Sri Lanka at 76: Celebrating Unity in Diversity

Sri Lankan Business Council extends its heartfelt wishes to all Sri Lankans on this momentous occasion of the 76th Independence Day

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The SLBC members at the AGM 2023.
The SLBC members at the AGM 2023.

Published: Mon 5 Feb 2024, 10:23 AM

As Sri Lanka marks its 76th Independence Day, it is a momentous occasion to reflect on the nation's journey, celebrate its achievements, and reaffirm our commitment to a future of unity, peace, and prosperity. From the struggles of the past to the aspirations of the future, each year adds a new chapter to Sri Lanka's rich history and culture.

Sri Lanka is optimistic of a bright future ahead after a brief period of turbulence since Covid-19. The UAE’s interest in Sri Lanka as a destination for investment is increasingly becoming evident. Tourism from UAE is yet another booming sector for Sri Lanka, being just four hours away with multiple flight options.

“We, at Sri Lanka Business Council are optimistic that Sri Lankans in the UAE will continue to make the nation proud with their contribution here in the UAE in Trade, culture and social wellbeing of the communities," said Riza Muhammed, Chairman at Sri Lankan Business Council.

Sri Lankan Business Council (SLBC), formed in 1992, under the umbrella of the Consulate-General of Sri Lanka in Dubai and Northern Emirates and now functions under the Dubai Chamber of Commerce. Being one of the oldest councils, it was founded with the core focus to facilitate the growth of trade and tourism between Sri Lanka and the UAE, while supporting the business community to make its presence felt in the country. Furthermore, the organisation aims to capitalise on the opportunities that are available to Sri Lankan community and to help them improve their trading activity. Over the last 2-3 years, we have seen an influx of entrepreneurs from Sri Lanka establishing businesses in Dubai and UAE which showcases the confidence the city enjoys around the world.

Preserving Cultural Heritage

Sri Lanka's cultural diversity is one of its greatest treasures, encompassing a blend of traditions, languages, and religions. Independence Day serves as an opportunity to celebrate this diversity and reaffirm our commitment to preserving and promoting our unique cultural heritage for future generations to cherish.

Ladies Wing of the SLBC.
Ladies Wing of the SLBC.

Advancing Democracy and Governance

In the 76 years since gaining independence, Sri Lanka has made significant strides in consolidating its democratic institutions and principles. Despite challenges, the nation has remained steadfast in upholding the values of democracy, rule of law, and human rights, laying the foundation for a more just and equitable society.

Promoting Economic Development

Independence Day also provides a moment to reflect on Sri Lanka's economic progress and the challenges that lie ahead. As we navigate the complexities of a globalised world, there is a renewed focus on fostering innovation, entrepreneurship, and sustainable development to ensure a brighter future for all Sri Lankans. As SLBC, we have continuously strived to create opportunities for networking between entrepreneurs in both markets. Last year, we successfully concluded a ‘business connect’ event and we will continue to do many more similar initiatives.

BizConnect Sri Lanka June 2023 held by SLBC.
BizConnect Sri Lanka June 2023 held by SLBC.

Looking Towards the Future

As we celebrate Sri Lanka's 76th Independence Day, let us rededicate ourselves to the ideals of unity, diversity, and progress. Let us draw inspiration from the past as we chart a course for the future, mindful of the challenges that lie ahead but confident in our ability to overcome them together as one nation.

The relationship between the UAE and Sri Lanka stands as a testament to the power of mutual respect, and shared interests. Over the years, these two nations have forged a strong and enduring partnership that extends across various sectors, contributing to economic growth, cultural exchange, and regional stability.

Economic Cooperation: The economic ties between the UAE and Sri Lanka have blossomed, with bilateral trade and investment reaching new heights. The UAE is one of Sri Lanka's key and largest trading partners in the middle east, with significant investments in infrastructure, hospitality, and renewable energy sectors. This collaboration has not only created opportunities for economic growth but has also facilitated technology transfer and skill development.

Cultural Exchange: Cultural exchange forms an integral part of the UAE-Sri Lanka relationship, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation of each other's heritage. In the recent past, we have seen cultural initiatives, including art exhibitions, music festivals, and culinary events, which have served to strengthen the bonds of friendship and cooperation between their peoples.

People-to-People Contacts: The UAE is home to a large Sri Lankan expatriate community, whose contributions to the country's development and prosperity are widely recognised and appreciated. These individuals serve as ambassadors of goodwill, fostering greater understanding and cooperation between the two nations through their daily interactions and cultural exchanges. For many, Dubai and UAE have become their home away from home and they are proud and keen to be part of this vibrant society

On this auspicious occasion, let us come together as proud Sri Lankans to celebrate our nation's resilience, diversity, and unity. As we raise our flag and sing the national anthem, let us reaffirm our commitment to building a brighter future for generations to come, guided by the principles of freedom, democracy, and peace while continuing to play our role for the success of this great city and country - UAE.

Happy Independence Day to all Sri Lankans! May our nation continue to prosper and flourish in the years ahead. Ayubowan Sri Lanka.

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