Sri Lanka envoy unveils welfare plan for island’s expat workers

Updated 05 February 2016
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Sri Lanka envoy unveils welfare plan for island’s expat workers

RIYADH: Sri Lankan Ambassador Azim Thassim told his countrymen in the Kingdom that his mission has chalked out a 20/20 plan to promote bilateral relations with the Kingdom and to work for the welfare of the island’s 500,000 workers in Saudi Arabia.
The envoy was addressing the Sri Lankan community on the occasion of his country’s 68th anniversary of its Independence Day on Thursday.
A large gathering of the Lankan community, including schoolchildren and Saudi businessmen, graced the colorful ceremony organized by the mission.
Around one-third of the Sri Lankan population of 1.5 million overseas workers are concentrated in the Kingdom.
Expatriates from all walks of life were present at the morning function to meet and greet one another on this auspicious occasion.
Thassim, who also re-launched the mission’s website with new features, said the website will give an insight into the activities of the mission. “It provides a portal to learn about the facilities and services rendered by the mission for the welfare of workers.”
The envoy called upon his community members to build up the various projects earmarked during the next five years.
“We need professional help in social, cultural, economic and educational fields from our countrymen in the Kingdom,” he said, stressing that the expatriate community can help the country as well as the host country in their march toward national development.
He also announced that in addition to the two community schools in Riyadh and Jeddah, the mission has received a license to operate another school in Dammam. “Arrangements are being made to open this school during the new academic year,” he added.
To begin the day’s event, the ambassador unfurled the national flag amidst the beat of drums (Magul bera). Then community members joined the choir of the Sri Lankan International School in Riyadh to sing the national anthem. It was followed by the recital of Jayamangala Gatha and observance of two-minutes silence in memory of fallen heroes. “This was done as a mark of respect to all those, who sacrificed their lives for the sake of the nation,” the envoy said.
Speaking further, the ambassador noted that the new government under the leadership of President Maithripala Sirisena, supported by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, is working hand-in-hand to create a new political culture, economic system and communal harmony in the country.
“Good governance (Yahapalanaya) is the motto of the present government. Following the end of the war, we had massive development drives and projects. Around half a decade later, now the country is led toward the marvelous goals of good governance and social justice where significant paradigm shifts in social, economic and political arenas are at their dawn,” he concluded.
In Jeddah, acting Consul General M.S.M. Ansar, hoisted the national flag at the consulate. More than 100 expatriates in the western province were present at the morning function to meet and greet fellow Sri Lankans.
Typical Sri Lankan dishes were served to guests at both the functions held in Riyadh and Jeddah. They included kiribath with katta sambol, kevum, dodal and kokis.


Massive Saudi response overwhelms German musicians

German artists perform at Goethe-Institut in Riyadh on Tuesday night. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 13 December 2018
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Massive Saudi response overwhelms German musicians

  • German Ambassador Jorg Ranau hosted a concert at his residence in the diplomatic quarter

RIYADH: German musicians on tour in Saudi Arabia said they were “astonished” by the response to their concerts.
The artists played six gigs over 10 days at multiple venues.
On Tuesday evening in Riyadh the Goethe-Institut hosted Birgit Erichson and Vasil Laghidze, who performed Schubert’s “Winter Journey.”
The lyrics, by Wilhelm Müller, were recited in German by Claudia Ziegeler and — in a world premiere — in Arabic by the Saudi poet Dr. Adel Khamees Alzhrani.
“We are astonished at how the audience in Riyadh and Jeddah responded,” said pianist Laghidze. “We got overwhelming support from music lovers. The audience here is very enthusiastic.”
On Monday German Ambassador Jorg Ranau hosted a concert at his residence in the diplomatic quarter.
Laghidze and cellist Erichson were joined by violinist Ulrich Beetz, with the trio delighting a national and international gathering with music from Haydn, Schubert and Dvorak.
An embassy press officer told Arab News the musicians were well-received amid “thunderous applause.”
The French Consul General El-Mostafa Mihraje hosted the trio’s performance of an all-Debussy concert, including the famous Clair de Lune, played under the stars.
Other venues for the visiting artists included the German diplomatic missions in Riyadh and Jeddah, the French Consulate General in Jeddah and the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, a research institute in Thuwal.