Independence celebrated in Bahrain amidst huge gathering of Sri Lankans
Feb 15, 2010
For the first time ever, the "Sri Lanka's National Day" was celebrated in an unprecedented scale by the Sri Lankan community in Bahrain on 12th February 2010 at the Indian School in Isa Town, with the presence of distinguished guests from the Bahraini Government, members of the Diplomatic & Consular Corps, the international community and a large gathering of Sri Lankans well over 1200.
Mr. P B Higgoda, the newly appointed Sri Lanka's Hony. Consul to Bahrain, assisted by the Sri Lankan community and well-wishers has organized the 62nd Anniversary celebrations with a cultural extravaganza featuring Sri Lanka's culture, heritage, historical and contemporary dances and music. The events began with the hoisting of Sri Lanka and Bahrain flags followed by the playing of two national anthems. The oil lamp was lit thereafter following which a two- minutes' silence was observed to honour the national heroes.
Delivering the welcoming remarks, Hony. Consul, Mr. Higgoda appreciated the support and cooperation extended by the Bahraini Government and the Sri Lankan Diaspora to celebrate the National Day with great success. He also elaborated on the significance of the 62nd National Day anniversary which was celebrated island-wide by all Sri Lankans for the first time in 30 years, following the defeat of terrorism. He also paid tribute to the King, the Government and the people of Bahrain for the warm welcome and generous hospitality extended to Sri Lankans in Bahrain. Referring to the visit of the Bahraini Premier to Sri Lanka in July 2009, Mr. Higgoda said that Sri Lanka - Bahrain relations have reached a milestone paving the way for a new era of friendship and cooperation. He assured his fullest support and assistance to Sri Lankans in Bahrain as Sri Lanka's Hony. Consul.
Sri Lanka's Ambassador to Bahrain, Sarath Dissanayake, the Chief Guest, in his speech expressed his gratitude to Sri Lankans in Bahrain for the excellent arrangements made to celebrate the National Day in a fitting manner. Ambassador also took the opportunity to extend his congratulations and best wishes to the newly appointed, Hony. Consul Mr. Higgoda and went on to appreciate his honorary services to the Sri Lankan community since 2001 which have been much appreciated by the Government. Ambassador also briefed on the Government's expectations that the expatriate community could play a pivotal role in country's future and its economic development. He also thanked the Government and the people of Bahrain for their generous support and good-will towards Sri Lankan community in Bahrain. He also noted with appreciation the commitment of the Sri Lankan community in Bahrain towards further promoting Sri Lanka's rich culture and heritage amongst the friends in Bahrain.
Ambassador, Dr Dhafer Alumran of the Bahrain Foreign Ministry also delivered a speech in which he expressed his gratitude to the Sri Lankan community for the invitation extended. He also conveyed his congratulations and best wishes to all Sri Lankans on their celebrating Sri Lanka's National Day amidst ushering of a new era of peace. While appreciating the best of relations enjoyed by Sri Lanka and Bahrain at present, he was optimistic that this unique relationship would further prosper with the establishment of peace and harmony in Sri Lanka.
The Uthuru Mithuru railway and Jaffna Library projects have been introduced to the audience seeking their generous support and assistance for the worthy endeavors. On behalf of the Foreign Minister, Rohitha Bogollagama, the Commission of Appointment was handed-over to Mr. Higgoda on his appointment as Sri Lanka's Hony. Consul to Bahrain.
During the 06-hour long celebrations, Sri Lankan artists and dancers comprised of kids, the young and the adults staged brilliant performances depicting Sri Lanka's multi-ethnic and multi-cultural folk dances, rituals, drama, modern dances etc. that enthralled the audience. The participants dressed-up in colourful and attractive costumes staged some of the well-known classical and contemporary master-pieces that will be remembered by many as a unique and a life time experience. The renowned artist Jananath Warakagoda also performed and entertained the audience with instrumental music and drums.
The evening was truly a multi - ethnic and multi - cultural extravaganza that brought Sri Lankans belonging to all communities together to celebrate a unique occasion of our independence, thanks to the tireless efforts by Sri Lanka's Hony. Consul and the patriotic Sri Lankan community in Bahrain.
Embassy of Sri Lanka, Kuwait