Sri Lanka’s 6th Periodic Review under the ICCPR to be held in Geneva

Sri Lanka’s 6th Periodic Review under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) will be held on 8 and 9 March 2023 in Geneva.

It is recalled that Sri Lanka acceded to the ICCPR on 11 June 1980. Currently, 173 countries have ratified the ICCPR. In addition to the implementation of the Covenant, all States Parties to the Covenant have undertaken a voluntary obligation to submit periodic reports to the Committee and participate in periodic reviews.

Accordingly, Sri Lanka has submitted 5 Periodic Reports in 1983, 1990, 1994, 2003 and 2013 and has participated in 5 Reviews in 1983, 1991, 1995, 2003 and 2014.

The 6th Report was submitted on 22 February 2019 to the Human Rights Committee. The Human Rights Committee is a body comprised of 18 independent experts that monitor the implementation of the ICCPR. The Reviews of all countries are conducted by the Committee.

At the request of Sri Lanka, the 6th Review will be conducted in hybrid format and will be led by Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Himalee Arunatilaka. The Sri Lanka delegation also comprises senior officials from the Presidential Secretariat, Ministry of Public Security, Attorney-General’s Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the UN in Geneva participating in person. Senior officials from Colombo will join the Review virtually representing the Ministry of Justice, Prison Affairs and Constitutional Reforms, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Women, Child Affairs and Social Empowerment, Ministry of Health, Department of Prisons, Department of Police, Office on Missing Persons (OMP), Office on Reparations (OR) and Office for National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR).

In addition to Sri Lanka, the following countries will also be reviewed by the Human Rights Committee during its 137th session to be held from 27 February to 24 March 2023: Egypt, Turkmenistan, Zambia, Peru, and Panama. 

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

06 March 2023

75 th National Day Message 2023 - H. E.the President

HE President Ranil Wickremesinghe r
Independence Day Message

Our 75th Anniversary of Independence from colonial rule is being observed during an extremely critical and challenging time in the country. It is, indeed, a decisive moment. However it presents an opportunity for us not only to review our strengths and gains as a nation but also to rectify our errors and failures.

Since 1948, we have, as a nation, undergone many tests and travails - from riots, insurgencies and war to natural disasters. These experiences have left us with a sense of inculcated resilience that has made us revive better when faced with adversity. Therefore, I am confident that even at this juncture we will pool our energies as the daughters and sons of one mother to rise up from the current economic abyss and build back stronger.

There is a new economic and social reform agenda before the country with the objectives focusing first on recovery and then on renewed development. It is imperative for us to unite in its implementation so that we can emerge with a high level of economic prosperity. I pledge today to make the extremely difficult though vital decisions to achieve this goal with courage and determination. I anticipate the confidence and support of you, the people of our country, in this

I also take the opportunity to thank you, the Sri Lankan expatriate community, for your contribution towards the development of our motherland despite your distance. I would like to invite you to join us in securing a bright future for the younger generation of Sri Lankans who are at the vanguard of economic and social development. Your faith and investment in the unique and creative ideas of our talented youth who lack capital could give considerable hope and be of
immense benefit to our country in this crisis.

On this historic anniversary, let us all resolve to meet the challenges of this year with further patience and fortitude.

I extend warm felicitations to you, Sri Lankans, here and aboard.

Ranil Wickremesinghe
Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
04 th February 2023

View Message in SInhala

View Message in Tamil

75 th National Day Message - Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs

Hon M.U.M Ali Sabry Minister of Foreign Affairs Photo r

Independence Day Message

75 years ago, after nearly five centuries of European colonial rule, Sri Lanka attained independence as a proud sovereign nation on February 4th, 1948. We entered the international community shortly thereafter as a member state of the United Nations, founded on the principle of the sovereign equality of states.

In the early years of independence Sri Lankan statesmen played a prominent role in championing the aspirations and priorities of newly independent countries at international fora. Through the Colombo Plan, the Colombo Powers, the Bandung Conference, and the Commonwealth, our leaders, including the father of the nation D.S. Senanayake, were at the forefront in forging international partnerships and strengthening solidarity. Under the leadership of the world's first female Prime Minister, Sirimavo Bandaranaike, Sri Lanka rose to the forefront of the Non-Aligned Movement, where it stood together with other newly independent developing nations in Asia and Africa in support of self-determination, equity, and justice in international affairs.

Through the provision of universal healthcare and free education, we have achieved important progress in enhancing literacy, quality of life, and well-being of our people during the past 75 years. We have also secured the nation and overcome terrorist separatist threats to national security. Nonetheless, we must consider realistically what we may have accomplished better. We have much to achieve in the realms of nation building, reconciliation, creating national unity through a single Sri Lankan identity, and constructing a resilient, sustainable, export-oriented economy. To achieve these goals, we must honestly reflect and review, as well as plan forward.

Today, Sri Lankans stand together in a united effort to face unprecedented social and economic challenges through strengthened democratic government, reconciliation, economic stabilisation, and growth. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will focus its diplomatic efforts on maximising prospects for the development and advancement of all sectors of our society. The Ministry and its network of Sri Lanka missions overseas is committed to securing international support for these national priorities. We recognise the significant contribution of Sri Lankans living abroad and welcome their continued engagement.

On the 75th anniversary of our independence, we have been presented with an opportunity. An opportunity for unity, reconciliation, and the strengthening of ethnic harmony and an environment devoid of populist policy to build a stable foundation for sound economic management, recovery and future growth. An opportunity to set our differences aside, to rebuild and renew with hope for success, prosperity and a brighter future for our nation. We must be resolute in our commitment to seize it. We invite Sri Lankans living all over the world join us in this crucial endeavour.

M.U.M. Ali Sabry, P.C., M.P.

Minister of Foreign Affairs

4th February, 2023

View Message in Sinhala

View Message in Tamil


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For thirty years, FACETS has showcased the best of the gem and jewellery industry of Sri Lanka, a country labeled by ancient travelers as Ratnadveepa, or the Island of Gems.The Sri Lanka Gem & Jewellery Association hosts FACETS SRI LANKA 2023 – THE PREMIER EDITION From the 7th to 9th January 2023 At Cinnamon Grand Colombo, Sri Lanka


Statement by the Minister of Foreign Affairs & Head of Delegation of Sri Lanka Hon. Ali Sabry, at the General Debate of the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly on 24 September, 2022 – New York

hon mfa 25 sep 2022

Mr. President,

Mr. Secretary-General, Excellencies,

Ladies & Gentlemen,

I am honoured to represent Sri Lanka at the 77th session of the UNGA; a session which, after two years, brings together world leaders post pandemic to an Assembly in person.

Permit me the honour of congratulating His Excellency Csaba Kőrösi on being elected President of the current session. Mr. President, Sri Lanka looks forward to working closely with you and your team in the year ahead.

May I also convey our appreciation to His Excellency Abdulla Shahid of the Maldives for his excellent stewardship of the 76th Session. As a close friend and neighbour of the Maldives, we express particular appreciation for his Presidency of Hope that gave us renewed optimism and vigour. Building on this, we move to the vision of our new President of the Genereal Assembly (PGA) of finding solutions through solidarity, sustainability and science.


Foreign Minister Ali Sabry assumes duties

25 07 2022 hon mfa mr Ali Sabry assumes duties

Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Sabry assumed duties at the Ministry today (25 July, 2022) at a simple ceremony. Foreign Secretary Aruni Wijewardane and the senior officials were present.

Addressing the officials, Minister Ali Sabry stated that he looked forward to delivering on the mandate of the Ministry to steer forward Sri Lanka's foreign relations, taking the domestic compulsions too into consideration. He commended the outgoing Minister Prof G L Peiris for his leadership provided to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


New Foreign Secretary Aruni Wijewardane assumes duties

23 05 2022 Mrs Aruni Wijewardena assumes duties as Secretary Foreign Affairs r

The new Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Aruni Wijewardane assumed duties at the Foreign Ministry on 23 May, 2022. She was appointed as the Secretary with effect from 20 May, 2022.

After a simple ceremony following the assumption of duties, Foreign Secretary Wijewardane addressed the staff officers of the Ministry.


Media Statement from Sri Lanka Tourism

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Sri Lanka Tourism is navigating the current macro-environmental conditions in the country with great care, taking all necessary measures to ensure continuity of regular operations with minimum interruptions. In this regard a special operations unit has been set up within Sri Lanka Tourism to facilitate with all required assistance for tourists who are already in Sri Lanka and to provide accurate information for potential visitors planning visits to Sri Lanka. The unit will be a 24/7 operation that can be reached through, hotline 1912 (within Sri Lanka) or +94112426800 (outside Sri Lanka) and via email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">.

Please see full Media Statement

Foreign Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris attends bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the High-Level Segment of the 49th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva

1 28 feb 2022
Minister of Foreign Affairs Prof. G.L. Peiris and the Sri Lanka delegation had high level bilateral meetings on 28 February, 2022, with the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), on the side lines of the High-Level Segment of the 49th session of the Human Rights Council which commenced 28 February, 2022.

During his meeting with Minister of State of the United Kingdom for South and Central Asia, UN and the Commonwealth Lord Tariq Ahmed, the Minister of Foreign Affairs discussed bilateral cooperation, and progress achieved by Sri Lanka in advancing reconciliation as well as the Government’s comprehensive efforts at fostering unity and harmony. The Minister emphasized the need for understanding and recognition of Sri Lanka’s efforts.


Independence Day Address by His Excellency Gotabaya Rajapaksa, President of Sri Lanka

04 02 2022 74th independence day
Most Venerable Maha Sangha,

Other Religious Dignitaries,

Hon. Prime Minister,

Hon. Speaker,

Hon. Chief Justice,

Hon. Leader of the Opposition,

Hon. Ministers and Hon Governors,

Hon. State Ministers,

Hon. Members of Parliament,

Ambassadors and High Commissioners,

Secretary to the President and all Government Officials,

Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army,

Commander of the Navy, Commander of the Air Force and Inspector General of Police,

Director General of the Civil Security Department,

Distinguished Guests,

War Heroes,

All Sri Lankan Brothers and Sisters,

Beloved Children,

Throughout history, people of various nations have struggled, fought and made great sacrifices for their right to live as dignified citizens in a free country.

In Sri Lanka too, Great Kings such as Dutugemunu, Walagamba, Maha Parakumba, Vijayabahu and Parakumba the Sixth fought against foreign invaders at various periods during a 2,500 year history, liberated the country from foreigners and united it.

It is now 74 years since our country finally gained freedom from 450 years of European colonial rule. Even after independence, we had to fight for nearly three decades against an attempt to divide this country through terrorism.

Today Sri Lanka is a free, sovereign, democratic country. We are its proud citizens.


Speech by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the “ World Leaders Summit of COP26″, UN Climate Change Conference, Scotland, UK 01 November 2021

01 nov 2021 COP26 world leaders summit


This event takes place at a critical time for humanity.

As a developing tropical island nation with abundant biodiversity, Sri Lanka is deeply aware of the impacts of climate change.

Our rich philosophical heritage, shaped by Lord Buddha’s teachings, places great value on environmental integrity.

Sustainability is therefore at the heart of our national policy framework.


Speech by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the “Rediscovering Nitrogen: Solutions and Synergies for Climate Change, Health, Biodiversity and Circular Economy”, COP26 Side Event, Scotland, UK on 31 October 2021

31 oct 2021 H.E President COP26 side event


It gives me great pleasure to address you this evening and I am very happy to see such an illustrious turnout at this event.

As we are all aware, climate change is one of the greatest crises the world currently faces.

The leaders of nearly all countries are meeting over the next two days to discuss and hopefully commit to actions that will start leading us out of it.


Speech of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at 76th UN General Assembly – New York, September 22, 2021

22 sep 2021 UNGA address by HE President
Statement by H.E. Gotabaya Rajapaksa

President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
at the General Debate of the Seventy-Sixth Session of the
United Nations General Assembly

22 September 2021

Mr. President,

Secretary General,
Ladies and Gentlemen,


I am honoured to represent Sri Lanka at this august gathering today.

Let me first congratulate His Excellency Abdulla Shahid on being elected President of the 76th session of the General Assembly.

Mr. President, you have long been a friend of Sri Lanka. We look forward to working closely with you in the year ahead.

I also take this opportunity to convey our appreciation of His Excellency Volkan Bozkir’s stewardship of the previous session of the General Assembly, and to commend Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for his leadership in these difficult times.

Mr. President,

The COVID19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on humanity.

I sympathise deeply with all who have lost their loved ones during the pandemic.

I thank frontline healthcare and essential workers around the world for their dedication and commend the World Health Organisation for its crisis response.


Foreign Minister Prof. G.L Peiris assumes duties

18 aug 2021 hon G L Peiris assusm duties

The newly appointed Foreign Minister Prof. G.L Peiris assumed duties at the Ministry today (18 August, 2021) at a simple ceremony graced by outgoing Foreign Minister and the new Minister of Education Dinesh Gunawardena; State Minister of Regional Cooperation Tharaka Balasuriya; State Minister of Women and Child Development, Preschools & Primary Education, School Infrastructure & Education Services Piyal Nishantha De Silva;  Member of Parliament and General Secretary of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Sagara Kariyawasam; Foreign Secretary Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage and other officials. The Buddhist clergy led by the chief incumbent of the Bellanwila Rajamaha Viharaya Ven. Dr. Bellanwila Dhammaratana Nayaka Thero invoked blessings on the occasion.


Sri Lanka, as a globally acclaimed leisure destination, takes the lead to revitalize the regional and domestic tourism industry through enhanced regional cooperation

17 aug 2021

The Foreign Ministry of Sri Lanka, jointly with the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, organized a virtual business to business (B2B) interactive session on 17 August, 2021, with the Member States of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) to enhance tourism cooperation. About 100 tourism industry experts representing the public and private sector from twenty-seven CICA Member States participated in the webinar. The discussions focused on the importance and benefits of international collective efforts and joint endeavors to build a more resilient and sustainable tourism sector in the post-pandemic era.


Sri Lanka launches the Submarine Cable Protection and Resilience Framework

Joint Media Release

(The Foreign Ministry and the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka)

Sri Lanka launches the Submarine Cable Protection and Resilience Framework


On 15 July 2021, at a stakeholder meeting chaired by Secretary to the President Dr. P. B. Jayasundara launched the Submarine Cable Protection and Resilience Framework.

Sri Lanka is the first country in Asia to come up with such a Framework and it would have not been possible, if not for generous support of the Government of Japan through the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) – Global Maritime Crimes Programme (GMCP).


Message of H.E. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, President of Sri Lanka on the occasion of Hajj







































Vesak Day Message of H.E. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, President of Sri Lanka.

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                                                Sinhala Message                    Tamil Message                       English Mesage



Celebration of International Tea Day -21st May 2021

20 may 2021 international tea day


 International Tea Day is a United Nations observance celebrated annually on May 21 to express the economical, biological and physical benefits of tea. It was inaugurated by the General Assembly and essentially replaced the unofficial observance of the same name, which used to be celebrated on December 15 in tea producing countries. The observance of International Tea Day is promoted and facilitated by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization in collaboration with other relevant organizations and stakeholders.

Millions of families in developing and least developed countries owe their livelihood and subsistence to tea. Some of the poorest countries rely on the tea industry as a main source of income and export revenues; due to being a labor-intensive sector, it is the most important provider of jobs for people living in economically disadvantaged and remote areas of the tea producing regions. As one of the major perennial crops, tea plays a significant role in rural development, poverty reduction and food security in developing countries.


Sri Lanka Investment Virtual Forum 2021

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Sri Lanka Investment Forum-2021

Sri Lanka Investment Forum-2021’ is scheduled to be held virtually from 07-09 June, 2021.

This forum will focus on several potential areas for investment in Sri Lanka which include manufacturing; Information and communication Technology; Hospitality and Tourism; Agriculture & Food processing and Construction, infrastructure & Logistics.

Important sub sectors that would especially be covered include the following:



Pharma-Zone with pre-environment clearance, industry leading tax breaks for Pharma companies to strengthen supply chain



Dedicated Fabric Park to achieve supply chain resilience by localizing raw material imports



Code for Multiple stock exchanges, airlines, theme parks, boardrooms and banks is developed in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is among the fastest growing ICT hubs in South Asia



Best Travel Destination in 2019 (Lonely Planet); government expects to achieve incremental tourism revenue ~$6bn per annum by 2025


Solid tyre capital of the world with further opportunity for large investments

This forum will be an ideal opportunity for the members of your esteemed institution to know about following positive factors regarding investing in Sri Lanka;

  • Colombo Port City with New Special Economic Zone (SEZ) law and attractive fiscal incentives which is comparable to Dubai, Hong Kong and Singapore
  • Government offers for industry-leading incentives with low tax regime.
  • Colombo Stock Exchange which is one of the fastest growing stock markets in the region.
  • Sri Lanka’s knowledge driven economy
  • Ever growing ICT and BPO sector

Please click here for the event brochure.

Link for Forum Registration:

For more details and any clarification please send and an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. OR contact Tel: 00 41 (0) 779105355.


Joint Communique On the State Visit of H. E. Mahinda Rajapaksa, Prime Minister of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka to the People’s Republic of Bangladesh on 19 – 20 March 2021

19 mar 2021  hon pm bangladesh visit


1. At the invitation of H. E. Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, H. E. Mahinda Rajapaksa, Prime Minister of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka paid a State Visit to Bangladesh on 19 – 20 March 2021 to participate in the celebration marking the Birth Centenary of Bangladesh’s Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the Golden Jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence.

2. The State visit signifies the fact that this is the first overseas visit undertaken by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa after assuming the premiership in August 2020.

3. Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa was accompanied by a high-level delegation comprising Minister of Education, State Minister for Regional Cooperation, State Minister of Money and Capital Market and State Enterprise Reforms, State Minister of Batik, Handloom Fabric and Local Apparel Products and State Minister of Rural Housing and Construction and Building Material Industries, Secretary to the Prime Minister, Foreign Secretary and senior government officials of Sri Lanka. 


Foreign Secretary’s Interview on CNN-News18, India – 18 March 2021

20 03 2021 Secretary im 600x380 r

Foreign Secretary Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage was interviewed on CNN- News18, India on 18 March 2021.

The interview may be viewed at the following links respectively :

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