Sri Lankan envoy to Sweden Ambassador Alahapperuma presents his credentials to King Carl XVI Gustaf
By Aruni Amarasinghe
Jan 10, 2011
The newly appointed Sri Lankan envoy to Sweden, Oshadhi Alahapperuma presented his Credentials to His Majesty Carl XVI Gustaf, the King of Sweden recently at the Royal Palace in Stockholm.

Representing the Sweden Government the Marshal of the Diplomatic Corps called at the SriLankan Embassy which is located in the heart of Stockholm and escorted the Ambassador and his accompanying suite to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in limousines provided by the Court. Later the Sri Lankan Ambassador was taken to the Royal Palace of Stockholm in a horse-drawn Royal Mews' carriage according to tradition. The Royal Guard presented arms when the carriage arrived at the outer courtyard of the eastern wing of the Palace andthe military band played while the Ambassador alighted from the carriage at theinner courtyard.

Two Chamberlains welcomed the Ambassador and his suite. He was then escorted intothe Palace while a guard of honour composed of grenadiers lined the stairsleading to the audience chamber. Later he was received by aLord-in-Waiting and followed by the Master of Ceremonies in the secondChamber. In the third chamber the Ambassador was received by theFirst Marshal of the Court, the Chief of His Majesty’s Military Staff and the Grand Master of Ceremonies. Finally Ambassador Oshadhi Alahapperuma was escorted to an audience with His Majesty Carl XVI Gustaf, the King of Sweden to present his Letter of Credence.

After the official ceremony the Ambassador had a ‘one to one meeting’ with the King. TheKing was very much interested in knowing about the root cause for the conflictin Sri Lanka and His Majesty said that he is very happy that the Sri Lanka warwas ended. The King was interested to know about the ongoing rehabilitation programs especially those affected by the war and the tsunami.The King especially mentioned about the visit to Sri Lanka by the Crown Princess Victoria in 2005.

Ambassador Alahapperuma took the opportunity to explain the steps being taken by the Government of SriLanka headed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to develop northern and easternparts of Sri Lanka in the aftermath of the war and also to rehabilitate thewar-affected youth and the people. He further stated that within a shortperiod of time after the war the rehabilitation took place which is now comingto an end. Ambassador also mentioned that almost all the Internally DisplacedPeople (IDPs) have been resettled in their places of origin.

The Kingrecalled his visit to Sri Lanka in 1966 as a Cadet Officer and Ambassador Alahapperumamade a request to His Majesty the King Carl XVI Gustaf to visit Sri Lanka onceagain as the country has returned to normalcy after 30 years of conflict. Atthe end of the audience the Ambassador requested His Majesty for permission to introduce his accompanying suite, Mr.S.B.Wijekoon, Minister Counsellor and Mr. L.G. Dissanayake, Third Secretary(Commercial).

After the presentation of Credentials, a multi-religious function was heldat the Embassy to bestow blessings on Ambassador Oshadhi Alahapperuma. Chief incumbent of the Stockholm Buddhist Vihara, Ven. Kirindigalle Dhammarathana Nayaka Thero, Chief Incumbentof the Tapovana, Ven. Watapana Pannaratana Thero and Swe-Lankan CatholicPriest Rev Father Michael Bjerkhagen conducted the religious proceedings.

Sri Lanka's newly appointed envoy toSweden, former General Manager of Mobitel, Ambassador Oshadhi Alahapperuma, isan engineer by profession. He was born in Matara in 1972. His primary education was at Meegasdeniya Junior School, Urugamuwa, Kumaratunga Munidasa Maha Vidyalaya, Dickwella, Matara and secondary education at AnandaCollege, Colombo.

He completed obtained a BSc in Engineering, specializing in Telecommunication at Electro Technical Universityat St Petersburg, Russia.

He has worked in the telecommunicationssector and attended training programmes at Ericsson in Stockholm and Gothenburgin March 2004 and October 2005 respectively. Prior to his appointment, Ambassador Alahapperuma worked as an engineer at Mobitel Ltd in Sri Lanka from 2003 to 2010. Since 2010 he has served as Private Secretary to Hon Dullas Alahapperuma, Minister of Youth Affairs and Skills Development.

He is also fluent in the Russia andconversational Swedish.

Pix by: AlexisDaflos- The Royal Court, Sweden & Janaka Samanpriya