Celebrating 71 years of Sri Lanka’s independence

|    Danial Norjidi    |

THE Sri Lanka High Commission in Singapore, also concurrently accredited to Brunei Darussalam, together with the Sri Lanka Association in Brunei Darussalam (SLABD) organised Sri Lanka’s 71st Independence Day celebrations in Brunei Darussalam on February 23.

According to a press release, the ceremony commenced with the hoisting of the national flag by non-resident Acting High Commissioner Omar Lebbe Ameer Ajwad and the singing of the national anthem in both Sinhala and Tamil languages. This was followed by a two-minute silence in remembrance of all who sacrificed their lives for the country’s independence, sovereignty and prosperity.

The traditional oil lamp was lit by Ameer Ajwad, President of the SLABD IM Ranasinghe, Honorary Secretary P Tehan Gunathilaka and Executive Committee Members of the SLABD.

The Independence Day messages of the President, Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs were also read out to the gathering. The President of the SLABD delivered a welcome speech while Professor Arosha Namal Senanayake spoke on the importance of the Independence Day.

Ameer Ajwad recalled the deeply rooted bilateral relations underpinned by people to people contacts between Sri Lanka and Brunei Darussalam.

Non-resident Acting High Commissioner Omar Lebbe Ameer Ajwad with guests at the event. – PHOTOS: SLABD
Non-resident Acting High Commissioner hoisting the flag
Lighting of the oil lamp

He also recollected the important roles played by a vibrant Sri Lankan community in Brunei Darussalam in various sectors and paid tribute to those who contributed for the mutual benefit of the two countries.

Highlighting potential areas for cooperation, Ameer Ajwad noted that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) being finalised between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka and Brunei Darussalam on Political Consultation will serve as a catalyst for greater cooperation between the two countries.

He invited all Sri Lankans living in Brunei Darussalam, as ambassadors of friendship and goodwill, to join hands with the high commission to contribute to elevate the existing relations between Sri Lanka and Brunei Darussalam into new heights.

Ameer Ajwad felicitated six Sri Lankan students who had excelled in their academic studies at different levels for their achievement, as well as 20 Sri Lankan professionals who had served long years in Brunei Darussalam, for their professional career and contribution for the mutual benefit of both countries, by awarding certificates of achievement and appreciation respectively.

The press release added that Sri Lankan professionals and their families in Brunei Darussalam participated in the event, which also saw members of the Sri Lankan Community stage Sri Lankan cultural performances. SLABD also hosted a dinner for the participants.