Diaspora vital for development of Sri Lanka: Consul General in Frankfurt | Daily News

Diaspora vital for development of Sri Lanka: Consul General in Frankfurt

CG addressing the audience
CG addressing the audience

An event to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of Independence of Sri Lanka, was held at the Sri Lanka Consulate premises on February 4, 2018, with the participation of a large number of Sri Lankans and friends of Sri Lanka in Frankfurt. More importantly, participation of the Tamil community in this event was very significant. The Consulate has been maintaining a good rapport with the Tamil Diaspora in Germany. To commence the proceedings of the day, Ambassador Ranjith Gunaratna, Consul General of Sri Lanka in Frankfurt, unfurled the national flag, which was followed by the singing of the National Anthem, lighting of the traditional oil lamp, religious observances, reading of the national day messages of the President and the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The special guest speaker of the event, Professor Maithri Moorthi of the South Asian Institute of Heidelberg University addressed gathering recalling the struggle faced by Sri Lankans of all ethnic groups, to free the country from the clutches of the colonial powers. Making special reference to the 1818 revolt against the colonial powers, he elaborated the display of true valour by our national heroes. Professor Maithri Moorthi enlightened the audience with historical anecdotes related to the birth of a new nation in Sri Lanka with the arrival of Prince Vijaya with a group and people from various parts of India. Some similarities that could be found between the Sinhalese language and many other languages in India, including Tamil, Teligu, Oriys (main language in Orissa) and Malayalam, were also explained by stressing the fact that it was meaningless to create divisions in society based on languages. Instead, we should acknowledge the positive influence of various languages and cultures on Sri Lanka, he asserted. This would be significantly helpful in narrowing the gulf between the Sinhalese and the Tamils. Citing the Ramayana, he explained, that although Prince Rama depicted Sri Lanka as a golden Island, he opted to return to India after the great battle with King Ravana, as his motherland was the most precious place in the world for him. This concept was also applicable to Sri Lankans living abroad as well.

Ambassador Gunaratna, in his brief address to the gathering, emphasised the need for the Sri Lankan Diaspora to positively engage with their motherland. He further stated that “Sri Lanka Diaspora is a strong body that could protect and promote the vital interests of Sri Lanka abroad. It was also their duty to effectively influence the happenings in Sri Lanka, accentuating the need for radical changes in some fields, especially science and technology.”


 

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