Sri Lanka High Commission in Canada hosts a diplomatic reception to celebrate Sri Lanka’s 71st Anniversary of Independence
The Sri Lanka High Commission in Ottawa, Canada celebrated Sri Lanka’s 71st Anniversary of Independence with a diplomatic reception hosted for more than 150 dignitaries consisting of Ambassadors/High Commissioners in Canada, senior diplomats, Senior officials from various Ministries and Departments in Canada, Sri Lankan professionals, members of the media and Sri Lankan expatriates on 11th of February at the Andaz Ottawa Byward Market Hotel (Hyatt).
The occasion commenced with the playing of the National Anthems of Sri Lanka and Canada followed by the welcome address by the High Commissioner Asoka Girihagama. Speaking on the occasion, High Commissioner reviewed the strong bilateral relations that exist between Sri Lanka and Canada since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1958. He focused on the development cooperation between Canada and Sri Lanka and appreciated the support provided by Canada since 1950s. He enumerated several positive developments in Sri Lanka in terms of trade and tourism and emphasized the need in strengthening trade, economic and cultural relations with Canada.
Addressing the gathering, the Chief Guest of the occasion, Dr. Donald Bobiash, Assistant-Deputy Minister of Asia-Pacific at Global Affairs Canada recalled how Sri Lanka was held as a role model for development in the past because of its emphasis on meeting the health and education need of its people and for many decades the life expectancy and literacy levels of Sri Lanka exceeded that of its developing country neighbours. He stated that he was deeply impressed by the growth in middle class, number of students studying abroad and the vibrant business culture of Sri Lanka at present. He referred to the importance of reconciliation process in Sri Lanka and extended support to reconciliation process and espoused values by Sri Lanka.
The evening featured traditional Sri Lankan up country, low country dance performances and Bharatanatyam dance based on Rudra Tandava. The guests at the reception were also entertained by a live band, playing Sri Lankan music.
A Sri Lankan cuisine featuring a variety of dishes and sweet meats along with popular Canadian delicacies were served at the reception. All guests were also gifted with Ceylon tea packs and key tags.