Speaking at the event, Ambassador Kariyawasam highlighted the recent exponential progress in the United States-Sri Lanka relations, and thanked the people of the United States, especially those from Hawaii, for becoming partners with Sri Lanka in its challenging and transformative journey to develop as a modern democracy, integrating with the world for business and trade, in peace and friendship. Sri Lanka fully recognizes the importance of Hawaii and the institutions based in Honolulu for the further promotion of bilateral relations with the United States.
In the new Honorary Consul, Sri Lanka has found a person with the capacity and commitment to facilitate Sri Lanka-Hawaii relations to reach new heights. A resident of Hawaii for nearly 30 years, Bede Cooray is an accountant by profession and owns business operations both in Hawaii and in Sri Lanka. His commitment to local and international social responsibility and efforts to promote people to people contacts between Sri Lanka and Hawaii, are well-known. As a leading member of the Sri Lankan-American community in Hawaii, he has actively participated in many projects to assist communities, both in Sri Lanka and in Hawaii, in times of need.
Honorary Consul Bede Cooray speaking at the ceremony said, “tonight was a wonderful opportunity to bring together the Sri Lankan community and distinguished guests from the Hawaii community to celebrate our nation. I am committed for promoting more contacts between Hawaii and Sri Lanka.”
The program of the evening included religious observances conducted by the clergy, the lighting of the oil lamp by matriarchs in the Sri Lankan American community, and speech on Hawaii-Sri Lanka relations by Poet Laureate Professor Wimal Dissanayake, and traditional kandyan and hula dance performances by young performers of the Sri Lanka-American community.