Gov. Gen. Payette says Sri Lanka’s diversity is amazing

Asoka Girihagama, High Commissioner of Sri Lanka, presented his letters of credence to Canadian Governor-General Julie Payette in Ottawa. (Pictures by Mahesh Abeyewardene)

Share this article


VIDEO: New Sri Lankan High Commissioner presents credentials to Gov. Gen. Julie Payette.

Governor-General Julie Payette paid emphasis to Sri Lanka’s vibrant array of cultures and reconciliation process during a ceremony to welcome Sri Lanka’s new High Commissioner Asoka Girihagama to Canada earlier this week (Nov. 13).

“Sri Lanka is pretty easy to spot from space, being an island nation of strategic importance,” said former Canadian astronaut Payette, during a presentation of credentials of ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa.

It is quite amazing to see the number of cultures, languages and ethnicities home to the beautiful island, Payette added.
Canada is home to the largest Sri Lankan expatriate (diaspora) population outside of Asia.

Governor-General Julie Payette and Sri Lanka’s new High Commissioner Asoka Girihagama are seen during a group photo session with new heads of missions.

“We can count more than 200,000 people who claim to be from Sri Lankan origin in this country that enrich our communities. Most of them live in the Toronto area and throughout the country which you will have the chance to visit,” she said, while addressing new heads of missions.

See Also: New Sri Lanka diplomat in Canada eyes trade and reconciliation

The Governor-General said, Canada will further its ties with Sri Lanka through Commonwealth to support democracy, human rights, inclusive growth and peace.

“You work with many ethnicities on reconciliation which is a very dear topic to us Canadians,” the Governor-General said.

Sri Lanka Deputy High Commissioner S. Khan and Consul General Toronto U.L.M Jauhur also attended the ceremony which welcomed the new heads of missions from Sri Lanka, Egypt, Mongolia, The Gambia and Uzbekistan.