EMBASSY OF SRI LANKA PARTICIPATES AT THE VESAK PROGRAMME HELD AT THE STOCKHOLM BUDDHIST VIHARA ON 3RD MAY 2015

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Vesak is without doubt the most significant and revered religious festival commemorated by the Buddhists in Sri Lanka and the world over. In keeping with this practice the Stockholm Buddhist Vihara conducted the Vesak programme on 3rd May 2015. Large number of Buddhist devotees living in Stockholm and the neighbouring cities visited this temple, to participate at the religious activities.

Each and every member of the staff of the Embassy of Sri Lanka contributed and actively participated at the event, where by alms were offered to the Buddhist priests, to those who had observed sil and to other devotees paying homage to Lord Buddha at the temple, on the Vesak Day. Staff of the Embassy joined the other Sri Lankans in the religious activities conducted at the temple, that included offering flowers, light and incense with recitation of pali stanzas .

These events all added to the serenity of the Vesak Day celebrations.

Sri Lanka’s Participation at the Second Asian Cultural Festival in Stockholm, Sweden

cultural_event_2015The Sri Lankan Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden participated at the Second Asian Cultural Festival held on the 8th of March 2015 at the Embassy of Afghanistan in Sweden. This event was organized by the Network of Asian and North African Cultural Representatives in Sweden (NACR). The Embassies of Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan & Sri Lanka based in Sweden showcased their cultural richness in many ways by participating at this festival in Sweden.

The Second Asian Cultural Festival organized by NACR highlighted the rich histories, arts and traditions of Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka through an assortment of cultural performances and other activities. There were traditional handicrafts, food, music, songs, exhibitions, dance performances, workshops, paintings, cloths, cultural displays unique to each country that created the ambience of the richness of Asian culture . A goal of this cultural festival was to promote, educate, and share many diverse aspects of Asian cultures with the people in Sweden.

Sri Lankan stall was decorated with traditional handicrafts such as wooden crafts, silver ware, brass and copper products, handlooms, rush & reed ware and trading items such as coir products, ceramic products, soft & wooden toys, natural cosmetics, spices, tea etc. Eye catching photographs were displayed showcasing cultural heritage and natural beauty of Sri Lanka under eight main themes covering Pristine nature , Heritage, Thrills, the Wild, Bliss, Scenic beauty , Essence and Festivity . These photographs on display, attracted many visitors to the stall. The staff of the Embassy arranged delicious traditional Sri Lankan food for the visitors and none of them missed the culinary delights of Sri Lanka. In addition, Ceylon tea was served , much to the delight of the visitors at the event. There was much demand for Ceylon tea , as the visitors expressed their gratification tasting a cup of pure Ceylon tea.Furthermore, brochures on tea & Sri Lanka tourism were distributed at the Sri Lankan stall.

In addition, on stage an eight year old Isla Oceani Fernando, a Sri Lankan child living in Sweden entertained and enthralled the gathering with her performance on Sri Lankan traditional, folk dancing and singing items.

Furthermore, a short documentary film on cultural heritage combined with the natural beauty of Sri Lanka was screened and the visitors were impressed by the beauty and diversity of Sri Lanka as a tourism destination.

This festival has created many opportunities to Sri Lanka as the visitors were interested in Sri Lankan cultural materials, handicrafts, trading items . Furthermore, Sri Lanka Embassy in Sweden used this occasion to promote Sri Lanka as a tourist destination and was able to show that Sri Lanka is one of the few places in the world that can offer the travelers a combination of landscapes, scenic mountain ranges to pristine beaches, basically offering diversity within one country.

The success of this event can be attributed to the voluntary contributions made by each and every staff member of this Embassy, which was conducted on a Sunday 08th March 2015.

08th March 2015
Embassy of Sri Lanka in Stockholm

Second Asian Cultural Festival in Stockholm

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Embassy of Sri Lanka in Sweden celebrates the 67th Independence Day of Sri Lanka

web67th Independence Day of Sri Lanka was commemorated at the Sri Lanka Embassy in Stockholm on 4th and 7th of February respectively.

The celebrations on the 4th of February was arranged for the Diplomatic community based in Stockholm.   Around hundred Diplomats graced the occasion with their presence.  Hence it was a well attended programme.  Senior officials of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Sweden were also present on the occasion.  National Anthems of Sri Lanka and Sweden were rendered by the Sri Lankan children living in Sweden and H.E. the Ambassador delivered a National Day speech.  The guests were invited to a Sri Lankan traditional meal arranged by the Embassy.

On the 7th of February, Sri Lankans living in Sweden were invited for the Independence Day Celebrations.   The national flag was hoisted by H.E. the Ambassador Oshadhi Alahapperuma, followed by singing the National Anthems of Sri Lanka and Sweden,  and lighting the oil lamp.  Two minutes silence was also observed in honour of National Heroes.  The National Day Message of H.E. the President was read out by H.E. the Ambassador while the Message in Tamil language was read out by Ms. Dharcica Sinniah.

Buddhist, Hindu, Islam and Christian religious dignitaries Ven. Watapana Pannaratana Thero, Ven. Matale Dhammakkanda Thero, Kurukkal Mohan Aiyar, Immam Yusuf Muslim and His Eminence Acting Bishop Fredrik Emmanuelsson, delivered the sermons in accordance with their religious faith and blessed the nation and the people of Sri Lanka   on this occasion.

There were around hundred Sri Lankans enthusiastically participating at the event and they were invited for a sumptuous Sri Lankan meal arranged by the Embassy.

Celebrations of the 67th Anniversary of Independence – Photo Gallery
► Official Celebration
► Diplomatic Reception

 

 

Christmas Celebrations at the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Stockholm

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A pre-Christmas celebrations was held at the Embassy of  Sri Lanka in Stockholm  on 22nd  December 2014 in conjunction with Christmas festivities. The event was held amidst an atmosphere of joy and goodwill, symbolizing the religious harmony among different communities of Sri Lankans living in Sweden. Acting Bishop of Stockholm Catholic Church,  the Chief incumbent of the Stockholm Buddhist Vihara, the Aiyar of the Ganesh Temple  graced the occasion  representing  different faiths of religions  in existence in  Sri  Lanka. The event was held with the initiative of H.E. Mr. Oshadhi Alahapperuma  with the fullest cooperation extended by the  staff of the Embassy.

Following the welcome speech delivered by the Charge d’ Affaires,  the Acting   Bishop conveyed a religious sermon  reminding of the true meaning of Christmas and emphasized on  the  impending visit of Pope Francis to Sri Lanka in January 2015 ,  as a  message to the world,  on the  religious harmony  prevalent in Sri Lanka.

The highlight of the event was the rendition of Christmas Carols and the Lucia performance, (affiliated with  the Swedish culture)  presented  by the Sri Lankan children living in Stockholm,  that brought joy to those present at the event. The Sri Lankan community joined hands with  the staff of the  Embassy of Sri Lanka on   another recital of  Christmas Carols, and the songs were presented in Sinhala, Tamil, English and Swedish languages.

Christmas ambience was generated, by  setting up  the  Christmas crib and the nativity scene displayed , at the venue with the participation of the children and the youth. Gifts were distributed among all participants as a token of appreciation of their enthusiastic contribution.  The event brought together around 150 guests and they were entertained with a sumptuous Sri Lankans dinner arranged by the Embassy.

The event concluded on the note of happiness, unity among all Sri Lankans   living in Sweden looking forward for a Christmas filled with love and a New Year full of peace.
►►►  Photo Gallery

Sri Lanka Investment & Business Promotional Seminar 2014 in Stockholm

Investment_webThe Embassy of Sri Lanka in Sweden organized an Investment & Business Promotional Seminar on 27 November 2014 in Stockholm.

The Seminar was held at the IFS office Conference room in Stockholm under the theme: “Sri Lanka-the Global Sourcing Destination & the Most Attractive Investment Destination in Asia “.

The main objective of this Seminar was to promote Sri Lanka among the business and investment community in Stockholm, Sweden to attract new investments, establish new business links and enhance the current investment and business activities between Sri Lanka and Sweden. The Seminar commenced with the presentation on ‘Sri Lanka, Your Next Business Stop’ by Mrs. Thavishya Mullegamgoda, First Secretary (Commercial) of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Sweden. In her presentation, she was able to present the current developments in the external sector of Sri Lanka, highlight the specialties of the main exports and sustainability of export industries of Sri Lanka and also to show the importance of Sri Lanka as a tourist destination.

It was followed by three sector wise presentations by resource persons from Swedish companies which have already established their business and investment links with Sri Lanka. Mr. Fredrik Byrsjö, Global Support Director of IFS Scandinavia presented their company experience in IT sector with their operations in Sri Lanka over a span of years. He complemented IFS Sri Lanka by stating that, the company does not consider Sri Lanka as an outsourcing destination for IFS, but as an integral part of IFS Scandinavia. Ms. Margaretha Haglind, Marketing Manager Europe for Bogawantalawa Tea Estates PLC made her presentation on ‘Business with Sri Lanka – Experience from the Tea Sector’ while Mr. Jan Höjman, CEO of Tailor Store AB in Sweden presented his company’s experience in doing business with Sri Lanka in the Apparel sector. These representatives from the business companies, mentioned about the importance of Sri Lanka as a business and investment destination and highlighted the trustworthiness, capabilities, reliability and hospitality and the high literacy rate of Sri Lankans, as contributory factors to the success of their businesses in Sri Lanka .

Participants were impressed by the positive experience of the Swedish companies doing business in Sri Lanka and their enthusiasm was demonstrated through various queries made by them, on the possibility of making future investments in Sri Lanka. The participants had the opportunity to listen to the speakers, officially representing the Government of Sri Lanka. Ms. Chandra Ekanayake, Director General of the Department of National Budget of Ministry of Finance and Planning of Sri Lanka made her presentation on ‘current investment promotion strategies and development policies of the Government to facilitate business & foreign direct investments in Sri Lanka. Mr. Duminda Premaratne, Deputy Director (Investment Promotion) of Board of Investment of Sri Lanka made his presentation on ‘present Investment environment and Investment opportunities available in Sri Lanka. Further, their presentations provided a window to highlight the recent developments in infrastructure and tourism sectors of the country as well.

This event also created an excellent platform to the participants to discuss their issues, and to make clarifications on doing investments and business in Sri Lanka, by directly interacting with these senior officials from the Government of Sri Lanka.

This seminar was attended by investment and business entities in Stockholm such as Chambers, Business Sweden, SEB bank, Handelsbanken, International Council of Swedish Industry, the Swedish Export Credits Guarantee Board, Stockholm Group for trade and investments, KOTRA Sweden and representatives from private sector companies in Sweden, Denmark and Finland.

There was participation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden as well. For Sri Lanka, it is important to organize business and investment promotional events in Nordic countries including Sweden to attract more foreign direct investments and business links from Nordic countries, due to the fact that Nordic countries have been expanding their investment and business relations with other Asian and African countries heavily in last few years, in keeping with the current trends in the global market. These countries have new found interests in Asian and African countries, realizing their potential. Asian and African countries are no longer considered only as aid recipient countries, but also regarded as markets for investments offering inventions and innovations for the Nordic companies including Sweden.

Thus, the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Sweden is optimistic of the fact that, this seminar will bring unprecedented tangible and intangible benefits to Sri Lanka in the future.

Embassy of Sri Lanka, Sweden
27 November, 2014

PHOTO GALLERY

Sri Lanka Embassy in Stockholm celebrates “Deepavali” Festival in cooperation with the “Ganesh” Temple in Stockholm

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The Ambassador of Sri Lanka in Sweden, Mr. Oshadhi Alahapperuma, together with the staff of the Embassy, celebrated “Deepawali”, at the Ganesh Hindu Temple in Farsta, Stockholm on 22nd October, 2014.

Large number devotees of Sri Lankan origin irrespective of their cast, creed or religion joined hands together in celebrating this hallowed festival spiritually signifying the victory over darkness, good over evil and hope over despair. All those who were gathered at the Hindu Temple followed the rituals and prayed together, and partook of traditional and delicious food served on the occasion, as one Sri Lankan community.

The Chief priest of the Hindu temple Mohan Ayyar blessed all those present and wished Sri Lanka and its people of peace, prosperity and happiness.

The festival held at Ganesh Temple thus concluded, with the “Deepawali’” truly signifying a harbinger of peace, unity, understanding among all Sri Lankans, Indian & Swedish nationals attending the event and all others. ► PHOTO GALLERY

Sri Lanka’s Participation at the First Asian Cultural Festival in Stockholm, Sweden

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The Sri Lankan Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden participated at the first Asian Cultural Festival held on the 11th of October 2014 at the Iraqi Cultural Center in Stockholm. This event was organized by the Network of Asian and North African Cultural Representatives in Sweden (NACR). The Embassies of Iraq, Iran, China, Pakistan & Sri Lanka based in Sweden showcased their cultural richness in many ways by participating at this festival in Stockholm.

The first Asian Cultural Festival organized by NACR highlighted the rich histories, arts and traditions of China, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Sri Lanka through an assortment of cultural performances and other activities. There were traditional handicrafts, food, music, songs, exhibitions, dance performances, workshops, paintings, cloths, cultural displays unique to each country and that was an Asian marketplace. A goal of this cultural festival was to promote, educate, and share many diverse aspects of Asian cultures with the people in Sweden.

Sri Lankan stall was filled with traditional handicrafts such as wood crafts, silver ware, brass and copper products, coir products, batik decorations, ceramic products, rush & reed ware, soft & wooden toys etc. The eye caching oil paintings which showed natural beauty drown by Sri Lankan artist Ms. Dileepa Gunathilka attracted many visitors to the stall. The staff of the Embassy arranged some delicious traditional Sri Lankan food for the visiting crowed. In addition, Sri Lankan spices were also displayed while world famous Ceylon Tea was served to quench the thirst of the visitors at the event. Furthermore, brochures on tea, gems & Sri Lanka tourism were also distributed at the Sri Lankan stall.

In addition, on the stage, the Sri Lankan flag was raised highly by 7 years old Isla Oceani Fernando, a Sri Lankan child lives in Sweden with her traditional, folk dancing and singing items. The crowd was overjoyed by her performances. ► Full Article      ► Photo Gallery

Tourism Promotional Event at the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Stockholm – 25th September 2014

The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Stockholm, Sweden organized a Tourism Promotional Event at the Embassy premises on 25 September 2014. The event was jointly organized by the Embassy and Gränslösa Resor AB – “Journeys beyond Borders”, a travel company arranging specially designed travel tours for nature and culture loving people in Sweden.

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This event was organized as a knowledge sharing session for a group of Swedish tourists who have shown their interest to explore culture, nature and lifestyle of the people in their travel destinations. Swedish tourists attended this event are interested to meet people, enjoy daily life, historical sites, temples, national parks and the local cuisine and visit places where the tourists rarely find in their travel destinations. They believe that the greatest experience of all is meeting local people and learning about their culture.

The Deputy Chief of Mission Mrs. R.D. Rajapakse welcomed the audience and mentioned about Sri Lanka-Sweden relations in the past. In this event, the Embassy of Sri Lanka highlighted the rich ambience of Sri Lanka’s glorious history, cultural heritage, Sri Lankan cuisine and lifestyle of Sri Lankans and showcased why this exquisite Island in the Indian Ocean is truly a paradise and miracle destination for tourists by a presentation done by the Commercial Secretary Mrs. Thavishya Mullegamgoda.

On the other hand, Mr. Håkan Lindström, a Swedish friend of Sri Lanka lives in Sweden made a speech about Sri Lankan history and shared his experiences on lifestyle of Sri Lankans with the audience. Further, Ms. Lotta Borgiel, Managing Director and Ms. Maud Anderson, tour leader of Gränslösa Resor AB- Journeys beyond Borders in Sweden also made speeches and presentations on Sri Lanka.

In addition, this event was become colourful by a Sri Lankan traditional dance event on Kandy perehara and a song about tea pluckers and Ceylon tea performed by Isla Oceani Fernando, Sri Lankan child lives in Sweden. The participants also had the opportunity to taste some of the traditional Sri Lankan sweets and Ceylon tea during mingle.

The Swedish tourists group who participated at this event was impressed by the combination of cultural and natural richness of Sri Lanka after the presentations and speeches made at this event. According to the Swedish tour company who has joined with the Embassy to organize this event, it was a wonderful afternoon and the guests truly enjoyed it. They believe the gathering who presented at this event will visit Sri Lanka and they will spread the message to the word as well. It was a very fruitful event and a good way to promote Sri Lanka tourism in Sweden. This tourism promotional event highlighted what these kind of Swedish tourists expect to the fullest as it showcased the best of Sri Lankan hospitality and cultural richness.
For Sri Lanka, it is important to organize tourism promotional events in Nordic countries including Sweden to attract more Nordic tourists, because as per the current trends in the global tourism market, Nordic countries are the third largest outbound travel market in Europe. Nordic travelers spend more than US$ 20 billion on travelling each year. Currently, travel spending per capita in the Nordic countries is among the highest in the world, far surpassing spending in Germany and UK. Nordic tourists spend 90% more money than the average European tourist on food, accommodation and attractions while on holiday as the level of income in the Nordic countries is generally high.

Embassy of Sri Lanka, Sweden
25 September, 2014

New Honorary Consul Generals of Sri Lanka for Denmark and Estonia and an Honorary Tea Commissioner for Sweden appointed

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The Letter of Appointment as the Honorary Tea Commissioner of Sweden handed over to Mrs. Margaretha Haglind by H.E. tha Ambassador Mr. Oshadhi Alahapperuma. Second Secretary/ Head of Chancery Ms. S.D. Medhavi Peiris and First Secretary/ Commercial Ms. Thavishya Mullegamgoda also in the picture.

The Commissions of Appointments were handed over by the Ambassador to the newly appointed Honorary Consul Generals of the Kingdom of Denmark and the Republic of Estonia at an official ceremony at the Embassy on June 27, 2014.

Mr. Peter Nielsen Grøndahl would perform as the new Honorary Consul-General of the Kingdom of Denmark while Mr. Vallo Paal Jr as the new Honorary Consul of the Republic of Estonia.

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The Letter of Appointment as the Honorary Tea Commissioner of Sweden was also handed over to Mrs. Margaretha Haglind. The newly appointed Honorary Tea Commissioner would promote Ceylon Tea with a view to expand market share in Sweden in coordination with the Sri Lanka Tea Board and the private sector.

The Letter of Appointment as the Honorary Tea Commissioner of Sweden was also handed  over to Mrs. Margaretha Haglind. The newly appointed Honorary Tea Commissioner would promote Ceylon Tea with a view to expand market share in Sweden in coordination with the Sri Lanka Tea Board and the private sector.

Poson Dansala 2014 – Organized by the Embassy at the Stockholm Buddhist Vihara

A ‘Poson Dansala’ was organized by the Sri Lanka Embassy in Stockholm in parallel to the Poson Day Programme at the Stockholm Buddhist Vihara on June 15, 2014.  Many participants including Hindu and Catholics  were present at the occasion.

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The Chief Incumbent of the Stockholm Buddhist Vihara, Venerable Kirindigalle Dhammaratana Nayaka Thero praised the Ambassador and the Embassy staff for taking the initiative to organize a Dansala at the Temple.  Special feature of this Dansala was that only Sri Lankan food was served. This is the second Dansala organized by the Embassy.

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