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Sri Lanka Embassy in Viet Nam celebrates the 69th National Day

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Embassy of Sri Lanka in Ha Noi celebrated the 69th National Day of Sri Lanka on 04th February 2017 at the Embassy.

The distinguished guests included H.E. Mr. Pham Sanh Chau, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Nguyen Quang Thuc, Deputy Director General, Department of South East Asia, South Asia and South Pacific of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Vu Tuan Oanh, Head of Personnel Office for Diplomatic Corps, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Do Hoang Tung, Head of Office, Consular Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Mr. Vu Quoc Khanh, President of Viet Nam Association of Photographic Artists.

The ceremony commenced with hoisting the national flag of Sri Lanka followed by singing the national anthem in both Sinhala and Tamil languages, followed by lighting of the traditional oil lamp by special invitees, representatives of the Sri Lankan community, Sri Lankan students and children and observing two minutes silent in honour of those who have sacrificed their lives throughout the history to protect Sri Lanka’s territorial integrity and religious blessings.

Then it was the time to read the messages of President, Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka in Sinhala, Tamil and English.

Delivering his remarks, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs H.E. Pham Sanh Chau, praised that invoking of blessings by religious dignitaries representing all religions in Sri Lanka showcase unity of multi-religious nature of the Sri Lankan culture on this day of national importance.

He referred to close ties that the two countries have, built upon Buddhist values, and especially since the time of Vietnamese struggle for independence. He also recalled nostalgically that his father was Vietnamese diplomat to serve in Sri Lanka in 1960s.

Assistant Minister further noted that the steady bilateral relations are indicated by the fruitful discussion between President of Sri Lanka and Prime Minister of Viet Nam on the sidelines of the G7 Summit held in Nagoya, Japan in May 2016 and Prime Ministers of Sri Lanka and Viet Nam, on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland in January 2017.

Addressing the gathering on this day of national significance, Ambassador Hasanthi Urugodawatte Dissanayake welcomed all those who were present and especially extended her appreciation for the participation of the religious dignitaries to invoke blessings on the occasion and the presence of H.E. Ambassador Pham Sanh Chau, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs.

She further highlighted the political and economic development during the past year. Among other things she underscored, when the 19th Amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka is considered, the “Right to Information Act” is coming into force, on 4th February 2017, which is an essential element in a transparent and vibrant democracy. Meanwhile, in line with recognizing promotion of national reconciliation and integration as duties of the President in the 19th Amendment, President Maithripala Sirisena directed all Sri Lankan government institutions, including this Embassy, to observe the week of National Integration and Reconciliation from 9th to 13th January 2017, she added.

In the economic sphere, she noted that Sri Lanka hosted the World Economic Development Forum-2016 in Colombo, highlighting Sri Lanka’s openness to international business and path towards an improved business environment, in line with economic policy of the government, focused on open and export-oriented free market economy.

Ambassador emphasized that the diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and Viet Nam has steadily growing, more so at political; level, bilateral and in multilateral contexts, while less in economic relations. She noted that with a volume of bilateral trade at US$ 339.92 million as of November 2016, with US$164.60 million in favour of Viet Nam, there is much scope to develop trade for mutual benefit. She further noted that according to ITC Trade Map, for Sri Lanka, Viet Nam is considered as 28th export partner and 18th import partner while for Viet Nam, Sri Lanka is considered as 53rd export partner and 57th import partner and Sri Lanka hopes to improve the figures bringing mutual benefit to both countries.

In line with the economic diplomacy focus, Ambassador briefed on the activities carried out by the Embassy to encourage bilateral trade, attracting investment to Sri Lanka and tourism promotional activities. Among those, for the first time in history of bilateral relations, together with the National Gen and Jewellery Authority of Sri Lanka, the Embassy was able to forge links in the gem, jewellery and mining sectors.

Meanwhile, in the cultural cooperation front, the Embassy arranged a programme in coordination with the Ministry of Buddhasasana of Sri Lanka for a high-level Buddhist delegation from Viet Nam to visit Sri Lanka, which resulted in signing two MoUs for cooperation in Buddhist studies and exchanges.

Among exchange of visits/delegations, she noted that the Embassy facilitated 08 inward, including 05 at the Ministerial level and 03 outward, including the visit of H.E. General To Lam, Minister of Public Security of Viet Nam to Sri Lanka.

Ambassador further briefed that during 2016 Embassy organized 28 events to promote Sri Lanka, other that events that were supported by the Embassy, and announced that the Newsletter of the Embassy done for the occasion has a summary of all events organized and supported by the Embassy. She announced that these events received much coverage in local media, both print and electronic. She added that all this was possible thanks to the support from the Sri Lankan community and Vietnamese friends.

She concluded appealing to the Sri Lankans, to continue to support the motherland in its development drive through unity of all communities, forming the Sri Lankan nation, one identity, one country, as Sri Lanka is politically and economically poised to integrate with the comity of nations with respect and dignity, with a clear vision to achieve economic prosperity for all her people.

Embassy of Sri Lanka
Ha Noi

4th February 2017



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