06 February 2020
On the occasion of Maldives readmission to the Commonwealth, a ceremony was held on Thursday, 6 February 2020 at the High Commission of the Maldives in Colombo. The Chief Guest of the Ceremony was the Secretary, Foreign Relations His Excellency Ravinatha Aryasinha. The ceremony commenced by recitation of Holy Quran. The national flag was hoisted by High Commissioner Omar Abdul Razzak which was followed by National Anthem.
A minute of silence was observed to our colleague late Ibrahim Asif, Second Secretary at the High Commission who passed away during the early hours of Monday morning. After the minute of silence High Commissioner Omar delivered his welcome remarks during which High Commissioner stated, that the withdrawal of Maldives from the Commonwealth deprived the Maldives from many benefits we have been enjoying for a long time. The Maldives State, including the Government and the citizens indeed suffered a lot due to this deprivation High Commissioner Omar stated.
High Commissioner furthermore, stated that with the new beginning today, today we are marking the culmination of a process that began 13 months ago, in December 2018, when His Excellency President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s wrote to the Commonwealth Secretary-General expressing the country’s interest in regaining its place in the Commonwealth family. High Commissioner Omar also thanked His Excellency President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, for ardently fighting for democracy, human rights, good governance and rule of law and sourcing multilateral diplomacy to realize our National Development Objectives.
High Commissioner Omar also expressed his gratitude to His Excellency Honorable Abdulla Shahid, Minister of Foreign Affairs and the members of our foreign service, for the sustained and unrelenting efforts for regaining membership at the Commonwealth. High Commissioner Omar further expressed gratitude to the concerned officials of Her Majesty’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office who made it an integral part of their work to pave the way for Maldives to rejoin the Commonwealth and to the Chief Guest today, Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Relations of Sri Lanka, Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha, for his tireless advocacy and open support, for readmitting Maldives back in the Commonwealth Family.
Chief Guest Secretary Foreign Relations, delivered a short remarks during which Secretary recalled Sri Lanka support shown during the process for Maldives readmission to the Commonwealth, during the Commonwealth Foreign Ministers, meeting both in London and in New York during 2019. Secretary furthermore stated that he was horrified that Commonwealth Secretariat adopting a position that there must be more to be done, another team must go to the Maldives.
After the Chief Guest Speech, High Commissioner Omar invited Chief Guest for the unveiling of the High Commission name board which was followed by a photograph. All the Commonwealth High Commissions residing in Sri Lanka attended the ceremony.