India Foundation hosted a Farewell Dinner in the honour of the outgoing High Commissioner of Sri Lanka, Mr Esala Weerakoon. The dinner was attended by Mrs and Mr Weerakoon, High Commissioners, former diplomats and Members of Parliament, among others.
Delivering the welcome remarks, Ambassador G Parthasarathy noted that Mr Weerakoon was an accomplished diplomat and traced the journey of Indo-Sri Lanka ties from strategic to dimensions beyond that. He expressed his admiration for Sri Lanka’s Human Development Index (HDI) and said that India had a lot to learn from it. He wished the outgoing High Commissioner all success as he takes over as his country’s top diplomat.
In his address, Mr Weerakoon expressed joy at being hosted by India Foundation, which incidentally came after the felicitation dinner hosted in honour of visiting Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. He remarked that Buddhism is the greatest gift that Sri Lanka has got from India and expressed satisfaction on the pace of progress made in political and economic ties of the two nations. He fondly recalled his visit to Sanchi where he noted that the Mahabodhi Society of Sri Lanka and the Archaeological Survey of India are joint custodians of the relics.
Mrs Weerakoon called herself a “Dilliwaali” having spent almost 17 years in India. She hoped that they would come back to her first home, Delhi, once Mr Weerakoon finishes his assignment in Sri Lanka and thanked India for its hospitality.