New Year Celebrations in Israel HE the Ambassador of India as the Chief Guest and HE Sri Lankan Ambassador as the Guest of Honor

Annual New Year celebrations took place at Gan Sacher Ground in Jerusalem attended by a large number of Sri Lankans and invitees. Indian Ambassador H.E. Mr. Jaideep Sarkar was the Chief Guest and the Hon. Counsel of Sri Lanka in Palestine- Mr. Michael Shomali, Hon. Consul of Sri Lanka in Jerusalem - Mr. Ehud Rassabi, Chairperson of Israel – Asia Chamber of Commerce -Mrs. Anat Bernistein Rich were among the special invitees. The ceremony was full of events including "Kotta Pora" fighting on the plank with pillows, and many items that were featured throughout the day. A large crowd of Sri Lankans and others gathered to take part in the traditional Avurudu sports and activities followed by the musical show.

Indian Ambassador during his speech reiterated the strong long inseparable connections between the two friendly countries and commended the developments and economic progress of Sri Lanka with the dawn of peace and the stable government. He said Cricket has bonded us together and commended the performances of the cricketers and the victory in sports and progress in all other areas. Presents were given away by the two Ambassadors and the other invitees present.

Sri Lankan Ambassador stressed the long relationships and friendships between the two countries noting Lord Buddha’s visits and the close friendship between King Dharmasoka and King Devenampiyatissa and introduction of Buddhism and the development of our culture since then and the economic, social, religious and political bonds between the two friendly nations. He also emphasized to Sri Lankan migrant workers the importance of saving methods and money management through the State Banks instead of using other illegal methods and getting into difficulties. He said Rs. 250 million currently remitted could be doubled if all the money earned is sent to help the economy to flourish and assist the development programs.

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