The first ever Urdu Language Training Center in Sri Lanka was inaugurated today at an impressive ceremony in Colombo.
The Minister for National Dialogue Honourable Mr. Mano Ganesan was the chief guest at the inauguration ceremony. The High Commissioner of Pakistan in Sri Lanka Maj. Gen. (R) Syed Shakeel Hussain, State Minister of National Integration and Reconciliation, Mr. A.H.M. Fowzie, Sri Lankan Government Ministers, Ambassadors, senior government officials, Think Tank representatives and parents/friends of the students also attended the event.
The Urdu Language Center has been established by the High Commission of Pakistan as part of Pakistan Culture, Education and Urdu Language Learning Center, and it would be imparting language training to Pakistani, Sri Lankan and other expatriate students.
The Urdu Center has been named after Baba-e-Urdu Maulvi Abdul Haq in view of his vision and extraordinary contribution towards development of the modern Urdu language. The Center will provide free of cost Urdu language education to the students as the entire expenditure of the training will be borne by the Government of Pakistan. The students would only be required to pay through their hard work and dedication.
While addressing the gathering, the High Commissioner of Pakistan in Sri Lanka Maj. Gen. (R) Syed Shakeel Hussain underscored that Urdu enjoys the status of being the mother tongue of millions of people who are residing in all parts of the world. Urdu also enjoys the status of being the national language of Pakistan.
H.E. Shakeel Hussain underlined that Urdu language training will promote better understanding of Pakistan and its culture in Sri Lanka. He added that Urdu language training will not only assist the Sri Lankan students who go to Pakistan for various educational scholarships and advance learning programmes but will also prove to be a useful skill for the business community.
The Chief Guest, Honourable Minister for National Dialogue, Mr. Mano Ganesan said that Urdu Centre would be beneficial for all Sri Lanka communities to learn Urdu language and observe Pakistani culture closely. He emphasized that Pakistan has remained a close friend and partner of Sri Lanka and has helped Sri Lanka in times of crisis throughout its history.
The event also features several cultural performances by the Pakistani and Sri Lankan students, which was thoroughly admired by the participants.
The first Urdu language class for Pakistani and Sri Lankan students was held on 6th August 2015 at Pakistan High Commission, Colombo. The classes are continuing since then and the numbers of students is increasing gradually.
Historically, Urdu language developed and evolved after 8th century A.D in the subcontinent region. Urdu acquired status of lingua franca of the sub-continent during approx. 1000 year long Muslim rule over India.