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Minister of Foreign Affairs leads Sri Lanka delegation to the 25th ASEAN Regional Forum


Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tilak Marapana led the Sri Lanka delegation to the 25th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Ministerial Meeting held on 4 August 2018 in Singapore.

Inaugurated in 1994 in Thailand, the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) is the principal forum for security dialogue in the Asia-Pacific region which seeks to promote regional development and prosperity while recognizing challenges to regional peace, security and prosperity.

Delivering Sri Lanka’s statement at the Forum, Foreign Minister Marapana highlighted the important areas of cooperation for Sri Lanka, including maritime security, disaster management, defence related confidence building measures and preventive diplomacy, and for sustaining the growing economic dynamism and prosperity of the region. The Foreign Minister also welcomed the steady advancement in the areas of cooperation in the ARF and unreservedly supported the process.

Foreign Minister Marapana held a series of bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the ARF with the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Brunei, Lao PDR and Cambodia, and discussed on areas of mutual interest.

The Sri Lanka delegation included the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in Singapore and senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


Ministry of Foreign Affairs



05 August  2018

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Lao PDR extends on arrival visa facility to Sri Lankans

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Lao People's Democratic Republic has confirmed that, with effect from 01 August 2018, Sri Lankan citizens holding valid travel documents could apply for visa on arrival at the international border check points of the Lao People's Democratic Republic.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs


01 August 2018

පැමිණීමෙන් පසු වීසා ලබාගැනීමේ පහසුකම ලාඕසය ශ්‍රී ලාංකිකයන් වෙත ලබා දෙයි

2018 අගෝස්තු 01 වැනි දින සිට ක්‍රියාත්මක වන පරිදි, වලංගු ගමන් බලපත්‍ර දරන ශ්‍රී ලාංකිකයන්ට ලාඕස ජනතා ප්‍රජාතන්ත්‍රවාදී ජනරජයේ ජාත්‍යන්තර දේශසීමාවට පැමිණීමෙන් පසු (on arrival) වීසා අයැදුම් කළ හැකි බව එරට විදේශ කටයුතු අමාත්‍යාංශය දැනුම් දී තිබේ.


විදේශ කටයුතු අමාත්‍යාංශය


 2018 අගෝස්තු 01 වැනිදා

லாஓஸ் மக்கள் ஜனநாயக குடியரசு இலங்கையர்களுக்கான வருகை வீசா வசதியை வழங்குகின்றது 

01 ஆகஸ்ட் 2018 முதல் நடைமுறைக்கு வரும் வகையில், செல்லுபடியான கடவுச் சீட்டுக்களை வைத்திருக்கின்ற இலங்கை பிரஜைகள்  லாஓஸ் மக்கள் ஜனநாயக குடியரசின் சர்வதேச எல்லைக்கு வருகை தந்ததன் பின்பு  வீசாக்கு விண்ணப்பிக்க  (ON ARRIVAL) முடியும் என லாஓஸ் மக்கள் ஜனநாயக குடியரசின் வெளிநாட்டலுவல்கள் அமைச்சு தெரிவித்திருக்கின்றது.


வெளிநாட்டலுவல்கள் அமைச்சு



01 ஆகஸ்ட் 2018




Secretary-General of the Commonwealth to visit Sri Lanka from 1-4 August 2018

The Commonwealth Secretary-General Rt. Hon. Patricia Scotland QC will arrive in  Sri Lanka on Wednesday, 01 August for a four-day official visit. This will be her first visit to the country since she assumed the Office of Secretary-General in April 2016.

On 01 August, the Secretary-General will call on Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and meet the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tilak Marapana. Her meetings on 02 and 03 August will include the Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrama; the Minister of Provincial Councils, Local Government and Sports, Faiszer Musthapha; the Minister of Youth Affairs, Project Management and Southern Development, Sagala Ratnayake; the Minister of Public Administration & Management and Law & Order, Ranjith Madduma Bandara; the Minister of Education, Akila Viraj Kariyawasam; and the Leader of Opposition R. Sampanthan.  The main objective of the Secretary-General’s meetings will be to explore greater cooperation and collaboration in the implementation of the agreed outcomes at the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London, including promoting intra-Commonwealth trade.

Discussions will also include the implementation of the ‘Commonwealth Blue Charter’, under which Sri Lanka holds the role of a champion country to lead the Commonwealth effort towards the restoration of mangroves.


Ministry of Foreign Affairs


30 July 2018

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Joint Press Statement on the Official Visit of His Excellency General Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand to the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka 12-13 July 2018


His Excellency General Prayut Chan-o-Cha, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, and his delegation paid an Official Visit to the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka from 12 to 13 July 2018 at the invitation of His Excellency Maithripala Sirisena, President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

The Prime Minister of Thailand and the President of Sri Lanka had bilateral discussions on 12 July 2018, covering a wide range of issues including political, economic, technical, agricultural, fisheries, cultural, religious, tourism, as well as regional and multilateral cooperation. The two leaders noted with satisfaction the continued close and cordial relations between Thailand and Sri Lanka. Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthen the existing ties to a higher level of strategic economic partnership. During the discussions, the two leaders also recalled the successful outcome of the Official Visit of the President of Sri Lanka to Thailand in November 2015.

Read more: Joint Press Statement on the Official Visit of His Excellency General Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand to the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka 12-13 July 2018


Tourism Promotional Talk Focussing on Sustainable Tourism and Sri Lankan Elephants

Environmentalist, wildlife enthusiast and expert on Sri Lankan elephants, Srilal Miththapala gave a talk on ‘Sri Lanka Wildlife and Sustainable Tourism with a special focus on elephants’ at the Sri Lanka High Commission in Canberra on 10 July.

The audience consisting travel writers, tourism industry representatives, wildlife and elephant enthusiasts enjoyed the informative and insightful presentation with video clips of elephants in Sri Lanka.

This is the second talk given by Srilal MIththapala at the High Commission and the third in the series of tourism promotional events hosted by the High Commission to provide the tourism industry, travel writers and wildlife experts in Canberra, an opportunity to see a glimpse of what Sri Lanka has to offer in terms of wildlife and sustainable tourism.

After a brief overview of Sri Lanka’s topography and tourism factors, Miththapala focussed on the Sri Lankan elephant which is fast becoming an icon for Sri Lanka tourism. He described the cultural and religious importance of this special animal in Sri Lanka as well as its demographics, behaviour and social life: he also entertained the audience with stories of personal encounters with these gentle giants revered in the Island nation, along with images and videos.

High Commissioner Somasundaram Skandakumar in introducing the speaker highlighted his vast experience in the hospitality industry and in developing sustainable tourism practices in Sri Lanka. The audience was able to interact with the speaker at the end while savouring Sri Lankan tea and delicacies.


Sri Lanka High Commission


13 July 2018


Visit of State Minister of Foreign Affairs to El Salvador, 6-9 July 2018


State Minister of Foreign Affairs Vasantha Senanayake paid an official visit to El Salvador from 6 -9 July 2018 to represent Sri Lanka in the first session of bilateral political consultations between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka and El Salvador. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Integration and Economic Promotion Carlos Castaneda led the El Salvador side during the bilateral political consultations.

A key issue that the two Ministers focussed during the discussions was collaborative processes for prevention of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) that is prevalent in both El Salvador and Sri Lanka. They agreed to utilize scientific and technical assistance through the framework of South-South Cooperation to address challenges in the health and education sectors. The Ministers also agreed to explore the possibility of signing a framework agreement on scientific, technical, education and cultural cooperation to pursue shared objectives in these sectors.  On the subject of gender equality, Sri Lanka and El Salvador undertook to share their experiences and best practices.

The two sides also discussed bilateral trade and investment, and envisaged cooperation in the areas of culture, science and technology, education, agriculture and tourism. To strengthen bilateral trade, the two Ministers agreed to promote business linkages between the relevant chambers of commerce in the two countries and host trade fairs. In this context, El Salvador extended an invitation to the Government of Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka’s business community to actively participate in the 26th International Fair Edition, a bi-annual trade fair scheduled to be held in San Salvador on 14-17 November 2018.

The two sides issued a joint communiqué following the conclusion of the first session of bilateral political consultations. Sri Lanka will host the Second Session of Bilateral Consultations in 2020.

During the visit State Minister Senanayake also paid a courtesy call on President of El Salvador H.E. Mr. Salvador Sánchez Cerén. State Minister Senanayake was accompanied to the meetings by Mr. A. L.  Ratnapala, Ambassador to El Salvador accredited from Havana, Cuba.


Ministry of Foreign Affairs


12 July 2018


Prime Minister of Thailand to visit Sri Lanka on 12-13 July 2018

At the invitation of President Maithripala Sirisena, the Prime Minister of Thailand General Prayut Chan-o-cha will undertake an official visit to Sri Lanka on 12 and 13 July 2018. This visit takes place against the backdrop of discussions during President Sirisena’s visit to Thailand in November 2015.

Prime Minister Chan-o-cha will arrive in Sri Lanka in the afternoon of 12 July. On the evening of 12 July, he will be received by President Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat, and accorded an official guard of honour and gun salute. This will be followed by official bilateral discussions that will cover the full range of bilateral engagement between Sri Lanka and Thailand from culture to commerce and people-to-people contact. The President will host an official banquet at the President’s House that same evening for the visiting Thai Prime Minister and delegation.

The following instruments are expected to be signed during the visit:

  • Treaty on the Transfer of Offenders and on Co-operation in the Enforcement of Penal Sentences
  • Memorandum of Understanding on Strategic Economic Partnership
  • Memorandum of Understanding on Technological Collaboration Related to Value Addition of Primary Products
  • Joint Action Programme for Cooperation on Sustainable Community Development Model Based on the Application of Sufficiency Economy Philosophy in Sri Lanka

A significant feature of the visit will be the launch of negotiations for a possible future Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Sri Lanka and Thailand.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will host the visiting Prime Minister at breakfast followed by discussions focusing on economic cooperation, trade and investments between the two countries.

Reflecting our shared and historical cultural heritage, Prime Minister Chan-o-cha will visit the Temple of the sacred Tooth Relic in Kandy, and call on the Most Venerable Mahanayake Theros of the Malwatta and Asgiriya Chapters of the Siam sect. He will also plant a sapling at the Royal Botanical Garden in Peradeniya to mark his visit to Sri Lanka.


Ministry of Foreign Affairs


10 July 2018

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Text in Tamil (PDF)


Sri Lanka retains Tier 2 ranking in the US Trafficking in Persons Report for the second consecutive year

Sri Lanka retained its Tier 2 ranking in the US State Department Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report for the second consecutive year. The 2018 Report which was released on 28 June 2018 can be accessed online at

The annual Trafficking in Persons Report is prepared as per the US Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000, as amended, which has authorized the establishment of the US State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons and the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons to assist in the coordination of anti-trafficking efforts. The annual Report which assesses all countries is used by the US Government to engage foreign governments in dialogues to advance anti-trafficking reforms, combat trafficking and target resources on prevention, protection and prosecution programmes. Each country is placed onto one of three tiers based on the extent of the efforts by respective governments to comply with the “minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking” found in Section 108 of the TVPA.

From 2013 to 2016, Sri Lanka was placed in the Tier 2 Watch List for 4 successive years and upgraded to Tier 2 in 2017 in view of the proactive measures taken by the relevant agencies of government to combat trafficking. Classification of countries in this annual report of the State Department affects US assistance for countries with governments of countries on Tier 3 being subject to certain restrictions on US assistance as well as assistance from multilateral development banks.

The TIP report 2018 states that the Government of Sri Lanka demonstrated increasing efforts compared to the previous reporting period and therefore, Sri Lanka has been retained in Tier 2.

Sri Lanka recognizes and acknowledges the magnitude of the problem of human trafficking worldwide, undermining universal values and posing a threat to national security by encouraging and enriching transnational criminal as well as terrorist networks. Sri Lanka remains committed to working with the US and other bilateral partners as well as international organizations to combat this scourge locally and internationally.


Ministry of Foreign Affairs


4 July 2018


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Sri Lanka Army Chief of Staff addresses United Nations High-Level Conference of Heads of Counter Terrorism Agencies of Member States

Major General W.B.D.P. Fernando, Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Army speaking at the first ever United Nations High-Level Conference of Heads of Counter Terrorism Agencies of Member States at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on 29 June 2018 noted that as a country that had experienced first-hand the suffering of its people due to terrorism, Sri Lanka understands that a key pillar of counter-terrorism is prevention and addressing the root causes of conflict.

The historic Conference under the auspices of the United Nations was convened by Mr. Vladimir Voronkov, Under-Secretary-General of the newly established UN Office of Counter-Terrorism and engaged all thirty eight counter terrorism entities of the United Nations System. One of the aims of the Conference was to provide an opportunity to forge partnerships and increase cooperation and sharing of information among states.

Sri Lanka spoke in the Fourth Session entitled strengthening the role and capacity of the United Nations to support member states to implement the United Nations Global Counter Terrorism Strategy.

Sri Lanka’s delegation included Major General W.B.D.P. Fernando RWP RSP USP psc, Chief of Staff, Sri Lanka Army (Head of Delegation) Mr. W. K. Nalaka de Silva, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Head of the Terrorist Investigation Range, Captain (C) P.A.S. Rathugamage, Commanding Officer SLNS 'Vijaya', Sri Lanka Navy, Squadron Leader K.A.I.A. Kaluthanthriarachchi, Sri Lanka Air Force and Mrs. Sonali Samarasinghe, Minister, Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations.


Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations

New York

29 June 2018


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