Republic of Fiji Island establishes Honorary Consulate in Sri Lanka
Monday, 28 October 2013 01:22
Dr. Parakrama Dissan-ayake, Chairman/CEO of Aitken Spence Maritime and Cargo Logistics and Director of Aitken Spence PLC, was commissioned as Fiji’s first Honorary Consul General in Sri Lanka by Yogesh J Karan, High Commissioner of Fiji on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Fiji Islands at a reception held at The Kingsbury’s Victorian Hall on 22 October 2013.
The Chief Guest of the event was the Minister of Justice Rauff Hakeem and the dignitaries who attended the event included ministers, MPs, ambassadors, judges, the Attorney General and a galaxy of business leaders.
41 years of cordial relations
Speaking at this event the High Commissioner of the Republic of Fiji Islands, Ambassador Yogesh Karan said, Fiji Islands and Sri Lanka established its formal diplomatic relations in September 1972 and during its 41 years of cordial relations both Fiji and Sri Lanka have benefitted greatly.
“Moreover, Fiji also became a member of the Colombo Plan Secretariat in the same year contributing progressively to the development and advancement of the organisation. He further said that it marks a historic era in our diplomatic relations as we will witness the commissioning of our first Honorary Consul General in Sri Lanka.”
He also said: “We would like to pay a special tribute to the Government of Sri Lanka for accepting Fiji’s request to establish the Honorary Consulate in Sri Lanka. Reciprocating through our Consulate office in Sri Lanka, I am very optimistic that the two countries will further strengthen and consolidate diplomatic, business and social networks and friendship between the Government and people.”
“In January this year Fiji assumed the Chairmanship of the Group of 77 plus China for 2013 and is honoured to progress South-South cooperation agenda on a mutual development platform.”
Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem said the Republic of Fiji had shown tremendous resilience in the wake of adversity to progress and development and was pleased to witness the new constitution which was unveiled recently. He was very impressed with the rights and obligations enshrined in the Constitution.
Deshamanya Harry Jayawardena, Chairman of numerous public listed companies in Sri Lanka including Aitken Spence PLC speaking on behalf of the business community said he was very pleased to witness the progress made by Aitken Spence in the first every public private partnership forged in the Republic of Fiji Islands. The lightning speed at which decisions are made facilitates and encourages foreign direct investments, he said.
Hub of the South Pacific
Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake, the first Honorary Consul General in Sri Lanka in his acceptance speech said that he was honoured by the confidence that the Government of the Republic of Fiji Islands have placed in him. He said the glaring example between the countries were that, whilst Sri Lanka has emerged as the gateway to South Asia, Fiji Islands continues to be the hub of the South Pacific.
He further said that the establishment of an Honorary Consulate office would promote bilateral interests, trade and investment between both countries. In his quest looking for untapped potential markets, he had stepped into Fiji in 2012 April and within a span of less than 18 months what both countries have achieved by way of a public private partnership and the establishment of a Honorary Consulate office proves the pace at which decisions are made in Fiji Islands.