Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Cuba, Sarath Dissanayake presented Credentials on 21st March at the Palace of Revolution in Havana to the Deputy President of the Council of State of Cuba, Madam Gladys Maria Bejerano Portela who was accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bruno Eduardo Rodriguez Parrilla. For the presentation, Ambassador Dissanayake together with his wife and Attache, Anuruddha left the official residence in a ceremonial motorcade accompanied by Ambassador Luis Castillo Campos of the Protocol Division of the Foreign Ministry and Major Braulio Hernandez Martinez of the Revolution Palace.
Upon arrival at the Palace, the Ambassador and delegation were received by the Chief of Protocol following which they were afforded a Red Carpet welcome and a Guard of Honour by the Palace Guards. Thereafter, the Cuban and Sri Lankan National Anthems were played by the Palace Band.
After presenting Credentials, Ambassador Dissanayake had an exchange of views with the Deputy President Gladys Bejerano during which he conveyed the best wishes of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to the Cuban President and for the well being and progress of the people of Cuba. He also recalled the long standing friendship between Sri Lanka and Cuba and that Sri Lanka was the first Asian country to recognize the revolutionary Government in February 1959 which followed the establishment of diplomatic relations in July that year. While appreciating Cuba’s grant of scholarships, assistance to combat dengue, malaria etc and its consistent support at the multilateral fora, the Ambassador emphasized the importance attached by Sri Lanka for further promotion of cooperation in such sectors that were broadly discussed at bilateral meetings during President Rajapaksa’s visit to Cuba in June 2012. The Ambassador also reiterated the invitation to President Castro to visit Sri Lanka.
For her part, the Deputy President Gladys Bejerano conveyed the greetings of President Raul Castro to the Sri Lankan President and wished the Ambassador all success. The Deputy President briefed the Ambassador on Cuba’s recent policy initiatives in promoting mutually beneficial cooperation among progressive nations in multifaceted areas of interest. In regard to bilateral relations, she expressed gratitude to Sri Lanka for its support to the Cuban cause and for the removal of embargo against the Cuban people. Speaking further, the Deputy President also praised President Rajapaksa’s leadership in ushering a new era and noted that bilateral relations are on a strong footing.
After the ceremony, the Ambassador placed a flower bouquet at the monument of Cuba’s National Hero, Josi Marti at the Revolution Square. Upon his return to the official residence, a reception was hosted for the Cuban officials, members of the Sri Lankan community and Embassy staff.
The ceremony received wide coverage in the press, radio and TV.
Embassy of Sri Lanka
24th March 2013