Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha has said, over the 70 years since Independence Sri Lanka has never shied away from taking its fair share of responsibility in the UN system, which has helped Sri Lanka build an image as a moderate, and progressive partner, able to bridge differences and build consensus.
He said Sri Lanka continues to give leadership on a wide range of issues such as disarmament, migration, human rights, health, intellectual property, science and technology and international trade policy.
Ambassador Aryasinha made these observations when he addressed representatives of the diplomatic community, UN and other international organizations based in Geneva and friends of Sri Lanka, at a ceremony held to celebrate Sri Lanka’s 70th Anniversary of Independence, at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) recently.
The centerpiece of the Geneva celebrations was an exhibition titled ‘Facets of Sri Lanka’, conceptualized and organized by the Sri Lanka Permanent Mission in Geneva, in collaboration with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
The exhibition comprised 7 ‘facets’ – a narrative ‘Reflections of Sri Lanka’s Foreign Relations’, depicting how Sri Lanka’s strategic location in the vital maritime routes in the Indian Ocean between East and West has enabled Sri Lanka to remain connected to the rest of the world.
Ongoing cooperation the Mission enjoyed with the Geneva-based UN and other international organizations, is featured in ‘Sri Lanka in Geneva’. Sri Lanka’s traditional knowledge and natural assets, as well as its renowned geographical indicators, was introduced under the facet ‘Intellectual Property Assets of Sri Lanka’.
“Visit Sri Lanka” provided a glimpse of the touristic attractions that await prospective visitors and the very dynamic and competitive ecosystem geared for business in “Buy and Invest in Sri Lanka”. Guests were invited to taste an array of traditional Sri Lankan cuisine in “Flavors of Sri Lanka'” and to enjoy an evening filled with enchanting performances by the National Dance Ensemble of Sri Lanka choreographed by Ravibandu Vidyapathy in “Rhythms of Sri Lanka”.
A commemorative publication built around the 7 themes was also launched at the event.
Ambassador Aryasinha said while showcasing Sri Lanka’s historical and natural assets and abundant talent, ‘Facets of Sri Lanka’ was an opportunity to salute the work done by all the previous Ambassadors and staff who served in the Mission in Geneva, Sri Lankans in the International Civil Service and other Missions in Geneva, colleagues from diplomatic Missions, the UNOG, UN agencies, WTO and other international organizations, who over the years, have supported Sri Lanka, and contributed to Sri Lanka’s standing in Geneva.
Separate stalls for Ceylon tea, spices, handicrafts, handlooms, Ayurveda products, Ceylon ceramic and Sri Lankan gems and precious stones including blue sapphires and jewellery made of precious stones were displayed at the event.
The cultural performances depicting Sri Lankan traditional dancing and drumming added color to the event. Qatar Airways code sharing with Sri Lankan Airlines drew a raffle providing a free return air ticket to a diplomat. Guests were hosted with Sri Lankan traditional dinner.