(MENAFN - The Peninsula) By Fazeena Saleem / The Peninsula
DOHA: The Sri Lankan mission in Doha hosted a diplomatic reception yesterday to celebrate the country's 70th Independence Day, at the Sheraton Grand Doha Resort & Convention Hotel. Minister of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs H E Dr Issa bin Saad Al Jafali Al Nuaimi; Minister of Municipality and Environment H E Mohamed bin Abdullah Al Rumaihi; Director of the Protocol Department Ambassador H E Ibrahim Yousif Abdullah Fakhroo and Sri Lankan Ambassador to Qatar, ASP Liyanage graced the celebrations.
They were joined by Heads of Missions, representatives of various organisations and members of the Sri Lankan community.
A cake cutting ceremony was also held as part of celebrations. Further, on behalf of Sri Lankan government, Award of Excellence was presented to Ambassador Fakhroo in recognition of his service. Also two prominent Sri Lankans were honoured during the event in recognition of their contribution to the society.
Addressing the guests, Liyanage said that bilateral relations between Qatar and Sri Lanka were further enhanced with the recent visit of President Maithripala Sirisena, during which seven agreements in different areas were signed. 'Sri Lanka, under the present government, has built excellent international cooperation in all areas...We have developed a strong bond with Qatar, he said.
He also thanked Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani for the opportunities given to Sri Lanka.
A short documentary on the diversity and beauty of Sri Lanka was also screened for the guests.
On February 4, Sri Lanka marked its 70th anniversary of Independence and several events are being held in Doha to celebrate the occasion.
Around 120,000 Sri Lankans are employed in Qatar. The diplomatic relations between the two countries were established in 1976.