Text Size


Alleged incident relating to Swiss Embassy staff member

The Government of Sri Lanka has taken serious note of the alleged criminal incident concerning a locally recruited staff member of the Embassy of Switzerland in Colombo, on Monday 25 November 2019.

 On being informed of the alleged incident yesterday, the Police has taken immediate action to commence an investigation into the matter.

 In order to enable the relevant authorities to conduct the investigation smoothly and according to established procedure, the fullest cooperation of the Embassy of Switzerland has been requested.

 Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Germany who is concurrently accredited to Switzerland, Eng. Karunasena Hettiarachchi will be meeting with the Swiss authorities to provide an update on the investigation, shortly.

 The Government of Sri Lanka takes this opportunity to reaffirm unequivocally its commitment to give effect to the obligations undertaken as a State Party to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (1961), to facilitate the smooth functioning of diplomatic missions in Sri Lanka.


 Ministry of Foreign Affairs


28 November 2019


Minister Dinesh Gunawardena calls on Foreign Ministry Officials to rise to new challenges


Minister of Foreign Relations Dinesh Gunawardena assumed duties at the Foreign Ministry on Monday 25 November 2019.

Minister Gunawardena was received by Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha and other senior officials upon his arrival at the Ministry. Following religious observances, the Minister officially assumed duties.

Later, the Foreign Minister who addressed the staff, remarked that the Foreign Service is highly regarded. The Minister stressed that the entire country is looking towards the Foreign Ministry to find solutions for external pressures and challenges. Hence, it is necessary for the officers in the Ministry and the network of missions to work dedicatedly towards overcoming these challenges.  He also stated that President Rajapaksa's vision is for Sri Lanka to be safe and secure; leading the country towards a prosperous future. He further stated that in achieving these objectives, a single agency cannot work alone, but must work in unison with other institutions, and hence the role of the Foreign Ministry is vital in this aspect.

Read more: Minister Dinesh Gunawardena calls on Foreign Ministry Officials to rise to new challenges


Commonwealth Secretary General visits mangrove site on the sidelines of Commonwealth Law Ministers Conference in Colombo


Commonwealth Secretary General Rt. Hon. Patricia Scotland made a brief visit to a mangrove replanting site in Wadduwa in Koggala recently, in appreciation of the contribution Sri Lanka has made to improve its mangroves, which not only benefits Sri Lankans, but the world, in terms of increasing the carbon sequestration, which is 2 - 4 times more than tropical  forests.

Sri Lanka spearheads the Commonwealth Blue Charter Action Group on Mangrove Ecosystems and Livelihoods (MELAG) under the Commonwealth Blue Charter, calling for fair, equitable, inclusive and sustainable approach to ocean economic development and protection. Accordingly, Sri Lanka hosted the first meeting of the MELAG in early October this year, activities of which included developing a database of mangrove ecosystems, sharing technical expertise on mangrove restoration, and strengthening community partnerships and legal frameworks. This Action Group is not limited to Commonwealth countries, but to other countries, private sector and Community-based Organizations (CBOs) and research community all interested in mangrove ecosystems and livelihoods.

The first meeting of MELAG brought together experts from 09 member countries including from the Caribbean, Africa, Asia and Australia, as well as government and academic experts, private sector involved in mangrove restoration and CBOs from Sri Lanka, which is considered as a pioneering model of engagement across Commonwealth Blue Charter Action Groups, covering areas such as Oceans and Climate Change, Sustainable Aquaculture, Restoration of Coral Reefs, Ocean Observations, Marine Protected Areas, Ocean Acidification, Blue Economy, Clean Ocean Alliance which addresses plastic pollution in the oceans.

Read more: Commonwealth Secretary General visits mangrove site on the sidelines of Commonwealth Law Ministers Conference in Colombo


Sri Lanka Participates at Grocery Innovations Canada (GIC) 2019 Food and Beverage International Exhibition in Toronto


Sri Lanka participated at the GIC 2019 - Food and Beverage Sector International Exhibition, which is one of the most popular professional food and beverage sector exhibitions in Canada. GIC is visited by several thousand buyers, buying agents, importers, food sector distributors, experts, wholesalers, and retailers.

The event was held in Toronto from 22 to 23 October 2019. Sri Lanka’s national participation was coordinated by the High Commission in Ottawa and the Consulate General in Toronto together with Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Export Development Board (EDB), and Department of Commerce of Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka was represented at GIC 2019, by EDB together with Bio Foods (Pvt) Ltd, Ceylon Biscuits Ltd, Food and Nature (Pvt) Ltd, Hero Nature Products (Pvt) Ltd, Kandrick Tea Beverages Lanka, Waguruwela Oil Mills (Pvt) Ltd, Samanala Natural Foods (Pvt) Ltd, Sayaladu Coco (Pvt) Ltd, and Jayalanka Suppliers

High Commissioner in Canada Asoka Girihagama and Consul General Kaplia Jayaweera graced the inaugural session and interacted with the participants. Value added food products, tea, virgin coconut oil, coconut flour, coconut protein, and biscuits were displayed at the Sri Lanka pavilion.

The Sri Lankan delegation participated at the Market Orientation Programme, which consisted of a Market Familiarization Tour prior to the exhibition, in order to explore the Canadian retail markets and consumer trends and at the information session on the Canadian market, organized by the Consulate and EDB.

B2B meetings were arranged with leading buyers such as Costco, Loblaws, Longos, and CTS in Canada during the GIC exhibition which ensured exhibitors to establish useful trade contacts and to receive orders for their products through the new business links made.



Consulate General of Sri Lanka


 24 October 2019


Sri Lanka says tangible assistance needed to consolidate on Sri Lanka’s restoration of normalcy post 21/4


Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha who is presently leading the Sri Lanka delegation to the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly, met with Mr. Vladimir Voronkov, Under-Secretary-General, Office of Counter-Terrorism (OCT) and his team and Ms. Michéle Coninsx, Assistant-Secretary-General (ASG) and Executive Director of the Counter- Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly this week. Ambassador Kshenuka Senewiratne, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations, and other senior officials were associated with the Foreign Secretary.

The Secretary thanked the UN and the international community who unreservedly condemned the Easter Sunday attacks, and for supporting the Government in numerous ways. He particularly noted that the recent visit undertaken by the ASG and Executive Director of the CTED, Ms. Michéle Coninsx had provided an opportunity to draw on international best practices in consolidating domestic efforts in countering terrorism and violent extremism among the relevant stakeholders.

The Foreign Secretary briefed Mr. Voronkov on recent visits undertaken by several Ministers and counter terrorism Coordinators - from the UK, EU, the US, and Australia, as well as an expert from the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF). Following the latter visit, the areas identified for immediate attention included community policing, youth engagement for social cohesion, monitoring social media, activities targeting vulnerable community hotspots and deradicalization.

Under-Secretary-General Voronkov noted work done to strengthen border management, implementation of the Advance Passenger Information (API) and Passenger Name Records (PNR). In this regard, he expressed the readiness of the UN to provide further assistance to Sri Lanka in future endeavours in integrating with the API/PNR system and in countering violent extremism. He assured that his office will coordinate with the GoSL on the priorities, during an upcoming visit to Sri Lanka.

ASG Coninsx welcomed the close engagement and the high level of cooperation between CTED and Sri Lanka. Ms. Coninsx said that the UN is developing a framework for cooperation with Sri Lanka. This will include measures to be taken that would help Sri Lanka to be compliant with international counter terrorism obligations under relevant Security Council Resolutions on returning foreign terrorist fighters and countering violent extremism, as well as border security.

Secretary Aryasinha said Sri Lanka was adopting a whole-of-Government approach in addressing the areas of concern and that it was important that programmes of assistance are tangible and can be integrated within Sri Lanka’s plans. In this regard, the ASG and the Foreign Secretary agreed on the need for both GoSL and the UN to work together to identify tangible actions which will serve the interest of the country.

The United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) was established through the adoption of General Assembly resolution 71/291 on 15 June 2017, to enhance coordination and coherence across the 38 Global Counter-Terrorism Coordination Compact (former CTITF) Task Force, to strengthen counter-terrorism capacity-building assistance to Member States, and to improve visibility, advocacy and resource mobilization for United Nations counter-terrorism efforts.

The CTED was established by the UN Security Council as a special political mission to assist the UN Security Council’s Counter –Terrorism Committee (CTC), and is tasked with carrying out the policy decisions of the CTC, conduct expert assessments of Member States and facilitate counter-terrorism technical assistance to countries.

Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations

New York

02 October 2019

Text in Sinhala (PDF)

Text in Tamil (PDF)



Foreign Secretary Aryasinha discusses obstacles placed on Sri Lanka’s Peacekeeping Contribution to the UN


Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha who is presently leading the Sri Lanka delegation to the 74th UN General Assembly Session, on Friday (27th September 2019) met with Mr. Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under Secretary General of the United Nations Department of Peace Operations (USSG/UNDPO) at the UN Headquarters in New York to discuss obstacles placed on Sri Lanka’s Peacekeeping contribution to the UN.

Upon the Foreign Secretary seeking clarification on the statement made on 25th September 2019 by the Deputy Spokesman of the UN Secretary General relating to Sri Lankan troops deployed for UN Peacekeeping, the Under Secretary General (USG) stated that only 25% of the troops from Sri Lanka presently engaged in peacekeeping operations will be replaced, when they complete their term in Lebanon. These places would be filled through a re-adjustment of existing peacekeepers presently in Lebanon. USG Lacroix confirmed that there will be no further reduction of Sri Lanka Peacekeepers.

Earlier, the Foreign Secretary pointed out that the President of Sri Lanka had appointed Lt. Gen. Shavendra Silva as the Army Commander in the context that there were no factually substantiated or proven allegations of human rights violations against him, and by virtue of his being Chief of Staff at the time.

The Secretary observed that the Government of Sri Lanka disputes the credibility of the compiled reports relating to allegations against Lt. Gen. Silva. He recalled that the 2011 Darusman Report was so seriously flawed that the Human Rights Council at the time had rejected to issue it with a formal number, as a UN document.  Further, it was stated that the OHCHR Inquiry Report (OISL) of September 2015 made clear that “it was a human rights investigation and not a criminal investigation” and that “the names provided in the description of the chain of command do not imply criminal responsibility for those particularly alleged violations listed in this report, either as direct responsibility or under command or superior responsibility. Individual criminal responsibility can only be determined by a Court of Law with all necessary due process guaranteed.”  The International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) publication of January 2019 was a re-formulation of previously published flawed material. He said none of these reports can be taken as substantive as establishing culpability of Lt. Gen. Silva.

Read more: Foreign Secretary Aryasinha discusses obstacles placed on Sri Lanka’s Peacekeeping Contribution to the UN


Foreign Secretary Aryasinha welcomes proposal for Maldives’ readmission to Commonwealth

Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha on Thursday welcomed the proposal for the readmission of the Maldives to the Commonwealth family reiterating that Sri Lanka fully supports the fast track procedure previously applied in the readmission of Gambia, to allow the Maldives to participate fully at CHOGM 2020 in Rwanda.

He made this observation at the Commonwealth Foreign Affairs Ministers Meeting held in New York on 26 September 2019 on the sidelines of the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, chaired by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State for the Commonwealth and the United Nations. Aryasinha said, “as a close neighbor and a fellow South Asian nation, Sri Lanka enjoys strong bilateral ties with the Maldives, and it is gratifying that one of the primary initiatives embarked upon by the new Maldivian administration last year was to convey its intention to re-join the Commonwealth.”

The Foreign Secretary noted that particularly given that the Commonwealth Secretariat had carried out a comprehensive assessment mission in the Maldives in January 2019 resulting in a positive outcome; any perceived obstacles to its re-entry should be seen as mere imperfections that afflict all countries from time to time. He urged that additional hurdles not be placed in their way, which would serve as a disincentive.

Foreign Secretary also attended the Group 77 (G77) Foreign Ministers Meeting held on Friday, 27th September 2019 in New York. It was noted that the G77 is uniquely positioned to call for global action to address the diverse needs of countries in special situations such as Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States. These issues adversely affect economic and social development and impact their ability to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The Group should act as a collective voice to call for greater international assistance and support for vulnerable and marginalized states, particularly for financing and capacity building.

Additionally, in a statement at the Asian Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, where Sri Lanka is a co-prime mover of the pillar on "Science, Technology and Innovation", Foreign Secretary Aryasinha noted the great potential in the ACD Region in the field of tourism which could play a crucial role in sustainable social, cultural and economic growth. The ACD taking centre stage in enhancing economic competitiveness in the region enables Asian countries to compete in the global market on an equal footing.


Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations

New York

27 September 2019


Foreign Secretary Aryasinha underscores the relevance of the Bandung Principles as global multilateral mechanisms come under strain


Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha on 26 September 2019 underscored the relevance of the Bandung Principles at a time when global multilateral mechanisms are under strain, when addressing the Ministerial Meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) held in New York, on the sidelines of the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. Given that NAM encompasses 55 percent of the world’s population it has a moral duty to give voice to the concerns of the Global South, especially the developing small States.

Sri Lanka reaffirmed its commitment to NAM efforts to address current global challenges that transcend national borders such as conflict, migration, climate change and communicable diseases. Non-traditional security threats such as climate change have emerged not only as an economic and social challenge but as a security threat where societies and countries are made vulnerable due to man-made disasters. While welcoming the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit held at the UN Headquarters on 23 September 2019, Secretary Aryasinha expressed deep concern about the negative impacts of climate change, particularly on island nations such as Sri Lanka. The Foreign Secretary also expressed hope that the upcoming COP25, to be held in Chile would galvanize efforts in combating climate change by meeting the commitments entailed in the Paris Agreement.

Foreign Secretary Aryasinha stated that Sri Lanka attaches importance on combating all forms of racism, hate and violent extremism and that there is a need to focus on the new threats that have emerged, demonstrated by the Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka. He stressed that such a global menace threatens the security of all nations and cannot be tackled by a single country alone but requires collective efforts and called on NAM to collectively contribute to this global security threat in a constructive and cohesive manner. The Foreign Secretary stated that Sri Lanka believes in a free society where freedom of expression is ensured, however there is a need to be conscious of the growing threat of hate speech and abuse of the internet and social media platforms.

The theme for the Ministerial Meeting was “Upholding principles of sovereignty and political independence as a means to maintain international peace and security and foster friendly relations and cooperation among States” and an outcome document was adopted at the meeting. Sri Lanka is a co-sponsor of the Bandung Conference of 1955 and a founding member of the NAM. The Group has continued to progress over the last six decades and its membership has now surpassed 120 - two-thirds of the membership of the United Nations.


Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations

New York

26 September 2019

Text in Sinhala (PDF)

Text in Tamil (PDF)


26 September 2019


Comment of the Deputy Spokesman for the UN Secretary General

Following the statement of the Deputy Spokesman for the UN Secretary General yesterday (25 September 2019) that the UN Department of Peace Operations has decided to repatriate a  Sri Lankan Army unit and individual officers currently serving with UN Peacekeeping due to concerns on the appointment of Lt. Gen. Shavendra Silva as the Commander of the Sri Lanka Army, the Government of Sri Lanka is in discussion on this issue with the UN.  Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs who is leading the Sri Lanka delegation to the 74th General Assembly Session is scheduled to discuss this matter with the Under Secretary General of the UN Department of Peace Operations, on Friday, 27 September 2019.


Ministry of Foreign Affairs


26 September 2019


Text in Sinhala (PDF)

Text In Tamil (PDF)


Page 6 of 34