بســم اللّـه الرّحمـن الرّحيــم
Excellency High Commissioner Ms Robyn Mudie, Excellencies, Distinguished guests, Scholarship recipients, Ladies and Gentlemen;
As Salaam Alaikum and Good Evening,
I am greatly honored to be here at the award Ceremony of the 2013 AusAID recipients of the Maldives. It is also my distinct honor to convey to the Government and the friendly people of Australia, the warm greetings and sincere good wishes on my own behalf and on behalf of the Government and people of the Maldives.
The Maldives greatly values the commitment that the Government of Australia has shown towards further strengthening the enduring relations between our two countries. The AusAID scholarship scheme is one important instrument through which the relationship is continuously strengthened. And I am extremely pleased that AusAID is providing 33 scholarships this time to Maldivian students. We also highly appreciate the friendship and understanding of the government of Australia and its people and for the re-introduction of the Australian Volunteer Programme in the Maldives.
On behalf of the government and myself, please convey to the Prime Minister Her Excellency Julia Gillard, the Foreign Minister His Excellency Bob Carr, the head of AusAID, and Australian people, our most sincere gratitude.
While we develop the national higher education system, it is necessary to make the best use of scholarships we receive from friendly countries. Such scholarships have made invaluable contributions and still continues to be important for overall human resource development in this country.
High Commissioner Robyn Mudie,
I would like to thank you and your staff for being such good friends of the Maldives. You are a witness to the enormous contribution that has been made by the AusAID alumni in this country. As I look around the room, I find many dynamic young men and women, aspiring to attain a world class education from Australian universities, and eager I hope, to return and contribute to the development of this country. The recipients of this year’s AusAID scholarships add to a relatively large pool Maldivians educated and trained in Australia. They occupy positions of influence in the society, and I can say with confidence that each one of them have in their heart, a soft corner for Australia. Although Australia lies some 7,200 kilometers away from Maldives, that pool of Australian educated Maldivians make us feel that our two countries are in fact much closer.
It’s a very happy occasion for the people of Maldives and for me. I hope that all recipients of scholarships will understand how lucky and special they are and appreciate the rare opportunity they are being offered. Though you may be students, just like I was many years ago, you should consider yourself as ambassadors of this country and represent the best of Maldivian traditions and values. My advice to you is to make the best use of the opportunity you have earned and return home with skills that can serve you and the nation.
Congratulations to all the recipients of this year’s Australian development scholarships and Australian leadership awards. You deserve a huge applause.