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8,000 Sri Lankans mark New Year in Qatar

The Sinhala and Tamil New Year was celebrated by the Sri Lankans in Qatar last Friday on a grand scale with the participation of over 8,000 Sri Lankan expatriates.

The event was organised by the Sri Lankan Co-ordinating Committee (SLCC) and the Sri Lankan Embassy.

Sri Lankan Ambassador S.B. Atugoda was the chief guest. The programme began with the hoisting of the national flags of Qatar and Sri Lanka.

Events including 100 metres, 1,500 metres, 4x100 relay and traditional items like kotta pora, kamba adeema, kana mutti bidima, raban tharangaya, avurudu kumari and fancy dress for teenagers and adults were held.

Doha-based local band Strangers, led by drummer Nuwan Douglas Samarakoon with actress Himali Sayurangi and singer Bandula Wijeweera, who were specially flown in by SriLankan Airlines entertained the gathering. Children also presented dances.

Senior Manager Foreign Currency Banking Unit, Seylan Bank Sri Lanka Prasan Perera, President, Sri Lankan Community Benevolent Fund Ranjith Wijekoon, President, Sri Lankan Business Council Chelliah Srikanth, Head of Operations, Doha Bank Aruna Fernando, SriLankan Airlines, Country Manager Milinda Balasuriya.

First Secretaries at the Sri Lankan Embassy AG Abeysekera and A Dharmakulasingham, SLCC President Lenny Cramer, General Secretary Ruwan Lankeshwara, Chief Co-ordinator Nimal Tudewatte and embassy staff also attended.

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