closeness.

 Both UAE and Sri Lanka has reached the peak in tourism.  There is a large influx of tourists to Sri Lanka and the tourists from Middle East are increasing day by day.  Investment from UAE to Sri Lanka and the business between the two friendly countries is growing day by day.  We are now reaping the benefits of peace.  All the parties are sharing the benefits of peace in the economic, political and social goals of respective countries.    This process is based on our friendship, dedication and  co-habitation, and working together to achieve main goals for  a bright future.

 Way forward and our salvation is based on our working together with close and warm bonds and friendships among the family of nations.  United Arab Emirates and Sri Lanka has unprecedented warm bonds and friendships running back for thousands of years   and shall continue to be.

 We are grateful to His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and the rulers for their vision, commitment and dedication for the peoples of UAE and generally the mankind.  I thank you for having taken time to share our joy on our National Day with us and wish you a bright future.

 Thank you

Shukran.

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