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

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Celebration of International Tea Day -21st May 2021

20 may 2021 international tea day

SRI LANKA TEA BOARD ON THE OCCASION OF CELEBRATION OF INTERNATIONAL TEA DAY - 21ST MAY 2021

 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.

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Sri Lanka Investment Virtual Forum 2021

7 may 2021 web banner

 

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:

 

Pharmaceutical:

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

 

Apparel:

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

 

ICT:

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

 

Tourism:

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

Rubber:

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: https://www.invest-srilanka.lk/

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. 

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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 :

https://t.co/U2puy4BA2D

https://t.co/m5tpcdRxjv

https://t.co/BgXoLYqRc2

Commission of Inquiry appointed to look into alleged human rights & IHL violations

Media release issued by the PMD dated 22.01.2021 together with  the Extraordinary Gazette notification  on the appointment of a three-member Commission of Inquiry (CoI) by H.E. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to investigate, inquire into and report or take necessary action on findings of preceding commissions or committees on alleged human rights violations, serious violations of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and other such offences in Sri Lanka.

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Sri Lanka is Open for Tourist Arrivals: Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena informs ACD Member States at the 17th Ministerial Meeting

22 01 2021 hon mfa tourist arrival

In his address at the 17th Ministerial Meeting of the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) held on 21 January 2021 under the theme “New Normal and Safe and Healthy Tourism”, Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena stated that Sri Lanka opened its borders after much consultation, preparation following best practices, keeping safety and security of its citizens as paramount and that of the visitors. The Ministerial meeting was preceded by a Senior Officials Meeting held on 19 January 2021.

Commending the Government of the Republic of Turkey for hosting the ACD Ministerial Meeting virtually, Minister Gunawardena stated that Sri Lanka is committed to the ambitious work plan of the ACD in line with the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to promote inclusive growth in the region. Commenting further, the Minister stated that in line with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s policy framework “Vistas of Prosperity and Splendor” Sri Lanka is focusing on a friendly and non-aligned foreign policy with special focus on Asia.

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Sri Lanka Reopens to International Tourism on the 21st of January 2021

 Open for Tourist 14 jan 2021

 

Sri Lanka is ready to welcome tourists with our traditional greeting, 'Ayubowan' by adhering to strict safety protocols. Health authorities of Sri Lanka has formulated health guidelines for tourists to be observed on arrival. KPMG has awarded 'Safe & Secure' certificates for tourist establishments and service providers that required to be met with COVID-19 protocol. Sri Lanka has received the Safe Travel Stamp from the World Travel & Tourism Council considering required safety measures have been implemented in the country.

Repatriation Process “People Centric and Transparent” - Foreign Ministry sets the record straight

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The Foreign Ministry will continue facilitating repatriations without any financial burden on Sri Lankans, the Foreign Secretary asserted responding to misinformation in the public domain. Secretary Jayanath Colombage made it clear that the role of the Missions is strictly confined to organizing repatriation flights for returnees who are tested on arrival, offered all logistical support and are quarantined at Government facilities free of charge.

The returnees are drawn from the list of overseas Sri Lankans registered in the Missions and Posts and repatriated depending on their vulnerability levels and on a “first come first serve basis“. Foreign Employment Bureau and their representatives are working with our missions on the safe return of the expatriate working community on the same basis in relation to availability of flights and clearance by Airport Authorities in the relevant countries. The number of passengers who are permitted to travel per day, however, is determined by the Task Force chiefly based on a periodical appraisal and inputs provided by the Army in charge of quarantine centres and the Ministry of Health which is entrusted with the task of implementing health guidelines.

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Sri Lanka's First-Ever Virtual Design Festival to Showcase ‘Designed and Made in Sri Lanka’ Globally

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Setting a new national benchmark, the Academy of Design (AOD) has conceptualized SRI LANKA DESIGN FESTIVAL 2021, with the purpose of promoting the country’s ‘designed and made in Sri Lanka’ initiatives through a series of virtual fashion showcases, design exhibitions, forums and workshops that focus on product innovation, sustainable design, art and creative industries. The Sri Lanka Design Festival 2021 will be held virtually for the first-time, on the 15th, 16th and 17th of January 2021. The Festival will showcase to a global audience through various collaborations and international partnerships.

Under the theme ‘impACT’, the Virtual Festival will showcase fashion and design initiatives that motivate the industry to ACT now and create a positive impact, in a meaningful way whilst bringing in much-needed new exports through design driven innovation.

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Foreign Secretary Colombage speaks of the repatriation process and the revival of tourism

06 jan 2021 foreign secretary interview news first

Foreign Secretary Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage was interviewed on Sirasa TV1 on 05 January 2021 where he explained about the repatriation process of Sri Lankan’s overseas and the revival of the tourism industry amid the COVID-19 pandemic.


The full interview is available at: https://youtu.be/RWI8WuQ7qWc

Government to re-introduce conditional repatriation in the wake of new strain of Coronavirus

In the wake of the discovery of a fast spreading new strain of Coronavirus in certain countries, the Government of Sri Lanka has decided to continue with the existing procedure of obtaining prior approval from the Foreign Ministry and the Civil Aviation Authority for all inbound travellers to Sri Lanka.

The revised guidelines on repatriation will be issued once the situation has been reappraised.

Foreign Ministry
Colombo

22 December 2020

Foreign Minister holds an event to mark 65 years of Sri Lanka's membership at the United Nations

15 dec 2020 65 anniversary at united nations

Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena met the United Nations Resident Coordinator Hanaa Singer and the heads of UN agencies based in Colombo yesterday 14 December 2020 at an event held at the Foreign Ministry to mark the 65th anniversary of Sri Lanka’s membership of the United Nations.

Addressing the gathering Foreign Minister Gunawardena reiterated Sri Lanka’s contribution to the UN system and reaffirmed the commitment of the Government of Sri Lanka led by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to represent the interests of the Global South through its Neutral Non-Aligned policy with the UN, based on the principles enshrined in the UN Charter.

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Statement by Hon. Dinesh Gunawardena, Foreign Minister of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka at the 31st Special Session of the General Assembly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic 03/04 December 2020

3 december 2020 UN special session  on covid

Mr President

Mr Secretary-General

Your Majesties

Your Excellencies

Distinguished Delegates

Ladies and Gentlemen

At the outset, I thank H.E. Volkan Bozkir, President of the General Assembly for convening the Special Session in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as proposed by the Non Aligned Movement and Azerbaijan, Chair of the NAM.

I convey my deepest condolences to all those who have lost loved ones due to the COVID-19 Pandemic the greatest global health crisis to face humanity, and express appreciation to the frontline healthcare and essential services workers in Sri Lanka and worldwide, for their dedication and commitment.

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Remarks Made by Hon Dinesh Gunawardena Foreign Minister at the Inaugural Event of the 4th NSA – Level Trilateral Meeting on Maritime Cooperation on 28 November 2020

28 nov 2020 hon mfa 4th ns a trilateral meeting


Hon. Mariya Didi, Defence Minister of Maldives,

Shri Ajit Doval, National Security Adviser of India,

Defence Secretary Major General Kamal Gunaratne,

Foreign Secretary Admiral Professor Jayanath Colombage,

Distinguished delegates,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me, at the outset, warmly welcome you and the visiting delegations from India and Maldives to this important Trilateral Security Meeting, which is being convened after a lapse of six years. I also welcome to our midst the latest Observer Bangladesh and of course Mauritius and Seychelles who have been with us as observers since 2014.

Your presence in Colombo, despite the challenges, posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, amply demonstrates the commitment – both individually and collectively- to the common purpose of collaborating on our key maritime security interests and for the region’s stability and wellbeing. Our national priorities demand of us to collaborate in order to ensure our collective security and wellbeing. As littoral States, the Indian Ocean holds a vital conduit for our prosperity and as some have said, it may well define the destiny of the planet in the 21st century. This forum provides us with a valuable platform to pursue these goals.

Our Security is not limited to physical security and consequent regional stability, but also encompasses nontraditional security challenges including threats to marine environment. Over exploitation of ocean-based living and natural resources, pollution, threats posed by oil spills and chemicals, acidification of the seas and sea-level rise are also among our concerns.

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Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena underscores the importance of adequate funding for development initiatives enabling developing countries to overcome the multifaceted challenges hindering the achievement of SDGs

12 nov 2020 hon mfa

Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena reiterated the call of the Group of 77 for adequate funding for development initiatives enabling developing countries to overcome the multifaceted challenges hindering the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in the context of the exacerbated global situation due to the pandemic and its adverse effects on trade, tourism, investment and employment.

The Forty-Fourth Annual Meeting of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Group of 77 was held virtually on Thursday (12 November), chaired by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana. The interactive dialogue was held on the theme "Major priority issues and the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the obstacles it poses to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and achievement of the SDGs".

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Foreign Ministry cautions Sri Lankan travellers

The Foreign Ministry of Sri Lanka urges all prospective Sri Lankan travellers both inbound and outbound to be cautious of individuals who demand payment / fee or any form of financial charges to facilitate entry permission to Sri Lanka or any third country.

The Foreign Ministry hereby announces that no individual or entity is authorized by the Sri Lankan Government to facilitate entry to or exit from Sri Lanka other than the Government institutions concerned.

The repatriation process which was temporarily suspended due to the rising numbers of caseloads in the country, will be resumed in the coming weeks with priority offered to the most vulnerable and deserving cases.

Those who reside overseas may contact your nearest Sri Lanka Embassy, Sri Lanka High Commission or Consulate General for further and authentic information or register your concerns on the Contact Sri Lanka web portal at https://www.contactsrilanka.mfa.gov.lk/

Foreign Ministry

Colombo

13 November 2020

The Speech Delivered by the Hon. Foreign Minister of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka at the Launch of the UN Network on Migration in Sri Lanka, 11 November 2020

11 nov 2020 hon mfa migration

Ayubowan,

Mr. Chairman,

Excellencies, Distinguished Guests

I am deeply honoured to deliver the opening address at the Launch of the Sri Lanka Chapter of the United Nations Global Network on Migration. At the outset may I take the opportunity to extend a warm appreciation to Her Excellency Madam Hanaa Singer, the UN Resident Coordinator in Sri Lanka and Mr. Sarat Dash, Chief of the International Organization for Migration for inviting me to deliver the opening address at this event.

The United Nations Global Network on Migration establishes a network on migration to ensure effective, timely and coordinated system-wide support to Member States. In carrying out its mandate, the Network would prioritize the rights and well-being of migrants and their communities of destination, origin, and transit. Most importantly, it places emphasis on those issues where a common UN system approach would add value and from which results and impact can be readily gauged.

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Performing Consular Services at the Foreign Ministry under COVID-19 Pandemic Situation

The Foreign Ministry has decided to resume document attestation services offered by the Consular Affairs Division of the Ministry to limited number of clients per day strictly on prior appointment basis with effect from 11 November 2020, in order to ensure uninterrupted efficient service for the general public in line with the health protective measures introduced.

Accordingly, an appointment should be made through the following web extension or telephone number prior to visit the Consular Affairs Division and the appointments will be available only from 10.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. during working days:

Web extension: http://consular.mfa.gov.lk/ONLINEBOOKING

Telephone: +94 112 338 812

The persons who have not made an appointment in this manner will not be allowed to enter the office premises located at the Ceylinco Building in Colombo 01 and the people in the areas of isolation/ curfew should refrain from visiting the office during this time.

For queries related to death, compensation, repatriation and miscellaneous matters of Sri Lankans overseas please contact the following:

Fax:+94 112 473 899              e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Section

Telephone

Death

+94 112 338 836        

+94 113 136 715

+94 776 032 252 

+94 773 586 433

+94 718 415 623        

+94 701 428 246

Compensation

+94 112 437 635                 

+94 117 101 193

Repatriation

+94 112 338 837

Miscellaneous

+94 112 338 843                 

+94 117 101 162

Please note that both the Regional Consular Offices in Matara and Jaffna, will also be opened for the general public during working days. Please make prior appointment through the following telephone numbers:

Regional Consular Office in Matara:  +94 412 226 697

Regional Consular Office in Jaffna:   +94 212 215 972

Foreign Ministry

Colombo

10 November 2020

Read more: www.mfa.gov.lk

Foreign Secretary Colombage speaks of growing Indian Ocean importance

24 oct 2020 sfa adaderana interview r

Foreign Secretary Prof. Jayanath Colombage highlighted the growing importance of the Indian Ocean for global trade, and global security on Hyde Park, Ada Derana on 24 October 2020.

He also spoke of the 'Sri Lanka First' policy and maintaining the non-aligned stance and neutrality.

Full interview at: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=apUiG0mqr5M

Address by Guest of Honour, Hon Dinesh Gunawardena, Foreign Minister at “Shaping our future together” the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations and 65th Anniversary of the United Nations in Colombo, virtual event on 23 October 2020

23 oct 2020 hon mfa shaping the future together

Hon Prime Minister,

Hon Minister of Youth and Sports

Her Excellency the UN Resident Coordinator in Sri Lanka

Staff of the UN Country Team in Sri Lanka,

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen

I am pleased to address you today on this historic occasion of the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations and the 65th Anniversary of the United Nations in Colombo.

The United Nations’ reaching its seventy-fifth year, demonstrates the durability of not only this organization, but also the concept of multilateralism, based on the core principles of sovereign equality of all States, respect for their territorial integrity and non-interference in their domestic affairs. The partnerships fostered between Member States and the UN continues are at their best when based on these principles.

As we are celebrating this milestone, the world is faced with the unprecedented challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic. This virus transcends national boundaries and no Member State can withstand the varied effects of the pandemic nor find solutions alone. The UN plays an important role in fostering multilateral action and mobilizing global solidarity towards addressing this scourge. Sri Lanka appreciates and supports the contributions by the UN and especially the WHO to the global response to address the multiple challenges of the pandemic.

While celebrating the 65th anniversary of Sri Lanka’s membership in the United Nations this year, Sri Lanka is pleased to have contributed significantly to the work of the United Nations, from its peacekeeping operations to its specialized agencies. Sri Lankan nationals have served with distinction in varied roles within the organization.

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Temporary Suspension of Consular Services at the Foreign Ministry

The Foreign Ministry has decided to suspend all services offered by the Consular Affairs Division of the Ministry until further notice, to restrict the congregation of the general public and thereby to prevent the spreading of COVID-19 Virus.

Accordingly, the Consular Affairs Division situated at the Ceylinco Building in Colombo will remain closed for visitors, including exporters who visit the Division for attestation of Export Documents, until further notice. Please note that document attestation services will also not be offered by both the Regional Consular Offices in Matara and Jaffna, until further notice.

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Address by Foreign Minister, Dinesh Gunawardena at the High-Level Meeting on the 25th Anniversary of the 4th World Conference on Women on 01 October 2020

01 oct 2020 hon foreign minister World conference on women

Address by Foreign Minister, Dinesh Gunawardena at the High-Level Meeting on the 25th Anniversary of the 4th World Conference on Women on 01 October 2020

Address by Hon Dinesh Gunawardena,

Foreign Minister of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

at the High-Level Meeting on the 25th Anniversary of

the 4th World Conference on Women

01 October 2020

Theme: “Accelerating the realization of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls”

Opening remarks:

Mr. President,

Mr. Secretary-General,

Your Excellencies,

Distinguished Delegates,

Ladies and gentlemen,

· I am honored to represent Sri Lanka at this High-Level Meeting to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the 4th World Conference on women.

· Undoubtedly, the Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action, which was adopted during the 4th World Conference on Women in 1995 is a landmark global agenda for the empowerment of women. This comprehensive policy document remains relevant today as it was 25 years ago, as a source of guidance and inspiration for the advancement of women and the achievement of gender equality, globally.

· While recognizing that vital steps have been taken by the global community towards achieving gender equality and empowering women, we also acknowledge that challenges and obstacles continue to remain, impeding the socio-economic and political development of women.

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