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Sri Lanka Celebrates 71 Anniversary of Independence

12 February 2019

The High Commission of Sri Lanka in Pretoria organized the 71st Anniversary of Independence Day celebration on 4 February 2019 in Pretoria.

Photo: High Commissioner Mallimaratchi addressing guests

The function commenced with the hoisting of the National Flag by HE the High Commissioner Kumar Mallimaratchi followed by singing of the  National Anthem, multi faith religious observances, lighting of traditional oil lamp and two minutes silence in remembrance of all who sacrificed their lives for motherland.

The National day messages of HE the president, Hon. Prime Minister and Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs were delivered at the event.


Ambassador Alberto Pedro D'Alotto appointed to SA

12 February 2019

Newly appointed Ambassador designate Alberto Pedro D'Alotto from Argentina has arrived in South Africa.

Ambassador D'Alotto is a career diplomat. He joined the Argentine Foreign Service in 1984. During his career he was appointed to the Permanent Mission to the International Organizations in Geneva (1986-1991), the Argentine Embassy in Washington (1994-1996), the Argentine Embassy in Montevideo (1996-1998) and to the Argentine Mission to the United Nations in New York (2001-2006), where he served as Deputy Permanent Representative.


A Festival of Family Reunion
Chinese Lunar New Year - Year of the Pig

February is a festival of family reunion, a celebration of the Lunar New Year and the Spring Festival.

“It is also the most important occasion to appreciate and celebrate what has been done in the past year and wish for a more prosperous and happy New Year. In Chinese culture, the year of the Pig means good luck, good health, prosperity and happiness,” said Ambassador Lin Songtian of China to South Africa.

Photo: Ambassador Lin Songtian of China to South Africa and Minister of Tourism for South Africa, Derek Hanekom at the celebration.

He was addressing the 1000 guests that had gathered at the Sun Arena in Pretoria to join in on the festivities on a Sunday afternoon on February 3 2019


Celebrating 50 Years of the Music of Jamaica

By H.E. Angella V. Comfort, High Commissioner of Jamaica

4 February 2019

“Reggae is the heartbeat of Jamaica….a unique music that springs from the creative imagination of a diverse people…”

This quotation is taken from the Official Proclamation by the Government of Jamaica in 2007 declaring February as Reggae Month to pay special tribute to the riveting musical art form for which the country has become renowned the world over.  

These words remain true today as Reggae continues to capture the world’s attention, especially among avid music lovers.  

The decision was taken to recognise February as “Reggae Month”, particularly as it is the birth month of Robert Nesta (Bob) Marley, who is perhaps Jamaica’s most famous Reggae icon, and is generally recognised as the King of Reggae, as well as Dennis Brown, who is fondly known as the Crown Prince of Reggae. The decision also referenced several other Reggae music legends, such as the great Peter Tosh.  


40th Iranian National Day

31 January 2019

Ambassador Mohsen Movahhedi Ghomi and Madam Zahra Movahhedi-Ghomi hosted a reception to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran as well as the 25th Anniversary of the establishment of political relations between the Iran and South Africa.

Photo: (l-r) Ambassador Mohsen Movahhedi GhomiGugile Nkwinti, Minister of Water and Sanitation, Baleka Mbete, Speaker of the National Assembly of South Africa and Minister Ebrahim Ismail Ebrahim, former Deputy Minister of DIRCO

Ambassador Movahhedi Ghomi detailed the strides that Iran has made reaching its 40th anniversary especially in the fields of science and technolgy, education and medical sciences.

Speaking about Iran's foreign policy Ambassador Movahhedi Ghomi said, "While the Islamic Republic has based its foreign policy on developing friendly relations and engagement on an equal footing with all countries.  This policy is planted on mutual respect and peaceful coexistence with its neighbors, and with the intention to assist in preserving and promoting global peace and stability through constructive negotiations and diplomacy.  We believe that the language of respect and diplomacy is always more powerful than the language of threats and sanctions. Today Iran is a full participant in world commerce with large resources to export and a ripe market for imports."


2019 Special Olympics kick off with celebration hosted by UAE embassy                       

31 January 2019

On Wednesday evening, 30 January 2019, the embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Pretoria hosted a dinner in celebration of the 2019 Special Olympics World Games. The dinner marked the official countdown to 50th anniversary of the upcoming World Games which will be hosted in Abu Dhabi in just 53 days (March 14 -21 2019).

Photo: HE Mahash Saeed Alhameli with Athlete Leader Brightfield Shadi

The celebration, which was attended by Special Olympics African team representatives as well as esteemed international dignitaries, proved to be an exhibition of the true ethos of the Special Olympic World Games of unity through inclusion. The evening was a spectacular blend of African dance, middle eastern food and shared cultural experiences.


Enhancing Swiss - SA relations

30 January 2019

Swiss Federal Councillor and Foreign Minister Dr Ignazio Cassis undertook an official working visit to Southern Africa from 9 to 11 January 2019. Federal Councillor Cassis visited Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Photo: Dr Ignazio Cassis with Dr Zweli Mkhize, Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (l) and Mr Pravin Gordhan, Minister of Public Enterprises (r)

HE Helene Budliger Artieda, Ambassador of Switzerland in South Africa said that the visit of the Swiss Federal Councillor will strengthen the friendship and bilateral relations between the two countries. South Africa is Switzerland’s biggest trading partner on the continent. Switzerland is South Africa's 7th largest foreign direct investor and 6th largest international donor and with an economic development and science and technology program, it aims to unlock South Africa's economic potential.


Main-Tuning Reality: A Photo Exhibition by Russian Ambassador

On 30 January 2019 the Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Republic of South Africa and Market Photo Workshop jointly hosted the opening of a Photo Exhibition by H.E. Mr Mikhail Petrakov, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to South Africa. The event was held in the renowned Market Theatre located in the cultural heart of Johannesburg and known for the anti-racist posture it adopted during the years of apartheid.

Photo: H.E. Mr Mikhail Petrakov, Ambassador of the Russian Federation addressing guests

The Exhibition titled “Main-Tuning Reality” is dedicated to the Russian Diplomats’ Day and aimed at showing the surrounding environment through the eyes of a diplomat – namely, in a way which would expose the hidden essence of things and phenomena, the main tune of a situation or a composition. “The trick is to switch off all city lights to see stars, silence all sounds in the room to hear your heartbeat,” – this is how Ambassador Petrakov describes his artistic process.


King Mampuru of Bapedi commemorated

31 January 2019

The annual King Mampuru commemoration kicked off at Mamone Village, Jane Furse on 26 January 2019 to honour the Bapedi hero King Mampuru who was hanged by the colonial government in November 1883 at Pretoria Central prison currently known as Kgosi Mampuru Correctional Services.

Photo: INkosi eNkulu Jongilanga Sigcau, Princess Stella Sigcau II, Prince Zukisani Ndamase and Nkosana Moshe Tsita



Centre for India-Australia Studies introduces Australian students to the many different facets of India - Professor Shaun Star

29 January 2019

This month The Diplomatic Society Global Editor Srimal Fernando sat down for an exclusive interview with Professor Shaun Star, an Assistant Professor and Assistant Dean (International Collaborations) and Executive Director of Centre for India-Australia Studies at, O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU)  in India . In this interview Professor Star speaks about the positive role played by the Centre for India-Australia Studies.  

Photo: Dr. Laknath Jayasinghe, Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Professor Shaun Star

Srimal Fernando (SF): Prof Shaun Star (SS) thank you for taking the time out to speak with us today. Tell us a bit about your background

SS: While I was born and brought up in Australia, I have been living and working in India for almost a decade. During this time, I have worked in a variety of law firms and for the past three years have been working as an academic at O.P. Jindal Global University.

Since moving to India in 2010 aided by an Australian Government grant, I realised that more young Indians and Australians should have the opportunity to learn about (and experience) each other’s countries. I have since worked actively in the Australia-India space to help facilitate such opportunities for others.


The 60th Anniversary of the Cuban Revolution commemorated in Ethiopia

29 January 2019

The Cuban Embassy in Ethiopia hosted in Addis Ababa, a reception to commemorate the 60 Anniversary of the triumph of the Cuban Revolution that occurred on January 1st, 1959.

Photo: Ambassador of Cuba to Ethiopia, H. E. Mrs. Vilma Thomas addressing guests

The reception was attended by high officials of the Ethiopian Government and parliament, the African Union, members of the diplomatic corp accredited to Addis Ababa and representatives of various sectors of the Ethiopian civil society, as well as, Ethiopians graduated in Cuba, the Cuban community in Ethiopia and Cuban doctors and teachers who are rendering service to this east African country, as part of Government cooperation programs.


70th Milestone of the Indian Republic : Building a New Foreign Policy Partnership with Sri Lanka

By Srimal Fernando and Yashodha Rathnayake

It is 70 years since the first republic day of India which is a significant milestone in the Indian sub-continent history. Twenty two years later following the footsteps of India, the southern neighbor Sri Lanka became a republic in 1972.  The tremendous political will of the makers of the two modern South Asian nations are good reasons to be proud of.

Both of these nations had experienced several phases of foreign policy making since the time of independence. Modernization of Indo-Lanka foreign policy approach also emphasizes trade ties should be the prime determinant of this diplomacy.


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