Lankan ambassador bids farewell to KSA

Updated 08 July 2014
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Lankan ambassador bids farewell to KSA

The outgoing Sri Lankan ambassador says he developed good relations with Saudi officials during his stay in the Kingdom particularly closer trade and tourism ties.
Vadivel Krishnamoorthy will be leaving for Nairobi on Tuesday to take up his appointment as his country’s ambassador in Kenya. Hussein Mohamed, the former mayor of Colombo, is the new ambassador to the Kingdom.
“It has been a matter of great satisfaction that I was able to maintain good relations with officials from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Labor and Interior ... and religious leaders,” he said.
He said that one of the challenges he faced was working with Saudi officials during the Kingdom’s labor correction campaign.
“Our embassy was able to correct the status of 22,000 undocumented Sri Lankans under the generous amnesty granted by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah.”
He said there are about 550,000 Sri Lankan workers deployed in the Kingdom, the largest number in the Middle East. There are 1.5 million islanders working in the Middle East.
He said his achievements include promoting Sri Lanka as a tourist destination and ensuring that the Kingdom remained a destination for those citizens seeking work abroad.
“In addition, my embassy was able to transform itself to ensure quick delivery of services. I am happy to note that Sri Lanka and Saudi Arabia have signed an agreement to streamline recruitment and protect the rights of both employers and domestic workers.”
He said the agreement ensures a minimum wage, set working hours, paid holidays and a dispute resolution mechanism.
He said the Sri Lankan community in the Kingdom, particularly those with good jobs, worked closely with the embassy to help fellow workers in need.
The mission is working on a road show to improve bilateral relations in investments, tourism and trade in Riyadh, Dammam and Jeddah in October. Plans are underway to initiate the Saudi-Sri Lanka Business Council, he said.
Prior to his posting here, Krishnamoorthy, a senior career diplomat, was attached to the External Affairs Ministry as its director general for Southeast Asia and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).
His previous overseas posting was as the deputy high commissioner for Sri Lanka in Chennai, 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 in Brussels.
Krishnamoorthy had earlier served as high commissioner at Dhaka in Bangladesh before he was posted to Chennai.
He hails from Nuwara-Eliya, known as Little London, and had his schooling at the prestigious Hatton Highlands College. He holds a degree from the University of Peradeniya and a post-graduate diploma in Educational Management and Master of Arts in Foreign Affairs and Trade from Monash University, Australia.
Krishnamoorthy has over 33 years in public service, which includes more than 20 years in the foreign service. He was in Bangladesh from 2006 to 2009. Before that he was the director-general of the United Nations and Multilateral Affairs Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for two years from 2004 to 2006. 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 in Vienna.
Krishnamoorthy had earlier served in the Netherlands from 2001 to 2004 and China from 1992 to 1997. While serving as the minister counselor at the Embassy in the Netherlands, he functioned as the deputy permanent representative to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
He had also worked as the director on the East Asia desk, deputy chief of protocol from 1999 to 2001, assistant director on the West desk in 1992 and director of the Sri Lankan Institute of International Relations from 2004 to 2006.
He is married, has two daughters, and speaks Tamil, Sinhala, English and Chinese.
The Sri Lankan community hosted a farewell for him, followed by a party arranged by the embassy’s officials. Krishnamoorthy also hosted an iftar on Monday for all Sri Lankans in the Kingdom.

Blurb:
His achievements include promoting Sri Lanka as a tourist destination and ensuring that the Kingdom remained a destination for those citizens seeking work abroad.


Leading monitor of crucial events in the Saudi Arabia for 100 years: Umm Al-Qura newspaper

Umm Al-Qura was the first newspaper to be published during the time of Saudi Arabia's founder.
Updated 21 May 2018
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Leading monitor of crucial events in the Saudi Arabia for 100 years: Umm Al-Qura newspaper

  • It was the first newspaper to be issued at the time of the Kingdom’s founder, King Abdul Aziz
  • Al-Ahmadi clarified that the newspaper’s first issue was published in December 1924

MAKKAH: It is considered one of the most important and prestigious Saudi Arabian newspapers. 

It has witnessed crucial decisions in the country, observed the history of the region throughout a century, recording details of life in the Kingdom becoming a reference for historical decisions and events.

Umm Al-Qura’s Editor in Chief Abdullah Al-Ahmadi said the newspaper has the support and supervision of Minister of Culture and Information Dr. Awwad Al-Awwad, who has harnessed all the resources for its modern launch. Al-Ahmadi clarified that the newspaper’s first issue was published in December 1924.

It was the first newspaper to be issued at the time of the Kingdom’s founder, King Abdul Aziz. The headline in the first issue of the newspaper was “The Makkah Declaration,” and this story was accompanied by news and official statements.

Al-Ahmadi said that the paper continued its coverage during World War II, although its presses did stop for a period of up to eight weeks in 1924 before King Abdul Aziz ordered paper to be imported and printing to resume.

Umm Al-Qura’s first editor in chief was Sheikh Yusuf Yassin, who was followed by Rushdi Malhas. Both figures held diplomatic positions during King Abdul Aziz’s reign, along with Mohammed Saeed Abdul Maksoud, Fouad Shaker and Abdul Quddus Al-Ansari.

Al-Ahmadi added that the newspaper has monitored the personal stories of the Kingdom’s kings, giving precise details of the historical and political events of the last century. He added that it has the full Saudi archive and it has become a historical reference for history, the economy and politics.

Al-Ahmadi said the newspaper was a combination of news, sports and social events during 30 years of its foundation. It had adverts on some pages, reflecting the region’s identity and local, economic and cognitive dimensions.

Al-Ahmadi said that with its launch, the newspaper formed the memory, aspirations and ambitions of Saudi Arabia. It was the only media platform in which the world explored the local news, along with the cultural, educational and economic news. 

It covered their advocacy of the crucial decisions — notably the Palestinian cause that Saudi Arabia has defended since the time of its founder.

Umm Al-Qura’s editor in chief said his main concern, along with his former colleagues in the newspaper’s management, was its development and relaunch, pointing out that a number of challenges have been overcome. 

The newspaper has been developed across the board — from layout and content to its brand logo and colors, he said.

Al-Ahmadi added that new and modern printers have been provided, and the newspaper has improved in line with technical and modern changes. 

He said the government also helped restore the back issues damaged by moths.

The operation was carried out by specialized experts who supervised the whole operation to protect the issues from getting lost. All issues were archived online and missing issues are being updated, he added.

Al-Ahmadi said that the newspaper’s website will provide a digital media platform for the documentation process, giving integrated information about the newspaper.

Al-Ahmadi said the newspaper has a website archive for researchers and academics. 

He added that a large number of master’s and doctorate degrees as well as surveys took place with the help of the newspaper that has become a historic reference for scholars and researchers.