Embassy of Sri Lanka holds roadshow to promote tourism, strengthen relations

Oman Tuesday 09/July/2024 20:14 PM
By: Times News Service
Embassy of Sri Lanka holds roadshow to promote tourism, strengthen relations

Muscat: The Embassy of Sri Lanka together with Sri Lanka Business Council Initiative (SLBCI) successfully hosted the Sri Lankan Roadshow – 2024 for the first time under the theme of ‘Serendib the Golden Island’, promoting Sri Lankan Culture, Tourism, and Trade, on 5 July 2024 at the Oasis Mall, Muscat.

The event was arranged for showcasing Sri Lanka as a premier travel destination to attract tourists during the summer vacation in Oman as well as to portray its vibrant culture and trade

With the active participation of the Sri Lankan expatriate community in Oman, the event created a lasting impression among Omanis and expatriates alike, fostering cultural exchange and strengthening bilateral ties.

The event commenced with the welcoming of Chief Guest Sri Lankan Ambassador Sabarullah Khan by beating the traditional drums and a procession of Sri Lankan children representing its multiethnic groups.

The procession led to the ribbon cutting ceremony followed by lighting of the traditional oil lamp which opened the floor for the roadshow.

Subsequently, an introductory video was played showcasing Sri Lankan culture, trade and tourism followed by the opening remarks by the Counsellor/Head of Chancery Anodya Chirasrie.

Sri Lankan traditional Puja dance, called ‘Mangalam’ dance was the opening performance to seek blessings from Gods and Mother Earth by the Sri Lankan School Muscat (SLSM) students to packed audience.

Then, the sponsors were introduced by the Emcees, followed by another traditional dance named Kohomba Hella and Ravana representing significant aspect of Sri Lankan dances.

The Kohomba Hella is the crucial part of Kohomba Kankariya, a traditional exorcism ritual in Sri Lanka meant to expel evil spirits and Ravana dance showcases the strength, power, and aesthetic interests of Ravana through traditional Sri Lankan dance movements, choreographed by teachers of SLSM Dance Club.

The inauguration ceremony was concluded with the Video Message by the Chairman, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau,  Chalaka Gajabahu, followed by special guests visiting the promotional stands at the venue.

Next segment of the roadshow commenced with the Sri Lankan history depicted up to Portuguese, Dutch and British colonisation by the Emcees with a visual presentation on screen simultaneously, followed by the Sri Lankan Calipso band, Sinhayo, performance portraying the history of the tea plantation initiation during the colonial era.

The ambassador explained the importance of organising such an event on a grand scale after the end of COVID pandemic restrictions; since the country has opened up and it will be an added advantage to promote its trade and tourism abroad.

He also mentioned that this is a good opportunity to showcase what Sri Lanka has to offer to the Omani and expatriate communities.

He mentioned the current trade balance is in favour of Oman and Sri Lanka can reduce the gap by increasing exports to Oman. He added that the Sri Lanka Business Council Initiative had been established with the aim of creating platforms to strengthen economic relationship between the two countries.

Another magnificent dancing performance ‘Chamara Dance’, choreographed by Visharad Sasikala Abeysuriya, a Sri Lankan living in Oman followed.

Currently, one can witness this form of dance at the Esala Perahera (Great Procession) Kandy, held annually to honour the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha.

There were spot questions for the Omani and expatriates at the venue and spot prizes were awarded.
Associate sponsors were interviewed followed by interview of the Sri Lanka Business Council Initiative team by the Emcees.

A dance portraying the eternal beauty and grace of Shree Krishna was performed by two Tamil students living in the Sultanate, subsequently, tasting Sri Lankan traditional sweetmeats and Ceylon tea was introduced to the audience.

The Kandyan dance, highly sophisticated and refined National dance of Sri Lanka, was performed by the students of Visharad Sasikala Abeysuriya, followed by two Sri Lankan solo songs, portraying Sri Lankan culture and tradition by Yasas Abeysuriya.

An introductory video on Sri Lankan tourism and hospitality industry was also played.

For the Arabic version of the popular ‘Manike Mage Hithe’ song, which is the first Sri Lankan song to get more than 200 million views on YouTube, sung by the famous Sri Lankan singer Yohani, dance was performed with the Arabic attire by the students of Visharad Sasikala Abeysuriya.

The second segment of the roadshow was concluded with the interviews of the Silver and Gold sponsors by the Emcees.

With the arrival of Omani officials from the Foreign and Heritage & Tourism Ministries along with the members of the diplomatic corps and the sponsors, the closing ceremony started. The welcome speech was delivered by the Ambassador of Sri Lanka.

The VIPs were mesmerised with the scenic beauty and the charm of Sri Lanka through a fascinating video, followed by the dance performance themed ‘Pearl of the Indian Ocean’ and choreographed by Visharad Sasikala Abeysuriya by children.

The audience was treated to an elegant Fashion Show, which is truly a universal language, and was witnessed to a breathtaking conversation full of colour, texture, design and Sri Lankan tradition & culture.

The stunning designs and performance were portrayed by Roshani Rajapakse, living in the Sultanate.

The cultural performances were concluded with the mesmerising dance ‘Hela Thala Rata’ which is a tale that exemplifies Sri Lanka’s proud history and opulent culture, demonstrating
‘Angampora’, Sinhalese Martial Art, traditional Kandyan dance, captivating display of ‘Gara Yaka’, a dancing performance of demon who protects from the evil-eye as to the Sri Lankan tradition, choregraphed by Visharad Sasikala Abeysuriya.

A Raffle Draw was held for the Omani and other nationals; the grand prize was all-inclusive vacation of 6 nights/7 days in Sri Lanka for two persons offered by the Green Holiday and was won by Yousuf Al-Busaidi, an Omani national and the consecutive Raffle Prizes were won by Vasanthakumar K.L, Wessam Moustafa, Arif and Lulu Al Sarji.

Over 500 Sri Lankans residing in the Sultanate and more than 500 Omanis and other nationals gathered at the Oasis Mall in Al Khuwair to enjoy the Sri Lankan authentic taste and culture.