Sri Lanka nominates new ambassador to KSA

Updated 18 March 2014
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Sri Lanka nominates new ambassador to KSA

The Sri Lankan government has nominated former Colombo Mayor Mohamed Hussain Mohamed as the new ambassador to its embassy in Riyadh.
Mohamed Hussain Mohamed will succeed Vadivel Krishnamoorthy, who has been nominated as ambassador to the Lankan mission in Kenya.
Hussain Mohamed is the son of former Sri Lankan Speaker Haniffa Mohamed, a founding member of the Constituent Council of the Muslim World League in Makkah.
The ambassador-designate has also served the Western Provincial Council as its elected member. Currently, he is the vice president of the Colombo Islamic Center, which is affiliated to organizations such as the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), Muslim World League, Organization of Islamic Conference and the Karachi-based World Muslim Congress.
During his mayoralty stint from 1989 to 1991, he also served as vice president of the Asia Pacific Union of Local Authorities.
Sri Lanka set up its embassy in Jeddah in 1983 with Dickman De Alwis as its first charge d’ Affaires, where subsequently in 1993, the Saudi government reciprocated with a mission in Colombo appointing Abdullah Al-Zahrani as its charge d’ Affaires. Later in 1985, the Lankan embassy moved its location to the capital, Riyadh.
Former ambassadors of Sri Lanka in the Kingdom include the late M.R.M. Thassim, late A.L.M. Hashim, late Cader Markar, Izzat Ahamed, Javid Yusuf, Nowfel Salih Jabir, Ibrahim Sahib Ansar, A.M.J. Sadiq, late A.A.M. Marleen and Ahmed A. Jawad, who departed recently.
Outgoing Ambassador Krishnamoorthy was earlier attached to the External Affairs Ministry as its director general for the South-East Asia and SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation).
His last overseas posting was as the deputy high commissioner for Sri Lanka in Chennai, south India. He succeeded Ambassador P.M. Amza who completed his three-year posting here and moved to London as the deputy high commissioner and is now the island’s ambassador to Brussels.
Krishnamoorthy had earlier served as high commissioner at Dhaka (Bangladesh) and completed his three-year term before he was cross-posted to Chennai.
He hails from Nuwara-Eliya, (also known as little London) and did his schooling at the prestigious Hatton Highlands College.
He holds a degree from the University of Peradeniya followed with a postgraduate diploma in Educational Management and Master of Arts in Foreign Affairs and Trade from Monash University, Australia.
Krishnamoorthy carries a rich experience of over 33 years of public service, which includes more than 20 years in Foreign Service where he held a wide range of posts. He was in Bangladesh (2006-09).
Before that he was the Director-General of the UN and Multilateral Affairs Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for two years (2004-06).
He also attended the 60th United Nations General Assembly Session in New York and the Board of Governors Meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna.
Krishnamoorthy had earlier served in The Netherlands (2001-04) and China (1992-97).
While serving as the Minister Counselor at the Embassy in The Netherlands, inter alia, he functioned as the deputy permanent representative to the Organization of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
He has also worked as the director of East Asia desk, deputy chief of protocol (1999-2001, assistant director/ West desk (1992) and director of the Sri Lankan Institute of International Relations (2004-06).
Krishnamoorthy is married with two daughters. He speaks Tamil, Sinhala, English and Chinese.


Hajj 2018: What’s on pilgrims’ bucket lists

Masjid Quba in Madinah is a favorite destination for Hajj pilgrims, according to tour guides. Below: The Cave of Hira, Al-Baqi’ cemetery and the Prophet’s Chamber allow visitors to step back in time. (Getty Images)
Updated 15 August 2018
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Hajj 2018: What’s on pilgrims’ bucket lists

  • A number of companies in Makkah and Madinah help people organize their trips, making sure they cover the important sites in the two holy cities
  • Most of the sites in the two holy cities are spiritual, giving pilgrims a sense of the prophecies

RIYADH: Hajj is one of the biggest dreams of every Muslim’s life, and pilgrims looking forward to their stay in Makkah and Madinah say a bucket list is the best way to plan the trip. 

Most of the sites in the two holy cities are spiritual, giving pilgrims a sense of the prophecies. Standing in the places of the Holy Prophet transports them back to the past as if they lived those incredible moments. 

A number of companies in Makkah and Madinah help people organize their trips, making sure they cover the important sites in the two holy cities.

Sayed Shafei, an operation manager for City Sightseeing, a tour company in Madinah and worldwide, told Arab News: “We offer a special tour with a multilingual tour guide presented in eight languages. We also offer 24-hour tickets. We have scheduled tourism trips starting from the Prophet’s Mosque to 12 destinations every 30 minutes. The whole trip lasts for 14 hours a day.” 

Asked about the most popular requests, Shafei said: “Our customers always ask to visit Masjid Quba, the Sayed Al-Shuhada Mosque in Uhud, which is considered a vital historic landmark of Madinah, and Al-Qiblatain Mosque.” 

Most of the group’s customers are from East Asia, but many also visit from Kuwait, Bahrain, the UAE, Indonesia, Malaysia, the US and Europe.

Munirah Al-Jebreen, an English instructor at Princess Noura University who will perform Hajj this year, told Arab News her bucket list began with an online search. 

“I found a travel guide on Google that has all the best sites in Madinah and Makkah, so I decided to visit Uthman ibn Affan’s Farm and Well in Madinah, the Holy Qur’an exhibition, and one of the most important places I want to visit is the grave of the Holy Prophet,” she said.

The area between the Prophet’s Chamber, which holds his grave, and the Mimbar is known as the Rawdah, which is actually the Garden of Paradise. It is presently distinguished by a green carpet.

Al-Jebreen also listed some of her planned tour destinations in Makkah, including the Cave of Hira, where the Holy Prophet meditated frequently during the first 40 years of his life and the site of the first revelation. 

She will also visit Bilal Mosque and Mount Abu Qubais and, finally, will try Al-Garmushi, one of the famous traditional restaurants in Makkah.