Minister for Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine, Rajitha Senaratne and the High Commissioner of Pakistan in Sri Lanka Maj. Gen Syed Shakeel Hussain jointly inaugurated Pakistan’s Food, Shopping and Cultural Festival with Painting and Photographic Exhibition at Water’s Edge Hotel on November 27.

The event was attended by several important personalities from the Sri Lankan business and trade sectors along with Sri Lanka-based diplomatic corps and a large number of people from different walks of life.

The High Commissioner speaking on the occasion said that Pakistan has a rich cultural diversity as the country is largely multilingual, multi-ethnic and multicultural. The primary aim to organize the festival was to introduce rich Pakistani food, diverse goods and commodities being produced in Pakistan to the Sri Lankan people.  He further emphasized that such exhibitions will not only promote the soft image of the country but also promote the national talents in the field of paintings, photography and other forms of art at international level.

Pakistan High Commissioner Shakeel reiterated that the government of Pakistan is making all out efforts to multiply the volume of two-way trade between the two regional countries.

Minister Senaratne said that exhibitions and festivals are a proven tool to promote bilateral trade and economic relations between the two countries. He said that large participation of the Sri Lankan public at the festival was enough to make the point that the people of Sri Lanka are great lovers of Pakistani products and food.

The Festival in the vibrant city of Colombo would be remembered for a long time. Pakistani cuisine was a specialty at the event as Sri Lanka has a big majority of eastern food lovers and Pakistani food and its taste is not new to their taste buds.

Painting and Photographic Exhibition is also a component of this colourful Festival. The exhibition showcased masterpieces of famous Pakistani painters and photographers who were specially flown to Sri Lanka to highlight the real image of Pakistan.

Pakistani instrumentalists kept the visitors spellbound. The festival also displayed Pakistani quality products including home textiles, footwear, garments and apparel, handicrafts, traditional food, rice and fashion wear.

Concurrently, the High Commissioner and the Minister for Health attended an induction ceremony of Dr. Lakkumar Fernando as the new President of the Sri Lanka College of Pediatrician. The congratulatory video message of Pakistan’s Chief Minister of Punjab Province, Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif was also played on the occasion.

Through video message, the Chief Minister of Punjab not only congratulated Dr. Lakkumar Fernando as being inducted as new President of the college, but also paid tribute for the services he rendered along with a team of Sri Lankan doctors to control the dengue outbreak in the Punjab Province in 2010 and 2011.

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