Official Inauguration of “Knowing Sri Lanka” program in the state of Kerala

“Knowing Sri Lanka” program, an initiative of Honorary Consulate of Sri lanka in Kerala, targeting the student community in the state was officially unveiled in the presence of a large gathering on Wednesday, October 01, 2014 at the SMV High School in the capital city, Trivandrum. The event was graced by several distinguished dignitaries including the Chief Minister of the State.

Inaugurating the event Hon. Ommen Chandy, the Chief Minister of Kerala, commended the Sri Lankan honorary consulate for its efforts and expressed the hope that this would turn out to be a prelude for increased co-operation between the two nations and the State in particular. He further expressed the wish that the Sri Lankan honorary consulate come out with other measures, which would ensure increased participation of the State in the island nation. He also stated that there are striking similarities between Kerala and Sri Lanka and that the Consulate should strive for extending the area of co-operation in trade, commerce and culture too. The presence of the honorary consulate at Trivandrum could be utilized to achieve this objective, he added.

Hon. Abdu Rabb, the Minister of Education, termed this initiative as the first step in bridging the gap between the students of both the countries. He opined that it is only by way of increased co-operation that the next generation could get to have a better understanding of the outside world at a young age and that this program is a pointer in the right direction.

Hon. Shashi Tharoor, the Member of Parliament for Trivandrum constituency and the former HRD State Minister, advised the students to take this as an opportunity to enrich their knowledge and cultural background. Dr. Tharoor expressed the hope that the establishment of the Consulate turns out to be a harbinger for increased co-operation between the two countries on all fronts. He added that Kerala shares a lot in common with Sri Lanka and the need of the hour is to organize and put in place such programs to ensure the synergy is made full use of. The island nation rich in cultural heritage and tradition, he told the students to assess and analyze the cultural perspectives and to make full use of this opportunity to widen their intellectual horizon.

The Deputy High Commissioner of Sri Lanka for Southern India in Chennai Mr. Sabarullah Khan, who participated at the event, stated that Sri Lanka was looking forward to further enhancing relationship with Southern India. He emphasized the people to people contact especially among the younger generation who would make a great impact in furthering our relationship.

Mr. Ameerajwad, Minister & the Head of Chancery of the Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission in Chennai spoke about the relationship between Sri Lanka and Kerala in historic perspective and emphasized the importance of promoting this traditional relationship between Sri Lanka and Kerala. He also added that the present initiative would help to create awareness of this relationship among the youth and enhance interaction in the future.

Mr. Joemon Joseph, the Honorary Consul of Sri Lanka in Kerala, took this opportunity to thank the Chief Minister and other guests for their support in setting up the Sri Lanka Hony. Consulate in the State of Kerala. He spelt out the details of the program, which involves selection of students from the various schools in the State of Kerala who are selected including by way of a quiz program to go on a free tour to Sri Lanka, along with their teacher. He added that the teachers should help the students in assimilating the culture of the island nation. Terming this program as the first step in allying the bogey doing the rounds, the students and the teachers will now be able to assure themselves that Sri Lanka is one of the most peaceful nations in the world today.

He also added that several moves are on the anvil to boost trade and commerce between the State and the island nation and that the measures would be implemented to achieve that end.

A booklet titled “Knowing Sri Lanka-wonder of Asia” was released by Hon. Shashi Tharoor, MP and Hon. Abdu Rabb, the Minister of Education of the State of Kerala.

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