Dear Mr. Patrick Rodrigo, President of SLIFA,
Esteemed Members of SLIFA,
Ladies and gentlemen,
A very good evening to you all!
First of all, I believe that we should
congratulate SLIFA for organizing this auspicious event. And we also should thank
Mr. Patrick Rodrigo and the organizing committee for preparing it.
Allow me to convey brief two points about our
gathering now. The first is about our relation so far. One of many important
missions of the Embassy is to maintain and promote friendly relation between
SLIFA has cooperated with us in that mission,
ever since its establishment in 1992. I assume that we as traditional partners
will continue to work together in many synergic efforts. And I am certain that
Mr. Rodrigo and I share the optimism to see you all participating in the
efforts in the future.
It is important to maintain and improve this
cordial friendship. But with this pace of cooperation, I retain my fervent hope
that SLIFA will remain active on grass-root activities for that objective.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The second point is about friendship. Friendship
among two peoples entails efforts towards understanding among the individuals. We
have different language and culture, let alone other influencing circumstances
and interests. Therefore it requires bridging conversation.
It fascinates me that such different peoples
can appreciate art. Art is well beyond any barrier of language, culture and even
emotional baggage. Art is universal language. And it is an excellent language
for the promotion of understanding among peoples, including us. And our
gathering this evening is the evidence of it.
I personally find Sri Lankan art very interesting.
Sri Lankan music and dances are vibrant and energetic. The moves and beat are
bold. The cuisine is defining such notable features. And to my astonishment,
the word “batik” here is famous merchandise like in Indonesia.
This evening, you will have a music performance
by Indonesians. It is a medley of Indonesian traditional, popular music,
representing the varying background of Indonesian people.
It represents the character of Indonesian
music nowadays: a blend of tradition and modernity. We move with the world, but
still we retain our values, holding it dearly. One of the important values is friendship
or social harmony, the very spirit behind Indonesian national motto “Bhineka
Finally, I wish to bid all of us a very
wonderful evening, gathering here as friends. Thank you.