The Official Ceremony on 4th morning was held with the participation of the SAARC Ambassadors, Sri Lankan community and well-wishes. The event commenced with the hoisting of the National Flag by the Ambassador Sumith Dassanayake. The Programme included; rendering of the National Anthem both in Sinhala and Tamil, followed by two minutes silence in remembrance of all who sacrificed their lives for the nation and lighting the Oil Lamp by the guests. Following Ambassador’s welcome address, the National Day Messages of President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana were read out in all three languages.
The reception on 6th evening was attended by the Ambassadors, senior officials of the Ethiopian Government and the African Union Commission, business leaders, members of the Sri Lankan community and media personnel.
Addressing the invitees, Ambassador Sumith Dassanayake highlighted the progress made by Sri Lanka over the years in diverse fields, in particular during the last year. Ambassador also referred to the strengthening of bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and Ethiopia and also with the other countries in the African Continent after the establishment of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Ethiopia, in February 2017. Ambassador also requested Ethiopian, African and other investors to make use of the opportunities available in Sri Lanka for Foreign Investment. The Ambassador Dassanayake also recognized the contribution of the Sri Lankan community in Ethiopia towards Sri Lanka’s economic development.
Conveying the greetings of the Government of Ethiopia, Tsegab Kebebew, Director General of Asia and Oceania Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia said that Ethiopia looks forward to have greater cooperation with Sri Lanka in political, economic, tourism and cultural fields in the near future.
At the end, a short video depicting Sri Lanka’s cultural and tourist attractions was shown to the audience.