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

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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 :

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.

22 01 2021 eng


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.


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.


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


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.


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:

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

22 December 2020

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