The High Commission of Pakistan in Sri Lanka organized a reception in connection with the celebrations of 78th National Day of Pakistan at Galadari hotel, Colombo on 29th March 2018.
Minister for Primary Industry, Hon. Daya Gamage was the chief guest on the occasion.
In his welcome address, the High Commissioner, Dr. Shahid Ahmad Hashmat shed light on the historic Pakistan Resolution, passed on 23rd March 1940 and eulogized the sacrifices and political struggle by the Muslims of Sub-Continent due to which Pakistan attained her independence on 14th August 1947. He also elaborated various aspects and initiatives by the Government of Pakistan for the socio-economic uplift of the people and for strengthening the democratic institutions in the country.
Dr. Hashmat said that Pakistan and Sri Lanka are time tested friends. The relations between the two countries are marked by mutual respect and commonality of views on major regional and global issues and close cooperation in the multilateral fora. The recent visit of Sri Lankan President, H.E. Maithripala Sirisena, to attend Pakistan National Day celebrations, as the Guest of Honour, is a testimony of strong bonds of friendship and strategic cooperation between two countries, he added.
Minister for Primary Industry, Hon. Daya Gamage, in his remarks said that Pakistan and Sri Lanka have always maintained close, cordial and mutually supportive relations which are broad-based and multifaceted. He said that the importance of collaboration between Sri Lanka and Pakistan has increased tremendously for promoting cultural, civilizational and trade dialogue. Hon. Daya Gamage thanked the Government of Pakistan for its unwavering support to Sri Lanka during difficult times, especially in devastating floods and severe drought. He also thanked the Pakistan government for provision of Urea to Sri Lanka despite heavy domestic demands.
The Pakistan Women Cricket team was also present on the occasion. The team is currently in Sri Lanka to play qualifier round of ICC Women Championship and T20 series against Sri Lanka.
During the occasion, the High Commissioner, on behalf of the President of Pakistan H.E. Mamnoon Hussain, presented Pakistan’s prestigious civil award “Sitara-i-Khidmat” to Dr. A.J.A. LakKumar Fernando for his meritorious services rendered to Pakistan in eradication of Dengue fever. Dr. Fernando is a renowned Sri Lankan Paediatrician and clinical head of the Centre for Clinical Management of Dengue and Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever (CCMDDHF), Negombo Sri Lanka.
At the end, a cake commemorating the Pakistan’s National Day was also cut by the chief guest Hon. Daya Gamage, Speaker Parliament Hon. Karu Jayasuriya and High Commissioner of Pakistan along with other ministers.
The other dignitaries who attended the reception included Speaker Parliament Hon. Karu Jayasuriya, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Minister for Commerce and Industry Hon. Rishad Bathiudeen, State Minister for National Integration and Reconciliation Hon. A.H.M. Fowzie, State Minister for Rehabilitation and Resettlement, Hon. M.L.A.M. Hizbullah, Parliamentarians, Officers of Sri Lankan armed forces, Diplomats, Government functionaries, Members of Sri Lanka Pakistan Friendship Association, Pakistan-Sri Lanka Business Council, Pakistan Alumni Society of Sri Lanka, Pakistani community and important personalities of the civil society and a large number of media representatives.