H.E. Jeffry Suleiman Mohideen, Ambassador for Sri Lanka to UAE and Mr. Charitha Yattogoda, Consul General of Sri Lanka to Dubai and the Northern Emirates accompanying the Chief Guest H.E. Dr. Ahmed Bin Abdulla Belhoul Al Falasi, the State Minister of Higher Education of UAE to the event.
Commemorating the 69th Anniversary of the Independence of Sri Lanka, the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Dubai & Northern Emirates took the initiative to host a National Day reception in celebrating the anniversary of Independence of Sri Lanka on 5th February 2017 in Al Ameera Ballroom at the hotel Grand Hyatt-Dubai, with the participation of over 350 guests that includes key personalities such as diplomats representing around 50 countries including the presence of over 35 Consul General’s of major countries based in Dubai, Emirati dignitaries, leading businessmen operating in UAE, Sri Lankan associations based in Dubai & Northern Emirates along with key figures of the Sri Lankan expatriate community in UAE. This is the first time after a period of five years such reception to celebrate the Independence Day in grand scale has been organized by the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Dubai.
Part of the Crowd gathered at the Al Ameera ballroom of the Hotel Grand Hyatt- Dubai attending the event.
During the speech made on this occasion, Mr. Charitha Yattogoda, Consul General of Sri Lanka to Dubai and the Northern Emirates highlighted the progress made by Sri Lanka towards its efforts to achieving the middle income status with comprehensive national reconciliation under the stewardship and guidance of His Excellency the President and the Honorable Prime Minister of Sri Lanka. The special focus of the reception was given to promote the prospects of Sri Lanka tourism to the elite crowd gathered at the reception. In this context, a three minute video clip was displayed at the event provided by the Sri Lanka Tourism, which was also the main sponsor of the event. In addition, the photos of Sri Lanka as a unique destination complete with heritage, nature, beaches, wildlife and etc were displayed throughout the event, which earned positive responses from the crowd.
Dancers performing traditional dancers of Sri Lanka
The Consul General also briefed the gathering about the measures taken by the Consulate General of Sri Lanka during the last year to enhance the consular and labour services including the upgrading of its website and introduction of courier system for passport & Visa applicants. The newly upgraded website of the Consulate General was re-launched at the event, acknowledging all the crowd and media on the new additions to the website which are focused on minimizing the time spent for consular and labour activities and to enhance convenience and efficiency in obtaining the services.
Group photograph of the Chief Guest H.E. Dr. Ahmed Bin Abdulla Belhoul Al Falasi, the State Minister of Higher Education of UAE, H.E. Jeffry Suleiman Mohideen, Ambassador for Sri Lanka to UAE and Mr. Charitha Yattogoda, Consul General of Sri Lanka to Dubai and the Northern Emirates along with part of Consuls General based in Dubai participated in the event
During the event, four major Sri Lankan organizations in Dubai and Northern Emirates, i.e. Sri Lanka Business Council, Sri Lanka Cultural Center, Sri Lanka Welfare Association (Sahana) and Lanka Lions Sports Club were awarded plaques in recognition of the outstanding contribution that they have made towards the Sri Lankan community in the UAE and the motherland during the period of last twenty five, fifteen, two & forty years respectively. In addition, plaques were also awarded to three locally recruited staff members of the Consulate General who have served the longest period of time in the staff in appreciation of their continued and dedicated service provided to the Consulate General and the Government of Sri Lanka.
Consul General Charitha Yattogoda addressing the event (Ends)
The proceedings of the event commenced with lighting oil lamp by the Chief Guest along with four members representing Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim & Burger communities showing the solidarity of the four major Sri Lankan communities living in the UAE. The cultural dancing performances showcased local talents by “Meshan Dissanayake Dancing Academy” such as Udarata Wes Natuma, Naga Raksha, Surapa Walliya, Kuweni along with some tailor made dancing performances suits the occasion for which comprehensive preludes were provided by the comperes enabling the foreign crowd gathered in the reception to develop an image of the crux of pure Sri Lankan culture adding lots of colours to the event. Further, the attendees were able to enjoy sumptuous buffet dinner which included some special Sri Lankan food such as Sri Lankan hoppers, Kotthu Roti etc. that were highly appreciated by the foreign guests. The event earned applauds of the crowd which represented the Consuls General and other dignitaries from over 50 countries.
H.E. Dr. Ahmed Bin Abdulla Belhoul Al Falasi, the State Minister of Higher Education of UAE participated in the event as the Chief Guest. Representing Sri Lanka, H.E. Jeffry Suleiman Mohideen, Ambassador for Sri Lanka to UAE and other diplomatic officers from the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi participated in addition to the staff members of the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Dubai.