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Sri Lanka- Oman ties cemented during the celebration of-69th Anniversary of the Independence of Sri Lanka

The Embassy of Sri Lanka in the Sultanate of Oman organized two events to celebrate the 69th Anniversary of the Independence of Sri Lanka. The official flag hoisting ceremony was held at the Embassy premises on 4th February 2017. Over 400 Sri Lankan expatriate community members, representing the Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim communities attended the event.

The official ceremony commenced with the hoisting of the National Flag by Ambassador of Sri Lanka M.K.Pathmanaathan, which was then followed by the 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 honour of all the National heroes who had sacrificed their lives for the motherland. 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 communities. Religious observances on behalf of Buddhist, Hindu, Islamic and Christian faiths were performed by selected members of the community. 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, the Ambassador emphasized the importance of the unity among all communities as it was instrumental in gaining independence in 1948 and invited the Sri Lankan community members to support the various initiatives of the Unity Government under the leadership of H.E the President and Hon. Prime Minister, to bring about reconciliation and economic development in the country.

The Embassy hosted a diplomatic reception on 21st February evening at hotel Grand Hyatt in 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 Ahmed bin Nasir bin Hamad Al Mahrazi, Minister of Tourism and His Excellency Sultan bin Salem bin Sa-eed al Habsee, Secretary General (Cabinet Minister rank) of the Supreme Council for Planning were part of the Omani Government delegation, which also consisted of members of the State Council (Upper House) and Shura Council (Parliament) and high officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The participation of three Ministers at the reception apart from the members of the State Council and Shura Council, was the highlight of the event, manifesting the emergence of strong friendship and desire to further enhance Sri Lanka - Oman relations.

Ambassador Pathmanaathan, in his speech, highlighted the Government’s plans of making Sri Lanka an Indian Ocean hub by 2020, and briefed on the thriving tourism industry, drawing attention to the various attractions in the country, which make Omanis to choose Sri Lanka as one of their top tourist destinations. 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 was a testimony to the interest they have in fostering relations between the two countries. The Souvenir book published for the occasion, with articles on Sri Lanka Tea, Gem industry, tourism, investment opportunities and Government strategy on making Sri Lanka a maritime and logistics hub, as an effective means of disseminating vital information on the country among the people of Oman, as distributed to all participants numbering about 300 along with Ceylon tea packets and tourism brochures. The cultural performance by the students of the Sri Lankan School Muscat, the serving of Sri Lankan food items and Ceylon Tea were the subject of great admiration of the participants.

Embassy of Sri Lanka

Muscat, Sultanate of Oman