Remarks by Hon. Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of Foreign Affairs to the Diplomatic Corps based in Colombo, 28 August 2015

Your Excellencies,

It is my pleasure, this evening, to welcome all of you today to the Republic building, having been sworn in early this week as the Minister of Foreign Affairs. At the moment Sri Lanka has the dubious honour of having the smallest Cabinet in the world, having had the largest in the world last year. At the moment we have a Cabinet of five, but the Government will be in place by Wednesday.

In fact I recall vividly Your Excellencies, the last time I met all of you together as a group, I believe it was on the 12th of May; one of the questions directed at me was, by one of you here was when were Parliamentary Elections likely to be held. My reply at the time was that ‘only God and the President know the answer to that question’.

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Nisha Biswal appreciated President’s initiatives towards democracy, peace & reconciliation

nisha biswal pr maithripala 25aug2015


Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Nisha Biswal appreciated President Maithripala Sirisena’s initiatives towards democracy, peace & reconciliation in this country.

She made these observations when She met with President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat today (25).

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Remarks to the media by Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera and US Asst. Secretaries of State Nisha Biswal and Tom Malinowski

                                                                                US Assistant Secretary Nisha Biswal visit to Sri Lanka 25aug2015

US Assistant Secretary Nisha Biswal visit to Sri Lanka 25aug2015

Remarks to the media by

Hon. Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of Foreign Affairs following call by Ms. Nisha Biswal, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia of the US State Department

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Colombo: 25 August 2015

Good Morning Ladies & Gentlemen.

I have just concluded discussions with Ms. Nisha Biswal, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia and Mr. Tom Malinowski, Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labour of the US State Department. I also welcomed Ambassador Atul Keshap who just assumed duties as the United States’ Ambassador to Sri Lanka.

We have continued the dialogue that began following the election of President Sirisena in January and my appointment as Foreign Minister then.

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Mangala Samaraweera appointed as Foreign Minister

Mangala Samaraweera appointed as Foreign Minister


Hon. Mangala Samaraweera MP was appointed today as Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister. Taking oaths in the presence of President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat, he re-affirmed his commitment to “faithfully perform the duties and discharge the functions of the office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs in accordance with the Constitution”.

This is the third time Minister Samaraweera will hold the portfolio, having held it for the first time between November 2005 and January 2007, and for the second time between January 2015 and August 2015.

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‘I will stand by Sri Lanka to correct misconceptions within international community’ – Tony Blair

tony blair pr maithripala 24aug2015
The former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said that he will stand by Sri Lanka to correct the misconceptions about the country within the international community.

He made these observations when he met with President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat today (24). The former British Prime Minister arrived in Sri Lanka recently on a private visit.

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Address by Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Memorial Lecture

                                                                                  lakshman kadirgamar memroial lecture 2015

Address by Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera
at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Memorial Lecture
Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations & Strategic Studies, Colombo: 24 August 2015


I have the honour today, as the Chairman of the Board of the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute for International Relations and Strategic Studies, to speak a little about my late cabinet colleague Mr. Lakshman Kadirgamar and also introduce our guest speaker, the Rt. Hon. Tony Blair.  

On 12th August 2005, 10 years ago, this country lost one of her illustrious sons, the Hon. Lakshman Kadirgamar. A fearless critic of terrorism, he courted death from the moment he took over the portfolio of Foreign Affairs in those challenging days for our country. Finally, ten years ago, a sniper’s bullets managed to silence him forever. Ladies and gentlemen Minister Kadirgamar was a much loved and much admired Foreign Minister of our country. He earned the respect and admiration of his counterparts, leaders of foreign countries, those of us who were honoured to be his colleagues in Cabinet at the time, and all those who had the pleasure of meeting him. Bestowed perhaps with a prophetic view of evolving global threats, he warned western democracies well before 9/11 that they were being too passive about the activities of terrorist organisations – especially their fund raising and planning activities.

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Ranil Wickremasinghe sworn in as Prime Minister

21aug2015 pm ranilwickramasinghe sworning

The leader of the United National Party (UNP) Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in as the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka before President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat today (21).

After Mr. Wickremesinghe took oaths as the new PM, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the United National Party (UNP), to work together in the next Parliament.

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President Sirisena concludes State Visit to Maldives for the 50th Anniversary of Independence

sl pr maldives pr 27july2015

President Maithripala Sirisena returned to Sri Lanka on Monday (27th July) afternoon concluding his State Visit to Maldives for the 50th Anniversary of Independence.

President Sirisena was accorded a ceremonial welcome in Maldives. He attended the official function to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Independence and the special reception held on the occasion on Sunday 26th July.

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Sri Lanka welcomes the successful conclusion of negotiations on the Iran nuclear issue

crest-srilanka

Sri Lanka welcomes the successful conclusion of negotiations between Iran and the US, UK, France, Germany, China, Russia and the European Union in Vienna on 14 July 2015.

Sri Lanka has always supported efforts by the international community to resolve the Iran nuclear issue amicably, respecting Iran’s right to peaceful uses of nuclear energy and ensuring the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme.

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Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera Concludes Successful Visit to Japan

slfm japanfm 20june2015


Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera undertook a visit to Japan from 17 to 20 June 2015 on the invitation of his Japanese counterpart, Minister for Foreign Affairs Fumio Kishida. The visit, which was the first official visit undertaken by an emissary of the new Government to Japan, focussed on further consolidating the close and friendly relations between the two countries for mutual benefit.

The discussions between the two Foreign Ministers ranged from bilateral political and economic relations, to cooperation in the multilateral fora. The two sides referred to the excellent relations between the two countries built on a solid foundation of historical and religious ties, as well as mutual understanding and friendship.

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'Sri Lanka, Ethical Sourcing Destination' Says EDB Chairman at Expo Milano 2015

milano expo

Speaking at a Press Conference at the Sri Lankan Pavilion of Expo Milano 2015, Mr. Bandula Egodage, Chairman - Sri Lanka Export Development Board called Sri Lanka an 'Ethical Sourcing Destination'. His claim was strongly endorsed by Ms. Ghizzoni of International Trade Center (ITC) Geneva and Dr. Doninetti of Italian Foreign Trade Association (AICE).
 
A press conference themed 'Sri Lanka, ethical sourcing destination' was successfully completed on May 22, 2015 at Sri Lanka Pavilion of Expo Milano - the World Exposition, under the chair of Mr. Bandula Egodage – Chairman & Chief Executive Sri Lanka Export Development Board with the head table attendance of Ms. Ludovica Ghizzoni – Advisor ITC Geneva, Dr. David Doninetti – Secretary General AICE and Mr. Dammika Jayawardane – Pavilion Director Sri Lanka.
 

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Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera concludes first official visit to Berlin

Federal Foreign Minister of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera visited Berlin from 21st - 23rd May 2015
At the invitation of his counterpart, the Federal Foreign Minister of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera visited Berlin from 21st - 23rd May 2015.

The visit, which was his first as Foreign Minister, was focused on renewing relations with Germany, Sri Lanka’s largest trading partner in Europe, and resetting ties through greater cooperation in diverse fields including technical and vocational training for Sri Lanka’s youth, and expanding trade and investment.

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Our policy is that of development and reconciliation - President

“We never let the brutal terrorism to be arisen in this country again”
 
President at the Ranaviru Day celebrations 19may2015
 
President Maithripala Sirisena said though the damaged buildings, destroyed roads and other physical resources were being re-built there was no reconciliation process during the post-war period to rebuild the broken hearts and minds. “Therefore, as the new government we clearly state that our policy is that of development and reconciliation,” he said and added, “we cannot fulfill our expectations for reconciliation only through development.”
 
Addressing the Ranaviru Day at Matara today (May 19, the President said the reconciliation process includes investigating the truth, carrying out justice, eliminating the fear and mistrust and building trust among every community and re-building physical resources which were devastated by the armed conflict. Hence, with the experience of the war, we must understand the requirement of priority for the reconciliation process.”
 

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Sri Lanka hosts forum on international humanitarian law

sixth annual South Asian Regional Conference IHL 19may2015

The sixth annual South Asian Regional Conference on international humanitarian law (IHL) jointly organized by the Government of Sri Lanka and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), is being held in Colombo from 19-21 May 2015.  
 
Welcoming the opportunity of hosting the Conference in Colombo for the first time, Deputy Foreign Minister Ajith P Perera, Chief Guest at the opening of the Conference, remarked that the deliberations of this event would be important to ensure that the Humanitarian Law regime keeps pace with the evolving nature of armed conflict. Thanking ICRC for the remarkable work that it has been carrying out in Sri Lanka for 25 years, the Deputy Minister commented that the Government looks forward to cooperating even more closely with the ICRC in future, to address the humanitarian needs of the people in the country.
 

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Visit of US Secretary of State John Kerry to Sri Lanka

03may2015 hon mfa us statesecretary

US Secretary of State John Kerry who visited Sri Lanka at the invitation of Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera concluded his two-day visit to the country on Sunday 3rd May 2015.

During the visit which was the first official visit by a US Secretary of State in 43 years, Secretary Kerry called on President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat, and had a meeting with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who hosted the visiting Secretary of State and delegation to lunch at the Temple Trees. He held official bilateral talks with Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The delegation at the talks included Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, Justice Minister Wijedasa Rajapakse, Investment Promotion Minister Kabir Hashim, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ajith P. Perera, Secretary of Foreign Affairs Chitranganee Wagiswara and Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the United States Prasad Kariyawasam.

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US for stronger partnership with Sri Lanka - John Kerry

President Maithripala Sirisena meets State Secretary John Kerry

American Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States appreciates the firm steps taken by President Maithripala Sirisena to strength democracy and ensure transparency and accountability and promised the government all possible assistance to continue this process in the coming months and years. “We respect and value your work,” he said when he paid a courtesy call on President Sirisena today at the Presidential Secretariat.

He said that the United States considers the close relations with Sri Lanka very important and proposed setting up of Annual Partnership Dialogue to ensure continuity of close partnership between the two countries in economic, trade, investment and other areas.

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Statement to Media by Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of Foreign Affairs on the occasion of the Official Visit of John Kerry, US Secretary of State to Sri Lanka

Hon Mangala Samaraweera's statement - US State Secretary's visit to Sri Lanka

Good Morning Ladies and Gentleman,

It has been a great honour and privilege to welcome the Honourable John F. Kerry, Secretary of State of the United States, to the historic Republic Building which has been the home of our Foreign Ministry since Independence.

Secretary Kerry’s visit is a momentous occasion for Sri Lanka as it is the first official visit by a US Secretary of State in nearly half a century - 43 years to be precise.

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President Sirisena addresses the nation 100 days after election


nation address pr sirisena 23april2015

On this occasion that marks 100 days since my election as President, I think it is proper that I address you as your first servant, appointed by you. Following the results of the Presidential Election on January 8 this year, you gave me the opportunity of being sworn in as the Head of State or President of this country.

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Deputy Foreign Minister Perera highlights Sri Lanka's achievements in ICT

dy. minister at cyberspace conference netherlands

Deputy Foreign Minister Ajith P Perera participated at the Global Conference on Cyberspace, from 16-17 April 2015 in the Netherlands. Speaking at the conference, the Deputy Minister underscored that Information and Communication Technology was the tool and enabler that would push the boundaries of socio-economic development in Sri Lanka and that e-Government led reforms would be a catalyst in bringing greater transparency, efficiency and accountability. He also briefed on various initiatives underway in the ICT sector that had brought Sri Lanka to the lead position in South Asia on the UN e-Government Readiness rank.

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What is special in this New Year is spread of festivity amidst commitment to good governance - President

president sirisena sinhalanewyear 2015


“What is special in this New Year celebration is the spread of festivity amidst the commitment to good governance that transcends differences of ethnicity, caste and community, with important strides being taken to realize the need for unity among all our people” said President Maithripala Sirisena.

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New Year embellishes national unity, equality and prosperity - PM

pm sinhalanewyear2015


Sinhala and Tamil New Year is a national festival which embellishes the national unity, brotherhood, equality, pleasure and prosperity of which traditions are embedded in the culture of Sri Lankans whose lives are mostly based on an Agricultural economy since distance past, the Sri Lankan Prime Minister said in his New Year Message.

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President Sirisena’s visit testifies to strong bonds between Lanka & Pakistan - Nawaz Sharif

president pakistanpm 06apr2015
 
 
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena’s visit to Pakistan is a testimony to the strong bonds of friendship between the two countries, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said addressing a joint press conference yesterday (April 6).
 
Prime Minister Sharif said Pakistan and Sri Lanka enjoy excellent relations, based on mutual respect and shared interests. Relations are marked by cordiality and commonality of views on major regional and global issues. Pakistan will further deepen and broaden relations with Sri Lanka in all fields of importance, he said.

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President Maithripala Sirisena Undertakes Successful State Visit to the People’s Republic of China

pr sirisena meets pr chinese 26mar2015

H.E. Maithripala Sirisena, President of Sri Lanka paid a State Visit to the People’s Republic of China from 25 to 27 March 2015 on the invitation of H.E. Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China.  During the visit, President Sirisena also met with H.E. Li Keqiang, Premier, and H.E. Zhang Dejiang, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China.  This was President Sirisena’s first visit to China as President undertaken within three months of his election.
 
At the bilateral talks held on 26 March, the two leaders engaged in a warm and friendly exchange of views on a broad range of issues of mutual interest covering bilateral political relations; economic cooperation including, inter alia, development cooperation; trade, investment and tourism; cultural cooperation and people-to-people contacts.
 

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State Visit of His Highness the Emir of the State of Qatar to Sri Lanka

qatar emir-pres 24mar2015

His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar arrived in Sri Lanka on a State Visit today, 24th March 2015 at the invitation of President H.E. Maithripala Sirisena. 
 
The Emir of Qatar who is on a South Asia tour, was warmly welcomed on arrival by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Mangala Samaraweera, accompanied by Minister of Highways & Investment Promotion, Hon. Kabeer Hasheem as the Minister-in-Attendance, and Sri Lanka Ambassador to the State of Qatar, H.E. Jayantha Palipane.
 

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Minister Samaraweera highlights Sri Lanka’s domestic legislative measures to combat terrorist financing and money laundering

hon mfa unhcr 2mar2015


Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera introduced amendments in Parliament today to the United Nations Regulations 1 and 2 of 2012 promulgated under the United Nations Act number 45 of 1968, to bring them into line with international obligations and strengthen the domestic legislative framework.

The UN Regulations of 2012, were enacted by Sri Lanka, in keeping with its international obligations to comply with UN Security Council resolutions 1373 and 1267, that set out measures and strategies to combat international terrorism. The proposed amendments to the UN Regulations that have been gazetted in Extraordinary Gazette No. 1892/37 of 11 December 2014, tabled in Parliament today by Foreign Minister Samaraweera are aimed at strengthening Sri Lanka’s domestic legislative framework to comply with UN Security Council Resolutions on terrorist financing and money laundering and will strengthen the capacity of the law enforcement and judicial authorities responsible for investigating money laundering and terrorist financing.

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Switzerland ready to support Sri Lanka's national reconciliation

president meets swiss fm 17mar2015

Switzerland is willing to open a new chapter in bilateral relations with Sri Lanka and ready to extend its full support for a national reconciliation programme Visiting Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of the Swiss Confederation, Federal Councilor Didier Burkhalter told President Maithripala Sirisena.

The visiting Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs made this pledge Tuesday (March 17) when he met Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat.

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