Gautamadasa’s farewell speech

Farewell speech delivered by Prof. Madurasinghe at the Holiday Inn  Abu Dhabi in 1987 on the eve of the departure of Mr.Gautamadasa,  former Ambassador  for Sri Lanka  in UAE.

Mr.Gautamadasa obtained a copy of this and kept until his death a few years ago !!

Honourable Mr.Gautamadasa, Madam Gautamadasa and Fellow countrymen.

Amidst the silence and the varied feelings prevalent in the four corners of this hall tonight, may I request all you Sri Lankans to join hands with me to bring back the memories of the footsteps our beloved Ambassador leaves behind. Perhaps, this may be the last formal gathering where we could share the honour and privilege of your presence, before the day dawns when you have to leave the shores of Abu Dhabi.

As the days draw nigh, we shall soon be losing that glowing flame which gave us light- in a moment of darkness: a word of comfort- in a moment of despair: a word of guidance- in a moment of doubt. We , sir and madam, shall miss you both very dearly, for the unstinted support and these memories shall linger on.

We Sri Lankans , are a small community in the Gulf. Members representing many walks of life and a varied ethnic composition are serving here among our larger counterparts, making it all the more necessary to forge ahead with unity and purpose to make our presence felt. You have been the unifying force that further solidified the fraternal bonds of our community and the Chief architect in  shaping an image worthy of emulation by others.

You were so tireless, never refusing an invitation for an event, be it here or in the furthest corner of the desert. The smell of desert sand or the gruesome rays of the scorching sun did not deter you from keeping your commitments.

The children shall miss you both as caring adults. Your concern for their welfare and happiness shall remain with them as they are moulded to become the adults of tomorrow.

The ladies shall have a tear in their eye as they miss the warmth and affection.

You were truly an asset to our diplomatic corps. With your talents, skills and selfless dedication, you became a caring devoted, honourable and last but not the least,  and endearing couple we were proud to know. You have kept our flag flying high and it will be the pride of our nation to have more sons and daughters of your caliber. You have done it all, far beyond the call of duty.

As a new chapter unfolds in the annals of our history, as the sun rises to herald the dawn of a new day,  we shall remember you for all the happy days gone by.

Remember us wherever you may be,  pardon us for the shortcomings on our part, and may we wish you all good luck and success in your future endeavours towards newer horizons and greater pastures in the days to come.

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