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A PIONEERING ATTEMPT BY OUR OUTPOST TO ADDRESS PEOPLE IN THEIR OWN LANGUAGE IN THE NEDERLANDS

By Walter Jayawardhana

The Embassy of Sri Lanka in the Netherlands has started publishing a Dutch Language Public Relations News letter named ‘Sri Lanka Kroniek’ From August 22.

This is considered to be a pioneering attempt by one of our foreign outposts to reach a nation where they represent Sri Lanka , in their national language , deviating from the old practice of addressing them in English .In the Netherlands naturally Dutch is more relevant and productive to tell the present generations , than English, about the beautiful tropical island and our historical relations with them since Sri Lanka is one of the few countries in the world that uses Roman Dutch Law as part of our civil law ,” said M.H.M.N. Bandara, a spokesman of the embassy.

Sri Lanka was a Dutch colony in the 17th century and they had left their cultural imprint not only on law, but on crafts like carpentry, architecture ,canal building ,foods like lamprais, specific varieties of cakes, consumption of chilies overtly in curries, combs worn as head ornaments, language etc. Roman Dutch Law disappeared altogether from the land of its birth since, in 1809, Code of Napoleon was imposed on the country.

The target groups of the news letter are the Members of the Netherland Parliament, the Members of the Municipality Governments of the Netherlands, Media Groups and Journalists, Dutch Sri Lanka Friendship groups, Diplomats, Foreign Ministry officials, Travel Ageneses, NGOs, and Business organization in the Netherlands.

In the First public relation News letter there are many small news items with colorful Photographers such as ‘Susanthika’ coming Seventh in the semi final of 200 meter Olympic. It said despite the position she showed her best in the world athletic field for nearly 16 Years. The newsletter discussed how Micro Company assembled Double-decker Buses in Sri Lanka. There were also brief write ups on the New Dutch Ambassador for Sri Lanka, the Dutch Coat of Arms during her imperial days in Sri Lanka and colorful Kandy Esala Perahera – “One of the best cultural shows in the World.”

The Embassy plans to issue the news letter every two weeks. The Embassy spokesman says that in addition to this Dutch Language News letter the Embassy has also already created a photo based web site entitled ‘Netherlands Sri Lanka Friendships site’ http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/)

to develop the Friendship and understand between the Netherlands and Sri Lanka in both Dutch and English languages. The Embassy wishes to promote the News related to Sri Lankan tourist attractions through this web site and news letter. Especially nature lovers, adventure seekers and the young travelers are encouraged to travel to Sri Lanka in this website.(


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