Sri Lanka’s First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa speaking at the ‘Sri Lanka – the Wonder of Asia’ cultural evening organised in Beijing said that the cultural interactions provide a perfect setting to develop peace, harmony and friendship between countries and that through this concert, it is Sri Lanka’s intention to present to the people of Beijing a glimpse of the rich and diverse cultural traditions of Sri Lanka.
Enchanting the guests present with a glimpse of the wonders of Sri Lanka and her timeless culture and civilisation, this event was organised for the fourth consecutive year on 10 March 2011 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Beijing. It was a celebration of the National Day of Sri Lanka and the 54th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China.
The Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs Hu Zhengyue who represented the Chinese Government on this occasion commended the efforts by the Government of Sri Lanka to further strengthen the close bilateral relations between China and Sri Lanka.
The popular dance troupe of Channa-Upuli Performing Arts Foundation brought to life in a spectacular show the ancient and contemporary dance forms of Sri Lanka. The delectable spice infused Sri Lanka cuisine served by the Chef from the Hilton Colombo further enhanced the magic of the evening.
A display of Sri Lanka’s niche products, such as pure Ceylon tea, gemstones and tropical fruits of Sri Lanka were attractively arranged at the foyer combined with displays from independent travel bloggers of China who often educate the Chinese public about Sri Lanka on their blogs.
In recognition of the social and community services done by the All China Women’s Federation and in appreciation of the remarkable support extended by them to uplift the livelihoods of underprivileged Sri Lankan women and children, the Sri Lanka Embassy presented a cash donation of RMB 50,000 to Meng Xiaosi, Vice President of the All China Women’s Federation who was present at the occasion.
The evening was also used as a platform in recognising the community services done with the leadership of the First Lady by presenting her charity organisation ‘Siriliya Saviya’ with US$ 50,000.
Apart from creating a positive atmosphere to enhance mutual understanding and goodwill between people of both countries, the evening was also a catalyst in imparting further positive momentum to the consolidation of bilateral friendly ties between Sri Lanka and China. Speaking at the event, Ambassador Karunatilaka Amunugama stated that Sri Lanka, under the guidance of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, has now embarked upon a multipronged strategy initiating a whole series of socio-economic development activities bringing prosperity, unity and harmony to the people of Sri Lanka.
Adding that China is featured prominently amongst many other friends of Sri Lanka, he appreciated the unwavering support by China in protecting Sri Lanka’s interests and in developing Sri Lanka’s vital infrastructure.
“There is so much scope for a strong partnership with China in light of her unrivaled competitiveness and the limitless potential,” noted the Ambassador. He also thanked the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, SriLankan Airlines and well-wishers for the assistance extended in presenting the cultural evening.
The event was well represented by a distinguished gathering of over 500 special invitees comprising diplomats and senior officials of the Chinese Government, the business community, tourism and Chinese media.