French National Day Celebrations 2019 [fr]
Speech of the ambassador
Honorable Minister, My dear Malik, your Excellencies, distinguished guests representing the government and authorities of Sri Lanka, dear colleagues and friends!
I thank you for being here tonight to show your commitment to France and to this date which marked the desire, on the 14th of July 1789 to promote, in a world that at that time did not really share these values, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity.
After the terrible attacks of Easter Sunday, I wish you, my fellow citizens and to Sri Lanka and all its inhabitants to be able to protect human life in all circumstances and to continue with a peaceful mind, the work of reconciliation and development that has been undertaken since the end of the conflict.
In fact, I would like to link this evening with the national motto of French Republic: Liberty-Equality-Fraternity. These are beautiful words but ambitious and hard to reach. For 230 years, we have been trying everywhere and always to fulfill the goals of our revolutionary forefathers.
And for more than 70 years now, we share with Sri Lanka our resolution to move forward in search of Freedom, Equality and Fraternity.
It goes through many actions that we implement together.
Major water and sanitation projects are underway with French companies in Matale and on Kelaniya River; other projects financed by the French Development Agency are progressing in Jaffna, Moratuwa and in addition to that, AFD supports the development projects in the field of agricultural sector in Batticaloa District and Fisheries sector on the South coast.
In terms of investments, Michelin has now become a major Sri Lankan exporter after the acquisition of CAMSO.
Many french-sri lankan couples have established small and medium companies thus contributing to the growth of the country. This is a wonderful way to illustrate, through a family, the association of our two countries.
I would also like to mention the French Spring Festival, organized for the past 8 years by the Embassy of France and the Alliance Française de Kotté and Kandy with the support of the Sri Lankan Ministry of Cultural Affairs and many sponsors. This reception will close this year’s French Spring Festival. A series of cultural events took place in Colombo and in Kandy which marks the proximity of our two countries with artists coming from France. This year, we welcomed a DJ, a street artist, musicians playing together like Shani Diluka and the two talented fellow artists who delighted us during their concert. Shani Diluka, a wonderful pianist lives in France, but has not forgotten Sri Lanka and at the time of Easter attacks she was the first to call us to reconfirm her venue.
Tonight we have again two French musicians with us to show our will to share culture and art.
So, I invite you to look to the future with confidence and bearing in mind those words of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity which, everywhere, must mark the relations between all human beings. With them we will remain respectful of these essential values, traditional in Sri Lanka, that bring us all together tonight, attention to nature, preservation of environment and protection of human life.
Quelques mots pour terminer en français pour mes compatriotes présents :
Je vous remercie d’être présents ce soir pour montrer votre attachement à notre pays et à cette date qui marque la volonté de faire triompher les valeurs de notre devise nationale : Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité. Il était important que toute la communauté française inscrite à Sri lanka et aux Maldives puisse être invitée ce soir. Comme je l’ai indiqué plus tôt, vous êtes souvent à la tête de PME franco-sri lankaises et pour beaucoup vous avez durement ressenti les effets des attaques sur le tourisme. Je pense que peu à peu les choses vont revenir vers la normale et je veux en portant ce toast vous saluer comme les représentants de cette amitié franco-sri lankaise.
Let me again thank you all for your presence especially our sponsors and all my colleagues from Embassy and Alliance Française de Kotte.
Let me make a toast to the Franco - Sri Lankan friendship
Colombo 14 July 2019