News Center -TDO -An event was held at the embassy for the 72nd anniversary of Sri Lanka's independence, hosted by Sri Lanka's Ambassador to Turkey Mohammad Rizvi Hassen and his wife Husna Zamaniya Cader Hassen.

As part of the event, the flag ceremony was held first.  Then a ritual was held, which included a Buddhist, Hindu and Catholic priest and an imam, representing the 4 main religious groups in the country.

Ambassador Mohammed Rizvi Hassen, who delivered the keynote address, said: : “As we all know, Sri Lanka became an independent country in 1948, and for 72 years our journey with many challenges, obstacles and faced hard times but our resistance to the challenges that arise in various areas of showing success in many areas we are reaching. As we celebrate this day, we respect our national heroes who led our fight for freedom and respect the great sacrifices of our officers, soldiers and police officers who protected our territorial integrity from the threat of terrorism.

The people of Sri Lanka elected a new president in keeping with their long-established democratic traditions, His Excellency Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who assumed that post last November, and the Sri Lankans set out for the future in hope, peace and prosperity.

 Under the leadership and vision of the president, the Sri Lankan government will embark on a new economic development path with a commitment to protect the country's national security and stability. The new president and government stressed the importance of connecting with our international partners and improving existing bilateral relations with our friendly countries, promoting Sri Lanka's Trade, Tourism and the well-being of Sri Lankans living outside the country.

The new President, His Excellency Gotabaya Rajapaksa, and the government pledged to improve bilateral relations with Turkey to a new level. The relationship between Sri Lanka and Turkey dates back centuries.

Very efficient assistance to our honorary consul, to further strengthen the bilateral political relations, bilateral trade, investment, tourism, defence and people's improving relations with Turkey cultural, academic and student exchange program has launched ambitious initiatives and robust and also to get in touch through this mission due to Ukraine and Georgia to be accredited, Sri Lanka, Ukraine and Sri Lanka-bilateral relations with Georgia is continuing to develop. The mission also created an action plan to look after the welfare of Sri Lankans living in Turkey, Ukraine and Georgia, and established an efficient and friendly system to increase contact with the Sri Lankan community in my accreditation.

I should mention today that while Sri Lanka has established strong political ties with Turkey, it regrets that the current statistics in the bilateral trade, investment, tourism and higher education sector do not reflect our strong ties. We will therefore devote ourselves to carrying out robust plans and pursuing initiatives that reflect our true and strong ties to deliver economic benefits to the peoples of the two countries.

The embassy is working tirelessly to hold the 02nd session of the Joint Committee on economic and technical cooperation between Sri Lanka and Turkey earlier this year, pending high-level political and economic consultations between Sri Lanka and Georgia and Ukraine. We are committed to doing commercially important deals over the next few months to encourage the private sector, investors and the business community.”

At the end of the speeches, guests were offered Sri Lankan delicacies.

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