Sri Lanka embassy opens in Bahrain
Manama, April 4, 2013
Sri Lanka has opened its first fully operational embassy in Bahrain, which will work towards boosting ties between the two countries and support its 20,000-plus community members.
The embassy was up and running following months of delays, newly appointed Sri Lankan Ambassador Anura Mudiyanselage Rajakuruna was quoted as saying by our sister publication, the Gulf Daily News.
"We are functioning as an embassy, although a formal opening is yet to take place as we need to complete certain formalities," said Rajakuruna.
"We are also waiting for more staff members, but we are fully operational now and community members can call and visit us at the embassy. We have opened our doors in Bahrain for the first time, and we are hoping to fulfil the needs of our community."
Campaigners have been urging the country to open an embassy in Bahrain for years as its consular services were carried out at the Sri Lankan Club in Manama, while diplomats from the embassy in Kuwait regularly visited to hold open days.
Sri Lankan honorary consul-general P B Higgoda said the date for the official opening has still not been confirmed.
According to Indian news channel NDTV, former Bahrain resident and Sri Lankan actress Jacqueline Fernandez reportedly played a role in her country's decision to open an embassy.
Fernandez, who was crowned Miss Sri Lanka in 2006 and made her acting debut in Bollywood in 2009, moved to Bahrain when she was three.
The embassy is located in Mahooz, opposite the Egyptian Embassy. – TradeArabia News Service