Senate debates

Tuesday, 17 October 2023

Statements by Senators

Sri Lanka Day Multicultural Food and Cultural Festival

1:51 pm

Photo of Paul ScarrPaul Scarr (Queensland, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I must say what a terrific title for a book! That's pretty terrific. I rise to tell a good news story, and that is in relation to the Sri Lanka Day Multicultural Food and Cultural Festival 2023 celebrations held in Brisbane. I want to congratulate all of those involved in a very successful event. I congratulate the president of the Federation of Sri Lankan Organisations of Queensland, Dr Jay Weerawardena, and his team for such a successful occasion. It was a celebration of Sri Lankan culture. It was a celebration of the contribution which is made by our wonderful Sri Lanka diaspora here in Australia, over 130,000 strong. And overall it was a celebration of the deep link and bond between Sri Lanka and Australia, between the peoples of Sri Lanka and Australia.

Those in the chamber may not be aware that, going all the way back to World War I, there was a contribution made by the people of Sri Lanka to the Anzac landing at Gallipoli. As the fleet left Australia to go to the Middle East, ultimately landing at Gallipoli, they stopped in Colombo in then Ceylon and picked up the Ceylon Planters' Rifle Corps. Members of that corps were actually with the I Anzac Corps when they hit the beaches at Gallipoli on Anzac Day. That bond between Australia and Sri Lanka continues to this day, and the people who attended this event over the weekend are the human bridge between Australia and Sri Lanka. I thank each and every one of them for the contribution they make to our beautiful country.