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SERIES OF EVENTS HELD IN TORONTO TO MARK VESAK-2018

 

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Many events to mark Vesak, the most significant day in the Buddhist calendar took place in the Greater Toronto Area. The Toronto Maha Vihara, the West End Buddhist Temple and Meditation Centre of Mississauga, the Brampton-Caledon Buddhist Mission Centre and many community organizations came together and arranged sermons, children’s Sil program, alms giving, devotional songs, lantern exhibitions and food donation drives in connection with the celebrations.

Representing the Theravada, Mahayana and Vajirayana traditions, four Buddhist temples in the Greater Toronto Area organized 7th Annual Unity Vesak celebrations at the Mississauga Celebration Square on 27 May 2018. Priests from Chinese, Vietnamese, Myanmar and Sri Lankan Buddhist temples chanted blessings. Bhante Dr. Saranapala Thero, of the West End Buddhist Temple and Meditation Centre of Mississauga and chair of the organizing committee in his address highlighted the way to follow Lord Buddha’s journey for the benefit, welfare and happiness of human beings. Abbots and Abbess from FoGuang Shan Temple, Ching Kwok Buddhist Temple and Cham Shan Temple also addressed the gathering. Leader of Conservative Party and Opposition Leader of Federal Parliament Andrew Sheer, Consul General of Sri Lanka U.L.M. Jauhar, Members of Federal Parliament Sven Spengemann, Peter Fonseca, Iqra Khalid as representatives of Prime Minister Trudeau, Senator Victor Oh and Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie attended the Unity Vesak and greeted the gathering.

Addressing the gathering, Consul General of Sri Lanka in Toronto U.L.M. Jauhar said that many look at the path taught in Buddhism to overcome greed, hatred, fear and ignorance. He quoted from the message of President Maithripala Sirisena, in which he stated “The path to overcome greed, hatred, fear and ignorance is necessary not only for the social existence but also for the good governance. The Buddhist minds should develop the aspirations of a society in which there is no distinction of race, caste, religion or social status”.

Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Toronto was keenly involved in the organization of vesak celebrations and the Consul General attended the Dhamma school award ceremonies arranged by the Brampton-Caledon Buddhist Mission Centre and the West End Buddhist Temple and Meditation Centre of Mississauga on 13 May and the Toronto Maha Vihara on 3 June 2018, as chief guest.

The Consulate premises was also decorated with Buddhist flags and colorful Vesak lanterns made by the Consulate staff.

 

Consulate General of Sri Lanka

Toronto

8 June 2018

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Promotion of Peace and Non-Violence through the life and teachings of Gauthama Buddha celebrated during the International Vesak Day Festival at UNESCO

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In accordance with the UN General Assembly resolution 54/115 recognizing the day of Vesak as an international day of observance given its significance for Buddhists all over the world, the Vesak Festival was celebrated successfully at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on 24 May 2018 by the Permanent Delegation of Sri Lanka to UNESCO in collaboration with Member States of the Asia Pacific Group.

Read more: Promotion of Peace and Non-Violence through the life and teachings of Gauthama Buddha celebrated during the International Vesak Day Festival at UNESCO

 

Cabinet approval for drafting of local legislation on ‘Ottawa Convention

Cabinet approval has been granted for the drafting of local legislation that would enforce the ‘Ottawa Convention on the Prohibition of the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel mines and on their destruction’ in the country.

The Ottawa Convention known as the mine ban treaty aims at eliminating anti-personnel mines around the world. At present, there are 164 state parties to the treaty. One state (the Marshall Islands) has signed but not ratified the treaty, while 32 UN states, including the United States, Russia, China and India are non-signatories, making a total of 33 United Nations states not party to the treaty.

With cabinet approval being received, Justice and Prison Reforms Minister Thalatha Athukorale has directed the Legal Draftsman to draft legislation which would enable the provisions of the treaty enforceable within Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka acceded to the Treaty in December 2017.

 

Source:http://www.dailynews.lk/2018/06/07/local/153231/cabinet-approval-drafting-local-legislation-%E2%80%98ottawa-convention

 

 

Sri Lanka elected to the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage

Sri Lanka was elected today, 06 June 2018, to one of four (04) seats available for the Asia-Pacific, in the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, for the period 2018-2022, at the election that took place in Paris during the 7th General Assembly of UNESCO.

Eight countries contested from the Asia-Pacific Group, namely, Bangladesh, China, Japan, Kazakhstan, Thailand, Malaysia, Palau and Sri Lanka. With Palau withdrawing its candidature earlier today, seven countries stood for election. The countries that succeeded in being elected are: China, Sri Lanka, Japan and Kazakhstan, securing 123, 122, 107, and 98 votes respectively.

Read more: Sri Lanka elected to the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage

 

Sri Lanka and the Republic of Korea Sign MOU on Cooperation in Aids to Navigation during Visit of Minister of Ports and Shipping Mahinda Samarasinghe

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The Minister of Ports and Shipping of Sri Lanka Mahinda Samarasinghe and the Minister of Oceans and Fisheries of the Republic of Korea Kim Young-Choon signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministries of Ports and Shipping of Sri Lanka and Oceans and Fisheries of Korea on cooperation in the development of Aids to Navigation, on Monday 28 May 2018 in Incheon Metropolitan City in Korea.  The MOU was signed during the visit of Minister Samarasinghe to the Republic of Korea on 28-30 May on the invitation of the Korean Government to participate in the 19th International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) Conference at Songdo ConvensiA in Incheon City.

Read more: Sri Lanka and the Republic of Korea Sign MOU on Cooperation in Aids to Navigation during Visit of Minister of Ports and Shipping Mahinda Samarasinghe

 

12 Stranded Sri Lankan Migrant Workers to be Repatriated from Somaliland with the assistance of the International Organization for Migration (IOM)

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in coordination with the Sri Lanka Embassy in Addis Ababa, and with the assistance of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), has succeeded in working towards ensuring the safe return of twelve Sri Lankan migrant workers stranded in Somaliland as a result of a labour dispute.

Sri Lanka does not have diplomatic and consular presence in Somaliland. Therefore, the Ministry and the Sri Lanka Embassy in Addis Ababa worked with the IOM Office in Hargeisa which interceded to negotiate with the employer concerned in Somaliland to resolve the labour dispute, secure the release of the Sri Lankans, and make arrangements for their safe return.

The twelve Sri Lankans ​are scheduled to return home shortly.

The Government of Sri Lanka acknowledges with gratitude the role of the IOM in providing much needed assistance to the Government and people of Sri Lanka on this occasion as well as in the past in many similar situations.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs urges all Sri Lankans to be cautious in undertaking employment in high risk territories in which Sri Lanka does not have resident diplomatic and consular presence.

 

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Colombo

28 May 2018

   

Launch of Trilingual interface for Foreign Ministry website

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The new interface of the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, that was launched last month, at http://www.mfa.gov.lk is now Trilingual, and available in Sinhala and Tamil languages, in addition to English.

The language of the interface may be selected on the top right corner of the website. Quick links are as follows:-

English site:                 http://www.mfa.gov.lk/

Sinhala Site:                http://www.mfa.gov.lk/sin/

Tamil site:                    http://www.mfa.gov.lk/tam/

  

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Colombo

28 May 2018

 

 

   

Appeal for relief assistance for victims of floods in Sri Lanka

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Sri Lanka has informed that heavy pre-monsoon rains in  Sri Lanka have caused the deaths of at least sixteen people and more than 130,000 people have been affected in 20 District as of 25th May 2018. Four districts are on "red alert" for possible landslides.

Sri Lankan expatriates and well-wishers, who wish to contribute towards the flood relief work conducted by the National Disaster Relief Service Center, are kindly requested to send financial contributions as advised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Sri Lanka, directly to:

Disaster Relief Account No: 7040171

Bank of Ceylon, Torrington Square

Ministry of Disaster Management


Consulate General, Toronto

Sri Lanka High Commission, Ottawa                         

 

   

Sri Lanka showcases its Fight Against Corruption at UN High Level Debate

 

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Sri Lanka participated prominently in the High Level debate of the United Nations General Assembly to mark the 15th Anniversary of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). The event was held on 23 May 2018 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York and was well attended by ministers and other high officials of anti- corruption entities of member states. The Convention was adopted by the  UN General Assembly on 31 October 2003, and entered into force upon ratification bythirty States on 14 December 2005. Today, a vast majority of United Nations Member States are parties (184 countries) to the Convention. Sri Lanka was one of the first countries to become a party to the Convention in March 2004.

Read more: Sri Lanka showcases its Fight Against Corruption at UN High Level Debate

   

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