Colombo: - On October 19, 2019, Afghanistan took over the Chairwomanship of the SAARC Chamber of Commerce Women Entrepreneurs Council (SCWEC) from Sri Lanka for the next two years.

Ambassador M. Ashraf Haidari congratulated Ms. Afsana Rahimi, the Chair of the Afghan Women's Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AWCCI), as the new SCWEC Chairwoman and Ms. Habiba Payandanik, AWCCI Vice Chair, as the new Vice Chairwoman of SCWEC.

Ambassador Haidari thanked the leadership and Board members of SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as well as the outgoing Chairwoman Rifa Mustapha, for their outstanding work over the past two years.

The Ambassador offered his full support for the new leadership by AWCCI, a team of strong women leaders and entrepreneurs led by Ms. Manizha Wafeq, whom he said would make the next two years even more productive for the businesswomen of all member-states.

*** 

Colombo: - Ambassador M. Ashraf Haidari addressed the SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry Conference on Regional Economic Cooperation: A Catalyst for Socioeconomic Prosperity of South Asia. He was joined by Ambassadors and delegates from other SAARC member-states, as well as delegates from the Afghan Women's Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AWCCI) and the Afghan Afghan Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI).

Ambassador Haidari noted: "Regional economic integration can indeed be a catalyst for the social and economic development of South Asia, one of the most economically promising and resourceful regions in the world. At the same time, regional economic integration remains the only option for addressing the longstanding, protracted interstate tensions in South Asia.

We know this from the bitter experiences of old Europe—of the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries Europe—where the pursuit of zero-sum foreign policies and militarism led to the utter destruction of the whole continent in the two World Wars. In the wake of the end of the Second World War, Europeans realized that what unfortunately remains the status quo in South Asia would no longer serve their shared best long-term national security and economic interests.

That is why they gradually but steadily moved towards long-term economic integration. And this has inspired many other regions of the world to form such regional groupings as SAARC, ASEAN, the Eurasian Economic Community, the North American Free Trade Agreement, the Pacific Islands Forum, the African Union, the Union of South American Nations, to name a few..."

He noted that Afghanistan as a victim of zero-sum designs in the region has long promoted regional economic cooperation, working with all member-states of SAARC to replace old mindsets with what the young populations of South Asia increasingly demand of their governments: better health, education, and  employment services and opportunities to be achieved through regional security and economic cooperation.
***

 

Remarks by Ambassador M. Ashraf Haidari at the 100th Anniversary of Afghanistan's Independence Day Reception on October 10, 2019, at the Taj Samudra Hotel, Colombo

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ

The Honorable Minister Mohamed Hashim Abdul Haleem, 

Distinguished Guests,

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Ayubowan, welcome and good evening!

Foremost, please allow me to extend our sincere appreciation to the Chief Guest Minister Haleem for gracing this momentous occasion to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Independence Day of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. And through him, I wish to convey the warm regards of H.E. President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani to H.E. President Maithripala Sirisena and those of H.E. Chief Executive Abdullah to H.E. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

I am also grateful to all other distinguished guests, including the diplomatic community, for your thoughtful presence this evening.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As we celebrate the centenary of Afghan Independence, I want to remind us that the last four decades of the last century since 1919 have hardly been kind to the freedom- and peace-loving people of Afghanistan. But despite the many destructive conflicts imposed on Afghanistan, our courageous people with a steel willpower have persevered to continue surviving and thriving in what is an increasingly complex and dangerous world.

Since the fall of the Taliban in the wake of this century, the people of Afghanistan have made many strides towards sustainable peace, democracy, and prosperity. We have given countless sacrifices for our hard-earned democratic gains, which remain a work in progress and in need of further consolidation. And I must note with gratitude that in this transformative journey, we have not been alone. Many friends and allies of Afghanistan have supported us and continue to do so—as our brave forces fight day and night to defend our beautiful homeland, our resourceful region, and our shrinking world against the intertwined threats of terrorism, extremism, and criminality.

Some of these threats are transnational, while others are regionally rooted. But they are symbiotically reinforcing one another. That is why they must be fought and defeated simultaneously with no distinction. In defiance of these complex security threats, our developing democracy witnessed Afghanistan’s fourth presidential elections on September 28th when close to three million Afghans, including men and women, braved months of terrorist threats and over 200 attacks on the election day to cast their ballot for one of the 15 presidential candidates.

Indeed, some have criticized our voter turnout to have been low, but they forget the imposed terror campaign, under which the Afghan people defiantly turned out to vote. They did so for multiple national causes, in which our people firmly believe and for which they daily bleed. As we recently reminded the world at the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly:

  • Afghans not only voted for a president but they also voted for democracy and pluralism.
  • They voted for our progressive Constitution.
  • They voted for liberty and sovereignty.
  • They voted for prosperity and connectivity.
  • They voted for peace and freedom from terrorism and extremism.
  • They voted for the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In this light, Afghanistan continues to pursue a foreign policy agenda that promotes cooperation against confrontation, win-win policy initiatives against lose-lose militarism and posturing in our immediate neighborhood, the wider region, and the world at large.

This constructive thinking is the foundation of our fast-growing ties with the friendly Government and people of Sri Lanka, with whom we share an ancient civilization. The statues of Buddha in the central province of Bamiyan speak to our rich pre-Islamic Buddhist heritage, which Afghans have striven to preserve and protect.

In March 2001, Afghans at home and abroad were devastated when the Taliban on orders from outside dynamited into pieces the treasured Buddhas of Bamiyan, a UNESCO world heritage site. Indeed, the same Buddhas that stood tall, revered, and protected in the preceding centuries when the Afghan Empires espoused and championed Islam as a faith of peace, co-existence and tolerance of the other.

In the same vein when a misguided extremist minority attacked innocent Sri Lankans on April 21, H.E. President Ghani was the first world leader to issue a strong statement of condemnation of the same terrorism and extremism, which have mostly victimized and targeted innocent Muslims in Afghanistan and the rest of the world.

That is why when some acts of communal violence broke out in parts of Sri Lanka to retaliate against the Easter attacks, I drew on our own experience in Afghanistan as a multiethnic and pluralistic society to call on this nation’s leaders to embrace Sri Lanka’s powerful diversity underpinned by the principle of “do no harm.” I knew that doing so would help Sri Lanka deny extremists at home and abroad the opportunity to exploit any alienation, which divisive communalism can cause, in order to further radicalize youth and to use them as their instruments of terror.

The Government of Afghanistan commends the able leadership of H.E. President Sirisena and H.E. Prime Minister Wickremesinghe on taking effective security measures to have swiftly stabilized the situation, following the Easter attacks. We are delighted that Sri Lanka’s tourism industry has begun recovering fast, as well as its overall economy.

At the same time, it is noteworthy that under a stable political environment millions of registered Sri Lankan voters will go to the polls on November 16th to elect their next leader. Despite occasional challenges, Sri Lanka’s democracy has demonstrated to be vibrant and steadily grown resilient, inspiring younger democracies such as that of Afghanistan.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As two democracies, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka share many development needs and challenges. This underpins our growing ties, which enjoy the support of both countries’ leadership. I am grateful to the Honorable Speaker of the Sri Lankan Parliament Karu Jayasuriya for his continued support of the expanding Afghanistan-Sri Lanka relations.

Last March, the Speaker helped form and launch with me the Sri Lanka-Afghanistan Parliamentary Friendship Association, further strengthening bilateral ties between our two nations. This was initiated under the former presidency of H.E. Mahinda Rajapaksa in 2013 when we opened an embassy in Colombo, which Sri Lanka reciprocated by opening an embassy in Kabul in the following year.

Therefore, we are equally grateful to the former President for his deep interest in elevating our bilateral ties and further enhancing our two Governments’ cooperation within the SAARC and other intergovernmental organizations where we have advanced our shared interests, including regional stability, environmental security, as well as connectivity for trade and stronger people-to-people ties across South Asia.

Since 2013, many senior official and technical delegations from Afghanistan have visited Sri Lanka. This includes the state visit of former President Hamid Karzai to Sri Lanka in 2014, while our Governments have signed 8 agreements and MOUs. They encompass such issues of bilateral interest as economy, education, science, and techn0logy; labor; air services; sports; higher education; technical capacity building; as well as cooperation between University of Colombo and Kabul University—among others.

In the coming months, I look forward to initiating bilateral security and defense cooperation, knowing from the shared experiences of Afghanistan and Sri Lanka that most security threats of today transcend borders and are no longer limited to landlocked and littoral states. So, it would be beneficial to our two countries to explore maritime security cooperation opportunities in the areas of counterterrorism, counter-narcotics, and counter-human trafficking. At the same time, we will seek to learn from Sri Lanka’s successful war-to-peace transition experience, including from the country’s reintegration and reconciliation initiatives and programs that have delivered tangible results.

In the political and economic areas, both sides look forward to signing MOUs on regular political consultations and on trade and investment promotion and protection. The latter together with the air services agreement should facilitate the establishment of a direct passenger and cargo flight between Kabul and Colombo. And when this happens as one of my key goals, Afghans and Sri Lankans should be able to reconnect with our shared heritage through tourism, trade and investment, education, and cultural exchange.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In conclusion, I wish to thank my small but dynamic Embassy team, who has worked many hours to organize our gathering today. This includes our capable intern and MBA student Bishal Shrestha from Nepal.

I also thank the Taj Samudra Hotel management for doing their part this evening, as well as our young and passionate Afghan artist, Mr. Hasib Sepand, who will play authentic music from Afghanistan, South Asia, and South West Asia. We also thank his able Sri Lankan artist-colleagues for entertaining us tonight.

Once again, many thanks for being here to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of our Independence Day.

***

Related story: The Embassy Commemorates the 100th Anniversary of Afghanistan's Independence Day in Colombo

Colombo: - The Afghan Embassy in Colombo hosted a reception on October 10, 2019 to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of Afghanistan's Indepdence Day. 

Ambassador M. Ashraf Haidari and Chief Guest Minister and MP M. H. A. Haleem addressed the audience, including Speaker of the Sri Lankan Parliament Karu Jayasuriya, Minister of Primary Industries and Social Empowerment Daya Gamage, State Minister of Petroleum Resources Development Anoma Gamage, Minister MP A.H.M. Fowzie, resident Ambassadors, the Afghan community, former Ministers, heads of intergovernmental organizations, Honorary Consul-Generals, representatives of major print and broadcast media, representatives of the private sector, as well as other local dignitaries.

Ambassador Haidari conveyed the warm regards of President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah to their Sri Lankan counterparts President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, following which he discussed the democratic gains of the Afghan people over the past 18 years, despite the last four decades of the past century since 1919 having been too harsh and filled with challenges, confronting the Afghan people.

Moreover, he highlighted the key goals of Afghanistan's foreign policy, promoting cooperation against confrontation, win-win policy initiatives against lose-lose militarism and posturing. This, he noted, underpins Afghanistan's fast growing ties with the friendly government and people of Sri Lanka, with whom, he said, Afghanistan shares an ancient civilization. 

Watch the video clip of remarks by Ambassador Haidari here: https://bit.ly/2PiwDtW
Watch the video clip of remarks by Chief Guest Minister Haleem here: https://bit.ly/2JmXP74 
 
Below are a few selected images from the National Day reception, followed by Ambassador Haidari's recent article on "Afghanistan-Sri Lanka: Natural Partners in Democracy and Development."
 

103

103

103

103

103

103

103

103

103

103

113

On the same day, Ambassador Haidari published an article in the Diplomat Magazine on "Afghanistan-Sri Lanka: Natural Partners in Democracy and Development," which coincided with the reception. The full text of the article is below. 

Linkhttps://thediplomat.com/2019/10/afghanistan-sri-lanka-natural-partners-in-democracy-and-development/

Afghanistan-Sri Lanka: Natural Partners in Democracy and Development 

By M. Ashraf Haidari

The past four decades have hardly been kind to the peace- and freedom-loving people of Afghanistan. But despite the many destructive conflicts imposed on the country, Afghans armed with a steel willpower have persevered to survive and thrive in what is an increasingly complex and dangerous world. Since the fall of the Taliban, the people of Afghanistan have made many strides toward sustainable peace, democracy, and prosperity. In the process, they have given countless sacrifices for their hard-earned democratic gains, which remain a work in progress and in need of further consolidation. 

In their transformative journey Afghans have not been alone. Many friends and allies of Afghanistan — including over 60 countries and international organizations — have supported the Afghan people and continue to do so. Meanwhile, Afghanistan’s brave forces fight day and night to defend their beautiful homeland and the world at large against the intertwined security threats of terrorism, extremism, and criminality. Some of these dangerous threats are transnational by nature, while others are regionally rooted. But they symbiotically reinforce one another. That is why they must be fought and defeated simultaneously with no distinction. 

In defiance of these complex security threats, Afghanistan’s developing democracy witnessed its fourth presidential election on September 28, 2019. Over 2 million Afghans, including men and women, defied months of terrorist threats and over 200 attacks on election day to cast their ballots for one of the 15 presidential candidates. Of course, some have criticized the Afghan voter turnout as low, but they forget the imposed terror campaign under which so many Afghan people defiantly turned out to vote. They did so for multiple national causes, in which an absolute majority of Afghans firmly believe and for which they daily bleed. 

In this light, Afghanistan continues to pursue a foreign policy agenda that promotes cooperation against confrontation, win-win policy initiatives against lose-lose militarism and posturing in the immediate neighborhood, the wider region, and the world at large.  

This constructive thinking underpins Afghanistan’s fast-growing ties with Sri Lanka, with which the country shares an ancient civilization. The statues of Buddha in the central province of Bamiyan speak to the rich pre-Islamic Buddhist heritage of Afghanistan, which Afghans have striven to preserve and protect. 

In March 2001, Afghans at home and abroad were devastated when the Taliban on orders from outside dynamited into pieces the treasured Buddhas of Bamiyan, a UNESCO world heritage site. Those same Buddhas had stood tall, revered, and protected in the preceding centuries when various Afghan empires espoused and championed Islam as a faith of peace, coexistence, and tolerance.

In the same vein when a misguided extremist minority attacked innocent Sri Lankans on April 21, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani was among the first world leaders to condemn in the strongest terms the same terrorism and extremism which had victimized and targeted innocent Muslims in Afghanistan and the rest of the world. When some acts of communal violence broke out in parts of Sri Lanka, in retaliation and response to the Easter attacks, I drew on Afghanistan’s own experience as a multiethnic and pluralistic society to call on Sri Lanka’s leaders to embrace their nation’s powerful diversity underpinned by the principle of “do no harm.” I knew that doing so would help Sri Lanka deny extremists at home and abroad the opportunity to exploit any alienation, which divisive communalism can cause, that could further radicalize youth and use them as instruments of terror. 

The government of Afghanistan has commended the able leadership of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on taking effective security measures to have swiftly stabilized the situation following the Easter attacks. Thanks to their efforts, Sri Lanka’s tourism industry has quickly begun recovering, as has the country’s overall economy.

It is noteworthy that under a stable political environment millions of registered Sri Lankan voters will go to the polls on November 16, 2019, to elect their next leader. Despite occasional challenges, Sri Lanka’s democracy has demonstrated itself to be vibrant and resilient, inspiring younger democracies such as that of Afghanistan. 

As two democracies, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka share many development needs and challenges. This underpins our growing ties, which enjoy the support of leadership in both countries. I am grateful to the speaker of the Sri Lankan parliament, Karu Jayasuriya, for his continued support of expanding Afghanistan-Sri Lanka relations. 

Last March, the speaker helped form and launch with me the Sri Lanka-Afghanistan Parliamentary Friendship Association, further strengthening bilateral ties between the two nations. This growth was initiated under former President Rajapaksa in 2013 when Afghanistan opened an embassy in Colombo. Sri Lanka reciprocated by opening an embassy in Kabul in the following year. 

I am equally grateful to the former president for his deep interest in elevating Afghanistan-Sri Lankan bilateral ties and further enhancing the two countries’ cooperation within the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and other intergovernmental organizations where we have advanced shared interests, including regional stability, environmental security, as well as connectivity for trade and stronger people-to-people ties across South Asia. 

Since 2013, many senior official and technical delegations from Afghanistan have visited Sri Lanka. This includes the state visit of former President Hamid Karzai to Sri Lanka in 2014, while the two governments have signed eight agreements and MOUs. They encompass such issues of bilateral interest as economy, education, science, and techn0logy; labor; air services; sports; higher education; technical capacity building; as well as cooperation between University of Colombo and Kabul University — among others. 

In the coming months, I look forward to initiating bilateral security and defense cooperation, knowing from the shared experiences of Afghanistan and Sri Lanka that most security threats transcend borders and are no longer limited to just landlocked or littoral states separately. It would be beneficial to both countries to explore maritime security cooperation opportunities in the areas of counterterrorism, counternarcotics, and counter-human trafficking. In addition, Afghanistan will seek to learn from Sri Lanka’s successful war-to-peace transition experience, including from the country’s reintegration and reconciliation initiatives and programs that have delivered tangible results. 

In the political and economic arenas, both sides look forward to signing MOUs on regular political consultations and on trade and investment promotion and protection. The latter together with the air services agreement should facilitate the establishment of a direct passenger and cargo flight between Kabul and Colombo. When this happens, Afghans and Sri Lankans should be able to reconnect with their shared heritage through tourism, trade and investment, education, and cultural exchange.

*** 

Colombo: - Ambassador M. Ashraf Haidari published an article in the Diplomat Magazine on "Afghanistan-Sri Lanka: Natural Partners in Democracy and Development," on October 10, 2019. The article's publication coincided with the 100th Anniversary of Afghanistan's Independence Day reception, which this Embassy hosted in Colombo. Similar and shorter versions of the same article have concurrently appeared in major national and international publications. The full text of the article is below. 

Linkhttps://thediplomat.com/2019/10/afghanistan-sri-lanka-natural-partners-in-democracy-and-development/

Afghanistan-Sri Lanka: Natural Partners in Democracy and Development 

By M. Ashraf Haidari

The past four decades have hardly been kind to the peace- and freedom-loving people of Afghanistan. But despite the many destructive conflicts imposed on the country, Afghans armed with a steel willpower have persevered to survive and thrive in what is an increasingly complex and dangerous world. Since the fall of the Taliban, the people of Afghanistan have made many strides toward sustainable peace, democracy, and prosperity. In the process, they have given countless sacrifices for their hard-earned democratic gains, which remain a work in progress and in need of further consolidation. 

In their transformative journey Afghans have not been alone. Many friends and allies of Afghanistan — including over 60 countries and international organizations — have supported the Afghan people and continue to do so. Meanwhile, Afghanistan’s brave forces fight day and night to defend their beautiful homeland and the world at large against the intertwined security threats of terrorism, extremism, and criminality. Some of these dangerous threats are transnational by nature, while others are regionally rooted. But they symbiotically reinforce one another. That is why they must be fought and defeated simultaneously with no distinction. 

In defiance of these complex security threats, Afghanistan’s developing democracy witnessed its fourth presidential election on September 28, 2019. Over 2 million Afghans, including men and women, defied months of terrorist threats and over 200 attacks on election day to cast their ballots for one of the 15 presidential candidates. Of course, some have criticized the Afghan voter turnout as low, but they forget the imposed terror campaign under which so many Afghan people defiantly turned out to vote. They did so for multiple national causes, in which an absolute majority of Afghans firmly believe and for which they daily bleed. 

In this light, Afghanistan continues to pursue a foreign policy agenda that promotes cooperation against confrontation, win-win policy initiatives against lose-lose militarism and posturing in the immediate neighborhood, the wider region, and the world at large.  

This constructive thinking underpins Afghanistan’s fast-growing ties with Sri Lanka, with which the country shares an ancient civilization. The statues of Buddha in the central province of Bamiyan speak to the rich pre-Islamic Buddhist heritage of Afghanistan, which Afghans have striven to preserve and protect. 

In March 2001, Afghans at home and abroad were devastated when the Taliban on orders from outside dynamited into pieces the treasured Buddhas of Bamiyan, a UNESCO world heritage site. Those same Buddhas had stood tall, revered, and protected in the preceding centuries when various Afghan empires espoused and championed Islam as a faith of peace, coexistence, and tolerance.

In the same vein when a misguided extremist minority attacked innocent Sri Lankans on April 21, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani was among the first world leaders to condemn in the strongest terms the same terrorism and extremism which had victimized and targeted innocent Muslims in Afghanistan and the rest of the world. When some acts of communal violence broke out in parts of Sri Lanka, in retaliation and response to the Easter attacks, I drew on Afghanistan’s own experience as a multiethnic and pluralistic society to call on Sri Lanka’s leaders to embrace their nation’s powerful diversity underpinned by the principle of “do no harm.” I knew that doing so would help Sri Lanka deny extremists at home and abroad the opportunity to exploit any alienation, which divisive communalism can cause, that could further radicalize youth and use them as instruments of terror. 

The government of Afghanistan has commended the able leadership of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on taking effective security measures to have swiftly stabilized the situation following the Easter attacks. Thanks to their efforts, Sri Lanka’s tourism industry has quickly begun recovering, as has the country’s overall economy.

It is noteworthy that under a stable political environment millions of registered Sri Lankan voters will go to the polls on November 16, 2019, to elect their next leader. Despite occasional challenges, Sri Lanka’s democracy has demonstrated itself to be vibrant and resilient, inspiring younger democracies such as that of Afghanistan. 

As two democracies, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka share many development needs and challenges. This underpins our growing ties, which enjoy the support of leadership in both countries. I am grateful to the speaker of the Sri Lankan parliament, Karu Jayasuriya, for his continued support of expanding Afghanistan-Sri Lanka relations. 

Last March, the speaker helped form and launch with me the Sri Lanka-Afghanistan Parliamentary Friendship Association, further strengthening bilateral ties between the two nations. This growth was initiated under former President Rajapaksa in 2013 when Afghanistan opened an embassy in Colombo. Sri Lanka reciprocated by opening an embassy in Kabul in the following year. 

I am equally grateful to the former president for his deep interest in elevating Afghanistan-Sri Lankan bilateral ties and further enhancing the two countries’ cooperation within the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and other intergovernmental organizations where we have advanced shared interests, including regional stability, environmental security, as well as connectivity for trade and stronger people-to-people ties across South Asia. 

Since 2013, many senior official and technical delegations from Afghanistan have visited Sri Lanka. This includes the state visit of former President Hamid Karzai to Sri Lanka in 2014, while the two governments have signed eight agreements and MOUs. They encompass such issues of bilateral interest as economy, education, science, and techn0logy; labor; air services; sports; higher education; technical capacity building; as well as cooperation between University of Colombo and Kabul University — among others. 

In the coming months, I look forward to initiating bilateral security and defense cooperation, knowing from the shared experiences of Afghanistan and Sri Lanka that most security threats transcend borders and are no longer limited to just landlocked or littoral states separately. It would be beneficial to both countries to explore maritime security cooperation opportunities in the areas of counterterrorism, counternarcotics, and counter-human trafficking. In addition, Afghanistan will seek to learn from Sri Lanka’s successful war-to-peace transition experience, including from the country’s reintegration and reconciliation initiatives and programs that have delivered tangible results. 

In the political and economic arenas, both sides look forward to signing MOUs on regular political consultations and on trade and investment promotion and protection. The latter together with the air services agreement should facilitate the establishment of a direct passenger and cargo flight between Kabul and Colombo. When this happens, Afghans and Sri Lankans should be able to reconnect with their shared heritage through tourism, trade and investment, education, and cultural exchange.

*** 

Colombo: - Watch a live interview by Ambassador M. Ashraf Haidari on the TRT World at the top of the news hour, featuring the Afghan presidential elections, which took place across Afghanistan on September 28, 2019. The Ambassador discusses the courage and commitment of Afghan women and men, defying terrorist threats to turn out across the country to exercise their constitutional right.


Linkhttps://youtu.be/kT5JpjxGyEw

 
***

Colombo: - Ambassador M. Ashraf Haidari was the Chief Guest at the recent celebration of the Durga Puja Festival hosted by the Colombo Expats Cultural Association, on October 7, 2019. Expats and their families from Indiia, Nepal, Bangladesh, as well as local Tamils attended the event, whom the Ambassador briefly addressed.

Ambassador Haidari said Afghans take great pride in their fellow Hindu and Sikh compatriots, while noting the deep traditional bonds of friendship between Afghanistan and India. He also reminisced about his productive time in Delhi where he greatly enjoyed India's diverse cultural festivals.

He wished the Hindu expats and their families a delightful Durga Puja festival and asked them to contact this Embassy, if we could ever be of any consular and commercial services to them. The Association's leadership thanked the Ambassador.

***

Colombo: - On September 30, 2019, Ambassador M. Ashraf Haidari signed the book of condolence at the French Embassy in Colombo, extending the profound condolences of the Afghan Government and people on the passing away of the late former President Jacques Chirac. 

The late Former President was a dedicated world leader and a committed of friend of Afghanistan. He made many hard efforts to help stabilize the country and to provide the people of Afghanistan with sustainable development assistance.  
***
Colombo: - On September 18, 2019, Ambassador M. Ashraf Haidari met with Dr. Sudath Samaraweera, MD PhD, Director-General of the Sri Lankan National Cancer Control Program, to initiate collaboration with the Afghanistan Cancer Foundation (ACF), a vital initiative of First Lady Rula Ghani.

They discussed Afghanistan's acute need for prevention, early detection, treatment and palliative treatment of cancer, from which an increasing number of Afghans have died over the past 4 decades, thanks to the imposed conflicts. Dr. Samaraweera offered his full support for helping build the capacity of the ACF within his Program's means. Almost all Afghans, dying of cancer, go to India or Pakistan for last-minute treatment, which only wastes their loved ones' meager financial means, since private hospitals don't reject them outright.

For this dire situation to be addressed, Afghanistan needs to keep building our own capacity to prevent and treat cancer based on the world's best practices, which Ambassador Haidari told Dr. Samaraweera, requesting his long-term support tor the ACF.
 
***

Colombo: - On September 17, 2019, four members of the Afghan Parliament--including the Honorables Sayed Mohammad, Azim Kabarzani, Halima Askari, Ruqia Nayel, Kamal Safi --recently participated in the 3rd Annual South Asia Parliamentarian Platform for Children to discuss the Implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

The Afghan MPs, representing different provincial constituencies, discussed the progress Afghansitan's made toward implementing the CRC, while highlighting the many challenges that confront Afghan children, including war and violence; rife poverty and its impact on the nutrition and education of children.

The Afghan MPs also met with the Honorable Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, who delivered the keynote address, highlighting some of the common opportunities at the regional level to implement CRC.

***
Go to Top