Ambassador Devinda R. Subasinghe meets President Bush following Iftaar dinner at the White House

Sri Lanka's Ambassador to the United States Devinda R. Subasinghe was among the Ambassadors and Muslim Leaders in the US who were invited by President George W. Bush to attend the Iftaar dinner hosted by the US President at the White House on Wednesday November 10, 2004. The event is held annually to celebrate Ramadan - a month of fasting, prayer, worship and contemplation. Sri Lanka also was included among the President’s invitees at the 2003 Iftaar dinner.

Addressing the gathering, President Bush said, “as we gather during this holy month, America is stronger and more hopeful because of the generosity and compassion of our Muslim citizens. Our nation is safer and more prosperous because we have a close relationship with our Islamic friends around the world. And tonight we honor the traditions of a great faith by hosting the Iftaar dinner here at the White House.

Noting the political transition in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Presidet remarked, “the elections in Afghanistan and Iraq will be counted as landmark events in the history of liberty. And America will always be proud of our efforts to bring liberty and hope to those nations. Freedom is not America's gift to the world; freedom is the Almighty God's gift to each man and woman in this world.”

President Bush assured that over the next four years, the US will engage in efforts to ensure freedom for more men and women in the broader Middle East by working closely with the leaders in that region. The President paying homage to the late Sheik Zayid, the founder of the United Arab Emirates said, “he was a wise leader and America joins the people of the UAE in honoring his memory.”

Ambassador Devinda R. Subasinghe in his meeting with President Bush, Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Adviser and Secretary of State Designate Dr. Condoleezza Rice, was assured of continued US support for Sri Lanka’s peace process and economic development. Sri Lanka Ambassador’s participation in the Iftaar dinner is a reflection of the recognition the US accords to the rich multi - ethnic nature of Sri Lanka’s society in which the Muslim community continues to play an equally significant role.

Imam Faizul Khan, of the Islamic Center Washington D.C., led the blessings on the occasion. The invitees for this event included members of the diplomatic community, dignitaries from countries where there is a preponderance of Muslims and senior officials of the Administration. Secretary of State Colin Powell, Secretary of Energy, Spencer Abraham, National Security Adviser and Secretary of State Designate Dr. Condoleezza Rice, Chief of Staff Andrew Card, Deputy National Security Advisor and National Security Advisor Designate Steven Hadley, comprised the senior administration officials among others.

Embassy of Sri Lanka
Washington DC

10 November 2004

Related Links


Home | Sri Lanka-US Relations | Trade | Investment | Travel | Consular | Press Releases |
Statements | Features | Reports & Publications | Archive | Contact I Ideas Line