COLOMBO : The Palestine embassy in Colombo lit up the whole embassy with Christmas illuminations under the patronage of Reverend Archbishop Brian Udaigway Ambassador of Holy See in the presence of Palestine Ambassador, Dr. Zuhair Hamdallah Dar Zaid,at the Palestine embassy in Colombo on Sunday,Dec.11
Guests of Honor were ,Rev Father Jude Fernando, Parish Priest , St Jhosep Church , Grandpas , Rev Father Jude Krishantha, Communication national Director, CNC Sri Lanka ,Mrs. Stephanie Sri Wardana ( Miss Universe Sri Lanka 2011 ) and Mr. Dushyanth Weeramann and Rev. Father Sagara Perera from the Anglican Church of Ceylon
Christian Priests from Catholic and Anglican churches, Principal & teachers of the Ceylon school for the Deaf & Blind Ratmalana, Parents , Embassy Staff and friends and well-wishers of Palestine.were among those who were present.
Hisham Butaha , First Secretary of the Palestine Embassy, Mousa Al Sos , Attache at the Embassy were also present.
The evening programme commenced with the lighting up of the Christmas tree at the embassy which brightened up the entire mission with colorful illuminations.
An oil lamp form Bethlehem and the Christmas tree was lit up by the Chief Guest followed by Christmas carols recited by:Carol team of Students from Ceylon School for the Deaf & Blind and Carol team of Grand Vox Kids Group, Negombo
Gift packs were distributed to all the students from each carol team. A Special Song for peace in Palestine was sung by Mrs. Stephanie & Dushyanth .Vote of thanks was proposed by Ms. Khairy Cader
Full text of the Palestine ambassador’s speeh : “We are very honored, to have you all with us this evening, at this auspicious occasion, to light the Christmas tree, in celebration of the birth of the beloved, Jesus Christ, Peace be upon him.
We convey our warm wishes, to all brothers & sisters, of this great country Sri Lanka, who celebrate Christmas at home with families and loved ones. I take this opportunity, to extend our heartfelt wishes to you all, on behalf of the State of Palestine, its People, from occupied Jerusalem, Bethlehem & many other holy places in Palestine. Indeed, this is the time we have to pray for all humankind, who suffered during these difficult times, and May God Almighty heal the world, and protect us all.
Palestine is the sacred birthplace of Jesus Christ, Peace be upon him, and sacred to all followers of the 3 monotheistic Religions. This bond of faith, and friendship, reinforces our belief, and unites us all. We hope, we will continue to overcome all obstacles, by creating a peaceful, and happy environment, to practice our faith, despite all the difficulties we are facing.
When we light the Christmas tree here in Colombo, we should remember what our people are going through, those who lost their lives, those who have had their homes destroyed, whose lands were confiscated and who are behind bars, our homeless people, our refugees, in and out of Palestine and the continued suffering in the Gaza strip.
But we are a strong people, that love life, and despite all the suffering, we in Palestine, celebrate the Holy birth, starting from Bethlehem to Jerusalem, Nazareth to Ramallah and many other places, with hope for peace, and our eyes gazing with longing towards all our holy places in Palestine, and are here to express solidarity, and to celebrate the lighting of the Christmas tree.
We take this opportunity to sincerely thank the President, H.E. Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister Hon. Dinesh Gunawardena, Foreign minister Hon. Ali Sabry, the government and people of Sri Lanka, as a moral and ethical people who are united regarding their support for Palestine.
May the spirit of Christmas be with you all, wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and inshallah see you all in an independent free Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital.”