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Gifting of a sapling of the sacred Sri Maha Bodhi to Thailand

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Minister of Buddhasasana and Wayamba Development Gamini Jayawickrama Perera, designated as the Special Envoy of President Maithripala Sirisena, to gift a sapling of the sacred Sri Maha Bodhi Tree to Thailand, called on Thai Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha on 18 February 2019 at the Government House in Bangkok. This sacred gifting is following an initiative of President Sirisena. The Minister having conveyed President Sirisena’s regrets on his inability to participate personally at the gifting ceremony of the sacred bo sapling, also outlined the advent of Buddhism in Sri Lanka 2600 years ago.

Prime Minister Chan-o-cha while warmly recalling his last official visit to Sri Lanka acknowledged its outcome as fruitful, and expressed thanks to President Sirisena for the Buddha statue gifted to Wat Dhammaram during his official visit to Thailand, enabling the exposition of the Mahiyangana sacred relics which were worshiped by 500,000 Thai people on that occasion and the present gifting of the sacred bo sapling of the Sri Maha Bodhi, which will be enshrined in Ayutthaya, and easily accessible to the Thai people. It may be recalled that when the foundation of Sri Lanka’s Buddhist monkhood eroded during the colonial period, it was the King of then Siam with the capital of the Kingdom being Ayutthaya, that re-established the higher ordination tradition by sending a delegation of monks from there.

Read more: Gifting of a sapling of the sacred Sri Maha Bodhi to Thailand

 

Matara Regional Consular Office declared open

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The Matara Regional Consular Office of the Foreign Ministry was declared open today (15) jointly by Minister of Foreign Affairs Tilak Marapana and Minister of Finance and Mass Media Mangala Samaraweera. Several members of the Southern Provincial Council, members of local government bodies of the Matara District and senior government officials including the District Secretary of Matara and Divisional Secretaries of the Southern Province attended the opening ceremony.

Following the ceremonial opening, documents attested by the Matara Regional Consular Office using the e-DAS system were handed over to their owners by the two Ministers, as the first consular service provided by the new office.

Addressing the gathering, Foreign Minister Marapana stated that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will take steps to open more regional offices in future particularly in the areas where a substantial number of families of migrant workers reside, enabling them to obtain consular services in their own districts, without travelling to Colombo. He appreciated the contribution of Minister Mangala Samaraweera as his predecessor towards taking the services of the Foreign Ministry to the people by first opening a Regional Consular Office in Jaffna.

With the opening of the Regional Consular Office, the general public is able to obtain consular services including attestation of birth, marriage and death certificates and other legal documents for their use abroad, assistance to family members of Sri Lankans stranded abroad, facilitation of redress and compensation claims of families of migrant workers and repatriation of human remains from abroad, among a range of services.

Minister Samaraweera thanked Minister Marapana for choosing Matara to open the Ministry’s second Regional Consular Office.

Earlier on, Acting Foreign Secretary, Ahmed A. Jawad, welcomed the Ministers, representatives of government agencies and the general public and thanked them for their support and presence. The Vote of Thanks was delivered by Director General Administration of the Ministry, Aruna Fernando.

 

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Colombo

 

15 February 2019

Text in Sinhala (PDF)

Text in Tamil (PDF)

 

 

Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Toronto Conducts Mobile Service to Assist Pensioners

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The Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Toronto conducted a Consular Mobile Service to assist Sri Lankan pensioners living in Canada on 09 February 2019 at Sri Varasiththi Vinayagar Hindu Temple in Toronto. This was part of the Consulate’s efforts to bring consular services closer to the Sri Lankans living in Toronto.

The mobile service extended assistance to nearly 250 pensioners. The second Consular Mobile Service for pensioners will be held during the first week of March 2019.

 

Consulate General of Sri Lanka

Toronto

11 February 2019

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Opens its Second Regional Consular Office in Matara

As a part of the initiatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to take its consular services to the people, without having to travel to Colombo, the formal opening of the second Regional Consular Office in Matara will take place on Friday, 15 February 2019 at 10.30 a.m.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tilak Marapana and Minister of Finance and Mass Media, Mangala Samaraweera will declare open the office in the presence of Ministers, Deputy Ministers and Members of Parliament representing Southern Province.

Consular services to be extended to the public would include attestation of birth, marriage and death certificates, educational and other legal documents for their use abroad, extending assistance to family members of Sri Lankans stranded abroad, facilitation of redress and compensation claims of families of migrant workers and repatriation of human remains from abroad. The Regional Consular Office is located at No.391, Anagaraika Darmapala Mawatha, Matara. A regional Consular Office has been functioning in Jaffna since 26 January 2017.


 

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Colombo
13 February 2019

Text in Sinhala (PDF)
Text in Tamil   (PDF)

 

 

Ceylon Tea Promotion at the 7th Annual Toronto Tea Festival 2019

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The Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Toronto, as part of its tea promotional program in 2019, participated in the 7th Annual Toronto Tea Festival 2019, organized by the Tea Guild of Canada, which was held from 1st – 3rd February, 2019 at the Toronto Reference Library with the support of the Sri Lanka Tea Board.

Along with the Consulate General, over 30 tea vendors and other private sector entities, dealing with tea and other natural products took part at the event. At the Sri Lanka Tea booth,   Ceylon Tea samples from 6 regions in Sri Lanka were displayed and free Ceylon Tea samples, provided by the Sri Lanka Tea Board were distributed among participants, numbering over 2700, during the three day event. Hot tea from these regions was also served to all the visitors. At the event, the participants were given the opportunity to participate in the seminars and listen to presentations on tea related topics. Internationally renowned speakers were available for clarifications on tea and culture.

The Consulate’s participation facilitated promotion of Ceylon Tea, raising awareness among the participants on Sri Lanka’s rich tea culture, history of Ceylon Tea, processing techniques, and preparation styles. A large number of participants showed genuine interest about the tea production and on purchasing Ceylon Tea. The tea promotional event was a success and the Consulate General intends to participate in the next year’s Tea Festival as well.

   

Consulate General of Sri Lanka

Toronto

11 February 2019

 

 

Flag hosting ceremony in Toronto

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The Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Toronto organized flag hoisting ceremony in connection with the 71st Independence Day of Sri Lanka at the Toronto City Hall on 4th February 2019, with the participation of expatriate Sri Lankans residing in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and adjacent cities.

The event commenced with hoisting of the national flag, singing the national anthem in Sinhala and Tamil languages and the Canadian national anthem, followed by observance of one-minute silence in memory of those who sacrificed their lives for the motherland.  The message of H. E. the President Maithripala Sirisena was read by Consul General in Toronto, Mr. K.S.Jayaweera, while those of Hon. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs Tilak Marapana were read by Deputy Consul General Ms. J.A.D.S.P. Wijegunasekera, and Consul Mr. L.G. Dissanayake.

Addressing the gathering, Consul General Mr. Jayaweera appreciated the cooperation of the Sri Lankan community towards realization of objectives of the Consulate as well as unity among the Sri Lankans in Canada. The Consul General also thanked everyone, who sent warm greetings to Sri Lanka and its people.

A cultural event will be organized as a part of the Independence Day celebrations during this month.

 

Consulate General of Sri Lanka

Toronto

04 February 2019

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Consular Mobile Service for Pensioners on 9th February 2019 from 9.30 a.m. to 1.30 p.m.

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High Commissioner Asoka Girihagama graces Thai Pongal celebrations in Montréal

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Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to Canada, Asoka Girihagama was the Special Guest at the Thai Pongal celebrations organized by the Thamillor Oli Association of Quebec in collaboration with the Montréal Tamil Schools and Fine Arts Schools on 12th January 2019 at the Ecolé Lucien Page Auditorium in Montréal, Quebec.

 High Commissioner Girihagama and Mrs. Sudarma Girihagama were welcomed by the organizers on their arrival.

Addressing the large gathering, which consisted of prominent dignitaries including MPs, MNAs the Mayor, City Counsellors and representatives of different cultural communities, High Commissioner Girihagama spoke of the prominence according to all religious festivals in the Sri Lankan calendar and stated that the festivities begin for the year with the celebration of Thai Pongal. Speaking of the significance of the celebrations, Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner stated that the celebrations bring families together and is a time when old enmities, personal animosities and rivalries are forgotten. He said that estrangements are healed and reconciliation effected on this festive occasion.

High Commissioner Girihagama also commended the community members for following their cultural practices and traditions although they live thousands of miles away from their motherland for many years, which he said, proved the popular saying that “culture has no boundaries and limits”.

The Thamillor Oli Association was established in 1984 and has been working towards uniting Tamil community throughout Montréal and helping them to integrate into the Canadian society. The Association has also been in the forefront of keeping the community’s heritage and culture alive through language development and fine arts including music, art, dance and poetry.

The celebrations included many cultural items performed by the members of the community.

 High Commissioner Girihagama was accompanied by his spouse, Mrs. Sudarma Girihagama.

 

Sri Lanka High Commission

Ottawa

14th January 2019

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Foreign Minister Marapana calls on Sri Lankan diplomats to boost the image of Sri Lanka overseas through effective execution of public diplomacy

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Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana has called on Sri Lankan diplomats to boost the image of Sri Lanka overseas through efficient and effective execution of public diplomacy, utilizing its intrinsic brands such as Buddhism, gems, tea, spices, high-end export products and the warmth of traditional Sri Lankan hospitality.

Minister Marapana made these remarks at the certificate awarding ceremony on Friday (11 January) of the two-week long Public Diplomacy and Media Relations training programme, organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for its officials in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Press Institute (SLPI) with a view to enhancing their public diplomacy and media relations skills. The programme was attended by the officers of the 2018 intake of the Sri Lanka Foreign Service and a group of mid-level officers serving in the Ministry.

This was the first time in two decades that the Ministry organized a professional training programme dedicated to public diplomacy and media relations for its officials.

Read more: Foreign Minister Marapana calls on Sri Lankan diplomats to boost the image of Sri Lanka overseas through effective execution of public diplomacy

   

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