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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Celebration of 66th Independence Day of Sri Lanka in Stockholm, Sweden

The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Stockholm held the 66th Independence Day celebration at the Embassy premises on Saturday, 08th February.

The official ceremony commenced with the National Flag being hoisted by H.E. Ambassador Oshadhi Alahapperuma amidst the beating of ‘Magul Bera’ followed by the recital of the National Anthem. The Traditional Oil Lamp was lit by the Ambassador, staff members and members of the Sri Lankan community. The programme was moderated by Mrs. Rashika Gunathilake, Attaché of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Stockholm.

Two minutes of silence was observed in remembrance of the heroes who sacrificed their lives for the freedom of Sri Lanka. H.E. Ambassador Oshadhi Alahapperuma held a welcome speech, after which Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim and Christian religious observances were conducted. Most Venerable Kirindigalle Dhammaratana Nayaka Thero, the Chief incumbent of the Stockholm Buddhist Vihara and the Nayaka Thero of Scandinavian countries, Venerable Watapana Pannarathana Thero, the Chief Incumbent of the Stockholm Tapovana Temple , Venerable Mathale Dammakanda Thero and Burma Sobana Thero of the Stockholm Buddhist Vihara conducted the Buddhist religious observances. They also spoke about the significance and value of independence and the responsibility of the citizen. Mr B. Mohan, Chief priest of Sweden Ganesha Temple, Imam Abdul Haq and H.E. Fredrik Emanuelsson, Acting Bishop of Stockholm Church respectively conducted the Hindu, Muslim and Christian observances.

Adressing the gathering, Ambassador Alahapperuma stated that Sri Lanka is heading towards a new era of development under the leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and emphasized the importance of reconciliation within the communities. He said that responsibility lies on all Sri Lankans, irrespective of their ethnicity, to protect and keep united Mother Sri Lanka.  The National Day Messages of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, was read by the Ambassador. The Tamil translations of the Messages were read by Ms. Dharcica Sinniah.

Photographs by : Janaka Alahapperuma.

National Day 2014

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Vesak Pirith Ceremony at Embassy of Sri Lanka in Stockholm

On 18 May 2013, the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Stockholm held a Vesak Pirith ceremony on its premises organized with the guidance of H.E. Ambassador.

A Pirith Mandapha was constructed by the embassy staff. Most Venerable Kirindhigalle Dhammarathana, the chief incumbent of Stockholm Buddhist Vihara and chief monk of Scandinavia, Marathugoda Uparathana, incumbent of Copenhagen Buddhist Vihara, Marathugoda Manirathana, chief incumbent of the Buddhist Vihara in Oslo, Udagama Narada incumbent of the Thai temple in Dalarna and Mathale Dhammakkandha, incumbent of Stockholm Buddhist Vihara chanted Pirith from 6 p.m. Onwards.

There was alms-giving on the following morning at the Stockholm Buddhist Vihara.

 

SL Ambassador in Sweden visited Lund University

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Embassy proudly celebrated 65th Independence Day

The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Sweden held the 65th Independence Day celebration at the Embassy premises on Monday, 04th February.

The official ceremony commenced with the National Flag being hoisted by H.E. Ambassador Oshadhi Alahapperuma amidst the beating of ‘Magul Bera’ followed by the recital of the National Anthem. The Traditional Oil Lamp was lit by the Ambassador, staff members and members of the Sri Lankan community.

Two minutes of silence was observed in remembrance of the heroes who sacrificed their lives for the freedom of Sri Lanka. Minister Counselor Mr. S.B. Wijekoon held a welcome speech, after which the religious observances of Buddhist, Hindu and Islam were conducted by the most Venerable Kirindigalle Dhammaratana Nayaka Thero, the Chief incumbent of the Stockholm Buddhist Vihara and the Nayaka Thero of Scandinavian countries, who also spoke about the significance and value of independence and the responsibility of the citizen; Chief Priest Mohan of Sweden Ganesha Temple and Immam Yusuf Mulim respectively.

Venerable Watapana Pannarathana Thero, the Chief Incumbent of the Stockholm Tapovana Temple and Venerable Mathale Dammakanda Thero of the Stockholm Buddhist Vihara also joined the Buddhist religious observances.

The National Day Messages of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs were read by the Ambassador, Mr. S.B. Wijekoon and Mr. Geshan Dissanayake, Third Secretary (Commercial) of the Embassy. The Tamil translations of the Messages were read by Mrs. Prabha Shanmugabalan.

 Adressing the gathering, Ambassador Alahapperuma stated that Sri Lanka is heading towards a new era of development under the leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. He said that responsibility lies on all Sri Lankans, irrespective of their ethnicity, to protect and keep united Mother Sri Lanka.Link to the special moments of the event

Embassy hosts colourful Thai Pongal celebration

On 17th January, the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Stockholm organised a Thai Pongal celebration on its premises. The Embassy was decorated in an elaborate manner, and Ambassador Oshadhi Alahapperuma held a welcome speech where he emphasised the importance of bringing the Sri Lankan community together. Hindu priest Mohan from Stockholm Ganesh Temple then briefly explained the history and meaning of Thai Pongal and performed a religious ceremony.

Ambassador Oshadhi Alahapperuma read President Mahinda Rajapakse’s Thai Pongal message, which was also read in Tamil by Praba Balan.

Minster Councellor Mr. S.B. Wijekoon held the vote of thanks and guest Mr. Shanmuga Balan expressed his gratitude to the Ambassador and the Embassy staff for organising the event. A buffet of traditional Sri Lankan food was then served and guests and embassy staff mingled. A symbolically significant part of the celebration was that venerable Buddhist monks from Stockholm Buddhist Vihara and people from all religious persuasions in Sri Lanka were present. Link to the Picture Gallery