OIC chief to visit Sri Lanka

Updated 29 September 2014
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OIC chief to visit Sri Lanka

The head of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) will visit Sri Lanka on an invitation from Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, according to a senior official from the Sri Lankan Embassy.
Iyad Madani, OIC secretary-general, is due to visit the country shortly.
“This is the first time such a visit is being made to Sri Lanka and we are really proud of it,” the official said, pointing out that an advance team will go to Colombo shortly to make preparatory arrangements for Madani’s visit.
Sri Lanka has applied for observer status in the OIC.
Last month, the island’s ambassador, Mohamed Hussein Mohamed, met Madani in Jeddah to discuss the program for the secretary general’s visit to Colombo.
The four-member delegation from the OIC is expected to chalk out the program in coordination with the ministry of External Affairs in Colombo.
Arab News learned that in addition to his meeting with the country’s president, Madani would hold meetings with religious organizations in the island to get first hand knowledge of the current position of the minorities in the island.
In a letter addressed to the Sri Lankan government, the OIC earlier expressed its concerns at reports of ethnic tensions in parts of Sri Lanka following violence, which has affected Muslim community members and their businesses, particularly in the central province of Buwelikade.
The OIC has also pointed out that it has full confidence that the government of Sri Lanka is taking appropriate measures to calm the situation on the ground. The organization has also expressed its willingness to explore with the Sri Lankan government the possibilities of extending humanitarian assistance to the affected communities, including refugees in the northern part of the island.
Muslims form 8 percent of the 22 million population of the island. Eighty percent of the islanders are Buddhist and 12 percent Tamil.
Meanhwhile, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly session in New York, Madani met Rajapaksa on Thursday.
Rajapaksa said that with the election of Madani to the office of the OIC secretary-general, Sri Lanka hopes to facilitate greater collaboration and cooperation between OIC countries. Madani took over as secretary-general in January 2014.
“We don’t consider Sri Lanka as outside the OIC,” Madani told Rajapaksa. Appreciating the ‘pioneering steps’ the president has taken, Madani said that the OIC has “continuous admiration” for Sri Lanka and looks forward to helping the country enhance relations with the 56-member body.
Discussing certain religiously motivated, isolated incidents that have occurred in the recent past, Rajapaksa assured Madani that his government will take immediate action to deal with any incident against the Muslim community.
“I will look after the Muslim community like my own brothers,” Rajapaksa said. The president encouraged Madani and other OIC member countries to visit Sri Lanka to see for themselves the reality on the ground and how many diverse communities coexist peacefully in the country.
Madani invited President Rajapaksa to visit Saudi Arabia again.


Betty Crocker bakes cake to help Saudi Arabia to break world record

Updated 1 min 10 sec ago
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Betty Crocker bakes cake to help Saudi Arabia to break world record

  • The cake was unveiled on Sunday at Al-Andalus Mall in Jeddah
  • It measured 112 square-meters with approximately 19,600 Betty Crocker mug cakes to make it

JEDDAH: To celebrate Saudi Arabia’s 88th National Day, a new Guinness World Records title was set today by Betty Crocker for baking the Largest mug cake mosaic in collaboration with Panda Retail Company, the leading grocery retailer in the region.
The cake was unveiled on Sunday at Al-Andalus Mall in Jeddah, measuring 112 square-meters with approximately 19,600 Betty Crocker mug cakes. It took 30 bakers almost 8 hours to create the marvelous cake and decorate it by 1900 Betty Crocker cake frosting tubs that represented the Saudi 88th National Day design on top of it before Guinness World Records adjudicator, Ahmed Jamal Jaber, officially confirmed it as the Largest mug cake mosaic ever.
“We are proud to be able to garner a world record for the 2nd year consecutively, and we would like to congratulate King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and all the people of Saudi on their 88th National Day. The idea of baking the Largest mug cake mosaic marks our appreciation and admiration to the remarkable achievements of the Saudi nation as we are strongly committed to support the dreams and ambitions of the Saudi Youth,” said Ali Shaikh, Commercial Director General Mills in the Middle East.
To conform with Guinness World Records guidelines, the Largest mug cake mosaic had to meet specific requirements set by the organization. The mosaic had to measure 112 square meters or above in order to break the Guinness World Records title. The event was attended by General Mills and Panda executives, as well as by Guinness World Records officials.
After the record was confirmed, the cake was distributed to visitors at Al-Andalus Mall and also was delivered to a non-profit organization “Saudi Food Bank.”