Commemorating the 69th Anniversary of the Independence of Sri Lanka, the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Dubai and Northern Emirates took the initiative to host a National day reception on 5th February in Al Ameera Ballroom at the hotel Grand Hyatt-Dubai, with the participation of over 350 guests including diplomats from around 50 countries. This is the first time after a period of five years such reception to celebrate the Independence Day has been organized by the Consulate General.
During the speech made on this occasion, 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 the President and the 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. 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.
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 and 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.
During the event, four major Sri Lankan organizations in Dubai and Northern Emirates and three locally recruited staff members of the Consulate General were awarded plaques in recognition of the outstanding contribution and the service.
The event commenced with the lighting of the oil lamp by the Chief Guest along with four members representing Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim and Burger communities. A cultural dancing show was also held. 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, 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.
This event was hosted in addition to the official National Day ceremony which was held at the Consulate General premises on 4th February in which the hoisting of the National Flag, reading the National Day messages of the President, Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs along with multifaith religious observances were carried out.