Singapore ambassador visits La Jolla on cultural mission

By Ashley Mackin

Singapore’s ambassador to the United States, Ashok Kumar Mirpuri, visited La Jolla for an ambassadorial roundtable Sept. 5, where he discussed the history of Singapore, its relationship with the United States and other interesting facts about the country.

host Ina von Ber (right) introduces Singapore Ambassador Ashok Kumar Mirpuri.

Ina von Ber, CEO of World Diplomatic Forum, hosted the event at a private residence, and explained that the ongoing roundtables “invite ambassadors to San Diego homes for a dinner and the opportunity to learn about their countries.”

Mirpuri told guests that Singapore, just 274 square miles, is a small nation with a short but fruitful history. It became an independent country in 1965. At 53 years old, Mirpuri said he is older than Singapore and has had various nationalities. “I was born in Singapore, but when I was born I was a British subject, I then became a Malaysian subject, and in 1965, I became a Singapore citizen,” he said.

The flag, he explained, has a crescent on it, which represents a young country. Its five stars speak to Singapore’s national values: democracy, peace, progress, justice and equality. The flag’s red hue stands for universal brotherhood and the white represents purity.

Ambassador Ashok Kumar Mirpuri shows off the Singapore flag after explaining the significance of its colors and symbols.

With a population of just over 5 million people, “Singapore is, today, built upon the past the British left to us, a very important maritime hub,” he said. “Every year, more than 30 million containers pass through Singapore as trans-shipment. The largest U.S. port at Long Beach (passes) about 6 million (containers) per year.”

He also reported, “There are more U.S. investments in Singapore than there are in China. … There are also five times more U.S. investments in Singapore than in India, another very large economy.”

Former San Diego Mayor Roger Hedgecock (middle) presents Ambassador Mirpuri with a makeshift ‘key to the city’ in a book of facts about California.

The next event is Nov. 7-8 at Rady School of Management, 9500 Gilman Dr.

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Posted by Ashley Mackin on Sep 13, 2013. Filed under Community, Events, La Jolla, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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