Calling Sri Lanka a country ‘’with much potential and richness of culture’’, the Governor of the state of Salzburg Gabi Burgstaller said ‘’it is a beautiful place on earth that Austrians would like to visit.’’
She made this comment at the 65th National Day which was celebrated at Hotel Radisson in Salzburg, coinciding with the opening of the Consulate of Sri Lanka on 07th February 2013. The Governor also reiterated her commitment to strengthening the relationship between Sri Lanka and Salzburg, stating that ‘both places remain centers of tourist attraction’.
The official opening of the Consulate of Sri Lanka, headed by Mr. Gerhard Huber, the newly appointed Honorary Consul, was attended by several dignitaries in the State of Salzburg, including government officials and members of the consular corps and the business community.
Speaking further at the National Day reception, Governor Gabi Burgstaller commended Mr. Huber for the high standing and respect he enjoys in that region and in Austria. Ambassador Azeez, during his speech, highlighted the importance of the State of Salzburg to Sri Lanka and called for collaboration between Sri Lanka and Salzburg in a number of fields which have opened up for development in the country. He stated that Mr. Huber’s service to Sri Lanka, including his humanitarian assistance in the aftermath of the Tsunami in 2004, manifested his deep attachment to the country and its people, states the Sri Lanka Embassy & Permanent Mission in Vienna.
On 13th February, Sri Lanka also opened a Consulate in Bratislava, the capital city of Slovak Republic, headed by Mr. Peter Gabalec, Honorary Consul. At the reception held at Hotel Albrecht, the diplomatic and consular corps in Bratislava, officials of the Government of Slovak Republic and members of the business community, academia and media participated.
Mr. Gabalec spoke of his priorities in the work programme of the Consulate, stressing that he intended to play ‘an important role in enhancing trade and tourism between Sri Lanka and Slovakia’. Elaborating on the initiatives taken by the Government of Sri Lanka to lead the nation from peace to prosperity, Ambassador Azeez stated that rehabilitation and reconciliation as well as economic development are proceeding apace under the leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, expanding opportunities available for Sri Lankans in all fields.
These events in Salzburg and Bratislava were preceded by the celebration of the National Day on 4th of February 2013 at the Chancery of the Sri Lanka Embassy in Vienna.
The Ambassador, accompanied by Embassy staff, hosted the Sri Lankan community to a ceremony at which representatives of all faiths- Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity and Islam participated.
Following the hoisting of the national flag, singing of the national anthem and reading out of the message of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the ceremony concluded with the serving of a traditional Sri Lankan breakfast. 005/TD