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KUWAIT CITY, Feb 12: Sri Lankan Embassy celebrated the 75th anniversary of the country’s independence last week at the Regency Hotel with a grand reception showcasing the country’s rich cultural heritage. Minister of Public Works and Minister of Electricity, Water and Renewable Energy, Amani Sulaiman Bugamaz, who was the chief guest on the occasion, joined Sri Lankan Ambassador-designate Kandeepan Bala to cut the ceremonial cake.
Guests were treated to a dazzling cultural show by the renowned Rasika and Nisha Cultural troupe from Colombo, which demonstrated the rich heritage and legacy of Sri Lanka and refl ected the country’s multi-ethnic society.
Several ambassadors, Kuwaiti dignitaries, Sri Lankan nationals and special invitees were among those who attended the celebration. In his welcome address, Ambassador Bala expressed his government’s sincere appreciation to His Highness the Amir, His Highness the Crown Prince, His Highness the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister for their continued support to strengthen Sri Lanka-Kuwait bilateral relations, which were first established 51 years ago in 1971.
Kuwait is home to over 100,000 Sri Lankan expatriates and the presence and contribution of our people over the past years has become a driving force of our multifaceted ties with the State of Kuwait,” said Ambassador Bala. He added that the country has been successful in diversifying deployment of migrant workers from the traditional sectors to many fields of professional and skilled employment in Kuwait.”
Talking about the Joint Ministerial Committee, he said it is one of the key bilateral engagements where Kuwaiti and Sri Lankan authorities meet and deliberate on matters of mutual interest.
Kuwait Fund has also been one of the important sources that supports a number of important infrastructure projects in Sri Lanka, contributing to the socioeconomic development of our society. Bilateral trade and tourism have registered respectable figures in recent years, showing clear signs of recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Air connectivity has also improved, with both Sri Lankan Airlines and Jazeera Airways increasing the frequency of their daily flights.”
The ambassador also congratulated fellow Sri Lankans in Kuwait and wished them a happy celebratory season. “I also recognize that this season is very special for our friends in Kuwait as the month of February marks national celebrations in the country. I take this opportunity to extend warm congratulations to all our friends in Kuwait,” he noted. Elaborating on the historical setting of the occasion and the country’s development since independence, the ambassador stated: “Today’s event marks the 75th anniversary of the Independence of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka emerged as a sovereign nation in 1948, having experienced around five centuries of colonial rule. The process of nation building has been… like every other nation experienced , tedious and challenging. Successive governments in the post independent years have strived to ensure universal access to education and healthcare to the citizens and the results of such farsighted vision is quite conspicuous in the modern days.
“Also, realizing the importance of international relations, the first priority of the nation building process of the post independent Sri Lanka was to forge relations with our immediate neighbors and the big powers. And as of date we have established diplomatic relations with over 175 countries. Sri Lanka continues to be a constructive contributor to the many regional and international organizations. Our active role in Nonaligned Movement, the Commonwealth of Nations, Colombo Plan, and Bandung Conference are testimony to our nations’ contribution to the many multilateral and regional bodies.
“I also wish to thank the private and corporate sector business entities for their trust and recognition of Sri Lanka’s able, educated and trainable workforce who continue to contribute to the state of Kuwait. These are just a few refl ections of the growing relations between Sri Lanka and the State of Kuwait which continue to strengthen our multifaceted ties,” said the ambassador in conclusion
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