The Embassy Sri Lanka in Addis Ababa in collaboration with the Sri Lankan citizens in Ethiopia grandly celebrated the 76th Anniversary of Sri Lanka’s Independence while hosting a Diplomatic Dinner Reception on 04 February 2024 at Best Western Plus Hotel in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The event featured the singing of the national anthems of Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, and the African Union by students from Kelem International School, International Community School (ICS), and Lycée Guebre-Mariam. The performances by the children of Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, and the United States of America (with Sri Lankan affiliation) truly touched the hearts of the audience.
The traditional oil lamp was lit by the Guest of Honour, Deputy Chief of Protocol of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia Ambassador Mekibib Mengesha, senior officials of the Federal Government of Ethiopia, members of the diplomatic corps, representatives of the African Union Commission, representatives of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, representatives of the Inter-Governmental Organizations, members of the business community, friends of Sri Lanka, and leaders of Sri Lankan companies and the community.
To mark the celebration of Independence Day in Addis Ababa, a ceremonial cake cutting was attended by the participating Ambassadors including the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps.
The Guest of Honour Ambassador Mekibib Mengesha who graced the occasion on behalf of the Government of Ethiopia, extended his warmest felicitations for the Government and people of Sri Lanka on the 76th Anniversary of Sri Lanka’s independence. Further, while recognizing the significant contribution provided by Sri Lankan investors in Ethiopia, Ambassador Mengesha invited potential investors to capitalize on the investor-friendly atmosphere of Ethiopia.
Addressing the gathering, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the African Union (AU) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) K.K. Theshantha Kumarasiri emphasized the fact that despite many challenges over the years, Sri Lanka has remained strong and resilient. He further envisaged more partnerships with Africa, particularly with the host country, Ethiopia, and other African countries. The Ambassador further highlighted the anticipated commencement of Ethiopian Airlines to Colombo in the near future in view of further expanding the existing relations in the spheres of trade, investment, and tourism cooperation.
The Head of Mission extended his gratitude to the sponsors who contributed to the Embassy in organizing the celebration of Independence Day, namely, Jay Jay Textiles PLC, Indo-chine Apparel PLC, Hirdaramani Knit, Dankotuwa Porcelain PLC, Nature’s Beauty Creations Limited, Heritage Teas (Pvt) Ltd, Siran Clothing PVT LTD, Hansa Flora, and Ethiopian Airlines, together with well-wishers from a large number of individuals, including the Sri Lankan community in Ethiopia.
The Ambassador invited participants to visit Sri Lanka to have a lifetime experience, which the Embassy is determined to facilitate. A promotional publication titled “Splendid Island – Wonders of Sri Lanka: A Historical Perspective” prepared by the Embassy was presented to each participant together with a packet of pure Ceylon tea donated exclusively by Heritage Teas (Pvt) Ltd. on the occasion of the Independence Day celebrations of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Ethiopia. The souvenir was presented in a traditional gift bag, designed and donated by the Sri Lankan citizens working in Indo-chine Apparel PLC in the Hawassa Industrial Park, Ethiopia
While recognizing the long-lasting friendship that Sri Lanka maintains with the host country, Ethiopia, other African countries, and other countries in the world, the Ambassador of Sri Lanka extended his gratitude to the invited guests for their gracious presence at the celebration in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Sri Lanka.