‘World should take note of Lanka’s positive accomplishments’
Sri Lanka once again takes its rightful place in South Asia after
suffering decades of terrorism on the world stage, both in terms of its
economic potential and political profile. We want the world to take note
of what is being accomplished in the country and the hand of friendship,
support and understanding to be extended to our people, Sri Lankan
Ambassador in Germany Sarath Kongahage said.
He said, “This will enable our nation to march forward, complementing
the efforts of the rest of the world and contributing towards economic,
social and political advancement on the basis of our vibrant democracy.”
A Sri Lankan dance presentation at the event.
Ambassador Kongahage was speaking at a Sri Lanka Cultural Evening at
the Berlin International Economic Congress 2013 on March 7.
The Berlin International Economics Congress 2013 organized by the
Institute of Cultural Diplomacy (ICD), an international organization
with headquarters in Berlin, took place under the motto - “Intercultural
Relations, Youth Development Advancement, Environmental Responsibility,
Ecotourism: Opportunities for Successful Nation Branding in the 21st
Century”. Keynote speakers from all continents discussed a better future
for their countries and the world.
On March 7, a Sri Lanka Cultural Evening organized by the Sri Lankan
Embassy took place in the framework of the Congress. The keynote speech
was delivered by Ambassador Sarath Kongahage. Managing Director, Sri
Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau Rumy Jauffer and SriLankan Airlines
Deepal V. Perera made presentations.
The event was opened by Diplomatic Council Secretary General Hang
Nguyen, an international think-tank headquartered in The Hague.
Ambassador Kongahage highlighted that Sri Lanka has a written history of
more than 2000 years. The Ambassador elaborated the multitude of
historic links between Sri Lanka and Europe.
He mentioned that Sri Lanka and Germany were celebrating the 60th
anniversary of diplomatic relations in 2013.
Rumy Jauffer highlighted the potential of tourism in Sri Lanka. He
mentioned that tourist arrivals in Sri Lanka crossed the 1-Million-mark
in 2012 with German tourists ranked third. He further said that the
island still has a great potential with all parts of the island
including the North and East of the country now being accessible and
developed as tourism destinations. He invited all present to visit Sri
Lanka in the near future.
Deepal V. Perera, detailed the history of the national carrier of Sri
Lanka. He highlighted the function of Sri Lanka as a trade hub in the
Indian Ocean as well as tourism destination. He proudly announced the
opening of the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport in Hambantota as
the second international airport in Sri Lanka on 18th March and
explained that tourists could reach many exciting destinations on the
Southern Coast, including the old city of Galle and the Uduwalawe
National Park, from there.
The keynote speeches were accompanied by cultural presentations of
Sri Lankan traditional dancers. Almut Jayawera, a German national, who
studied Kandiyan dancing in Sri Lanka, presented a Kandiyan dance item
and explained the dance forms to the audience in Sinhala and German
Anjali Dissanayake, Malki Gamage and Romessi Silva performed a folk
dance, which enthralled the audience with a Bharatha Natyam dance by two
President and Founder of the Institute of Cultural Diplomacy Mark
Donfried thanked Ambassador Kongahage for organizing a fascinating show
of Sri Lankan culture as a part of the Berlin International Economic
Congress. He described the keynote speech of the Ambassador and the
presentations as both enlightening and informative. He said that on this
evening every participant had had the chance to become an expert on Sri
He mentioned the appearance of the Sri Lankan dancers as a true piece
of cultural diplomacy.
A large crowd of guests from culture, business and diplomacy was
present throughout the event, among them Hans B. Sicat, President, CEO
of The Philippine Stock Exchange, Inc., and Lord Jack McConnell, Member
of the House of Lords and Former First Minister of Scotland.