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Commemoration of 70th Anniversary of Sri Lanka’s Independence in the Sultanate of Oman

The Embassy of Sri Lanka in the Sultanate of Oman organized a series of events to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of Sri Lanka’s Independence in Muscat. The official flag hoisting ceremony was held at the Embassy premises on 4th February 2018, with the participation of over 300 Sri Lankans, representing Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim and other communities.

The official ceremony commenced with the hoisting of the National Flag by Ambassador of Sri Lanka M.K.Pathmanaathan, and singing of the National Anthem in Sinhala and Tamil languages by the students of the Sri Lankan School Muscat. Thereafter, two minute silence was observed in remembrance of all who have sacrificed their lives for the nation. The ceremonial oil lamp was lit by the Ambassador, representatives of the Sri Lankan community organisations in Oman, prominent Sri Lankans representing the Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim and Christian communities. Religious observances were conducted by selected members of the community representing Hinduism, Islam and Christianity while Buddhist religious observances were conducted by Venerable Rambukkana Dhammawansha Thero . The Independence Day messages of H.E the President, Hon. Prime Minister and Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs were read out in Sinhala, Tamil and English languages respectively.

Addressing the gathering in both Sinhala and Tamil, Ambassador Pathmanaathan emphasized the importance of the unity among all communities as it was instrumental in gaining independence in 1948. Highlighting the Government strategies for socio and economic development of the country under Vision 2025, he urged the Sri Lankan community members to extend their support to the various initiatives of the GoSL. After the conclusion of the official ceremony, all the participants were hosted for traditional Sri Lankan delicacies.

The Embassy published a special national day supplement with Times of Oman, one of the leading English dailies in the Sultanate, on 4th February. The supplement carried the Independence Day messages of H.E the President, Hon. Prime Minister and Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs as well as articles on Sri Lanka Tourism, Ceylon Tea and vital information on investment opportunities in Sri Lanka.

“Sri Lankan products week” organised by the Embassy in partnership with Lulu Hypermarket, one of the leading retail and hypermarket chains in the Gulf, on the occasion of the 70th Anniversary of Independence, was launched on 5th February 2018 by Ambassador Pathmanaathan, along with members of senior management of Lulu. The aim of this promotion was to bring the best of Sri Lankan products, to Oman and provide the customers with an opportunity to get a feel of Sri Lanka in the hypermarket itself. A cultural performance by the Sri Lankan School Muscat students, added colour to the inauguration.

The ‘Sri Lankan Products Week’ also included a live cooking demo by Mr. Shenal Kurukulasoriya, a Sri Lankan chef on February 9 and 10. The event, which featured an array of products exclusively from Sri Lanka, including Ceylon tea, fresh fruits and vegetables, coconut based products, rice, biscuits and other traditional grocery items from Sri Lanka, was concluded on February 10. The products which were showcased during the week were exported through Lulu-Sri Lankan sourcing office located in Katunayake Export Processing Zone, which was launched in May 2017.

The Embassy hosted a diplomatic reception on 6th February evening at Grand Hyatt Hotel Muscat with the participation of the Omani Government dignitaries, members of the diplomatic corps, members of the business community and members of the Sri Lankan community in the Sultanate. His Excellency Dr. Ahmed bin Muhammed bin Salem Al Futhaisee, Minister of Transport and Communication was the Guest of Honour at the event, while H.E Al SheikhMuhammed bin Said bin Saifal Kalbani Minister ofSocial development was also part of the Omani Government delegation, which also consisted of members of the State Council (Upper House) and Shura Council (Parliament) and senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Addressing the dignitaries, Ambassador Pathmanaathan, highlighted the initiatives being taken to harness the potential to enhance the bilateral cooperation between Sri Lanka and Oman, particularly in the fields of investment, trade and tourism. Ho also outlined the objectives of Vision 2025 launched by the Government of Sri Lankan and the opportunities the country could provide as the hub of the Indian Ocean through the strategically positioned ports and the International Financial city being built in Colombo.

He thanked the Government of Oman under the visionary leadership of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said for the support extended throughout the years in furthering Sri Lanka - Oman relations.

The participation of a large number of Omani dignitaries including business leaders at this reception was a testimony to the increasing goodwill between the two countries. Ceylon tea packets and Sri Lanka tourism brochures were distributed among the guests while Sri Lanka tourism video clips in Arabic language were played during the reception. The other main highlights of the event were the cultural performance by the students of the Sri Lankan School Muscat, the serving of traditional Sri Lankan style dinner, and Ceylon Tea.

Sri Lankan Community Social Club and the Sri Lankan School Muscat are organising separate events to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of Sri Lanka’s independence.

Embassy of Sri Lanka

Muscat, Sultanate of Oman