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Strengthening Sri Lanka - Japan relations with the visit of the State Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan Kazuyuki Nakane

State Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan Kazuyuki Nakane visited Sri Lanka from 28 -30 August 2018. State Minister Nakane participated in the commissioning ceremony of the two coast guard patrol vessels donated by Japan to Sri Lanka at the Port of Colombo on 29 August.

During the visit, State Minister Nakane called on Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Lakshman Kiriella, and also met with Minister of Plantation Industries Navin Dissanayke and the Secretary to the President Udaya R. Seneviratne.

The two coast guard patrol vessels, "SLCGS Samudra  Raksha"  and "SLCGS Samaraksha" were donated to Sri Lanka by Japan as part of the Grant Agreement signed between Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Government of Sri Lanka, based on the joint declaration on the comprehensive partnership between the two countries.  These patrol vessels will add to the capacity of the Sri Lanka Coast Guard in its activities related to maritime safety, maritime law enforcement, Search and Rescue (SAR), mitigation of disaster risks, and environment protection.

The State Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan briefed the Prime Minister and the Acting Foreign Minister on the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Partnerships Initiative of the G-7, where each G-7 Member State selects a partner country to provide targeted assistance to advance the Women, Peace and Security Agenda through enhanced G-7 coordination, in accordance with the relevant United Nations resolutions.  Japan has selected Sri Lanka as its partner country under this initiative to support Sri Lanka's WPS Agenda. The initiative is based on the recognition that gender equality, the empowerment of women and girls and respect for their human rights are vital to achieving and sustaining peace. Sri Lanka's appreciation for Japan's assistance under this programme was conveyed to State Minister Nakane.

 

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Colombo

 

30 August 2018

Text in Sinhala (PDF)

Text in Tamil (PDF)

 

 

Statement by Hon Vasantha Senanayake, MP, State Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka at the 16th BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting, 29 August 2018, Kathmandu

Your Excellency, Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, Foreign Minister of Nepal & Chair of the BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting

Excellencies,

Distinguished Delegates,

At the outset, I wish to express my sincere appreciation to the Foreign Minister and the Government of Nepal for the warm welcome and gracious hospitality extended to me and my delegation since our arrival in the Himalayan city of Kathmandu.  I also wish to congratulate our host nation on the excellent arrangements made to ensure that this Ministerial Meeting and Summit is a resounding success.

Permit me, to felicitate you Mr Chairman for efficiently guiding BIMSTEC since assuming the Chair.  I am confident, that under your able guidance we will have a fruitful meeting. I also wish to appreciate the work of the Senior Officials for drafting an ambitious declaration, which Sri Lanka, as the next Chair looks forward to operationalise.

I am pleased to acknowledge that BIMSTEC has made significant strides in increasing cooperation among nations in the Bay of Bengal region. The key characteristic of our Organization has been the existing together of the ‘Look West’ policy of the ASEAN nations and the ‘Look East’ policy of their South Asian counterparts, thereby bridging two of the most dynamic regions in the world.  I see a considerable number of complementarities in our economies and numerous opportunities for cooperation.

Read more: Statement by Hon Vasantha Senanayake, MP, State Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka at the 16th BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting, 29 August 2018, Kathmandu

 

President Maithripala Sirisena leads Sri Lanka delegation to the 4th BIMSTEC Summit; Sri Lanka to receive BIMSTEC Chairmanship

President Maithripala Sirisena will lead the Sri Lanka Delegation to the 4th Summit of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multisectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), which will be held from 30-31 August 2018 in Kathmandu.  At the conclusion of the Summit, the Chairmanship of BIMSTEC will be handed over to Sri Lanka by the current Chair, Nepal.

The Summit, which also includes a retreat of the participating Heads of State and Government will be preceded by the Sixteenth BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting and the Nineteenth Session of the BIMSTEC Senior Officials’ Meeting.

The Presidents of Sri Lanka and Myanmar, the Prime Ministers of India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Thailand, and the Chief Advisor of the Government of Bhutan will be leading their respective delegations to the Summit. The leaders are to adopt the 4th BIMSTEC Summit Declaration: "Towards a Peaceful, Prosperous and Sustainable Bay of Bengal Region" on 31 August at the conclusion of the Summit.

Read more: President Maithripala Sirisena leads Sri Lanka delegation to the 4th BIMSTEC Summit; Sri Lanka to receive BIMSTEC Chairmanship

 

Canada-Sri Lanka Friendship Cricket Cup Launched in Toronto

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As part of Sri Lanka’s 70th Anniversary of Independence celebrations, the Canada-Sri Lanka Friendship Cricket Cup (CSLFCC), jointly organized by the Sri Lanka Consulate General in Toronto and the Ontario Cricket Development Organization (OCDO), was launched on 11 August 2018 at the Courtney Park Sports Complex in Mississauga. The annual event is intended to bring together cricket loving communities from Sri Lanka and other countries. The agreement to hold this annual event was arrived at a meeting attended by Mayor of Mississauga, Bonnie Crombie, Consul General of Sri Lanka in Toronto, U. L. Mohammed Jauhar, and Messrs. Derek Perera and Ranil Mendis, held on 01 May 2018 at the Mississauga Civic Centre.

Welcoming the initiative of the Consulate General and the OCDO, the Mississauga Mayor said: "Our residents love cricket! Mississauga proudly operates seven cricket pitches across the City, and the popularity of this sport only continues to grow amongst our residents. We are pleased to support the Consulate General of Sri Lanka and Ontario Cricket Development Organization as they showcase cricket in Mississauga through the celebration of Sri Lanka's 70th Anniversary of Independence"

Hon. Mayantha Dissanayake, Member of Parliament of Sri Lanka who was present at the launching, addressed the gathering, and commended the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Toronto and the OCDO for the initiative. He welcomed using sports to bring about reconciliation. He also mentioned about Sri Lanka's achievements in cricket, including the challenges that had to be faced in obtaining Test Status.

Consul General Mohammed Jauhar extended his sincere thanks and appreciation to Mayor Crombie and the OCDO for their gracious support to celebrate Sri Lanka's 70th Anniversary of Independence in Mississauga. He highlighted the inclusive role of sporting events including the game of cricket, and added that this sport, especially among the people of South Asia, transcends ethnic, religious, linguistic and other ideological differences. He referred to the Commonwealth’s peace-building initiative “Peace at the Crease” and informed that Sri Lanka had been invited to give leadership to this project in the region, particularly in harnessing youth engagement in the development process through sports.

At the opening of the exhibition match, the Mississauga Mayor led the Mississauga World Xl cricket team against Sri Lanka Consul General’s Xl, which comprised Consular Corps representatives in Toronto.

Messrs. Kaleed Rasheed and Deepak Anand, Members of Ontario Provincial Parliament, representing the Premier of Ontario were among the dignitaries present.

 

 

Consulate General of Sri Lanka

Toronto

13 August 2018

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Minister Kiriella attends former Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee's funeral

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Minister Lakshman Kiriella represented the Government of Sri Lanka as Special Envoy at the State funeral of former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in New Delhi on Friday(17).

During this visit to New Delhi Minister Kiriella had a meeting with the Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

 

High Commission of Sri Lanka

New Delhi

17 August 2018

 

Ministries of Foreign and Home Affairs sign MoU to expand Electronic Document Attestation System to Divisional Secretariat level

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With a view to expanding the document attestation services provided through the Electronic Document Attestation System (e-DAS) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to Divisional Secretariat level, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Ministries of Foreign and Home Affairs on 16 August 2018.

Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Prasad Kariyawasam and Secretary to the Ministry of Home Affairs S.T. Kodikara signed the MoU in the presence of Minister of Home Affairs Vajira Abeywardena, during the Government Agents' Conference held at the Sri Lanka Institute of Development Administration (SLIDA).

The MoU will enable the expansion of the Electronic Document Attestation System to Divisional Secretariats initially  as a pilot project at the 19 Divisional Secretariats in the Galle District. The expectation is to extend the facility to all 332 Divisional Secretariats island-wide subsequently.

Connecting the Divisional Secretariats island-wide to the Electronic Document Attestation System will allow the general public to have their  required documentation processed at the nearest Divisional Secretariat, without visiting  the Consular Affairs Division in Colombo. People in the Northern Province who currently visit  the Regional Consular Office in Jaffna for this purpose too would be able to have document attestation done through their nearest Divisional Secretariats instead of the Regional Consular Office. For the pilot project, the Canadian Government has donated equipment worth Rs. 6.8 million through the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Home Affairs Minister Vajira Abeywardena thanked the Canadian Government for the donation of equipment to implement the pilot project, and requested all Government Agents to extend their support to have the Electronic Document Attestation System implemented at the Divisional Secretariats in all Districts.

In his remarks, Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Prasad Kariyawasam observed that the functioning of the Electronic Document Attestation System at the Divisional Secretariat level would effectively serve the community of migrant workers who annually remit a substantial amount of foreign exchange to the country.

This initiative is part of the endeavours of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to streamline, decentralize and improve Consular service delivery to the public through digitalization.

 

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Colombo

 

17 August 2018

 

   

Sri Lanka becomes a Member of the Conference on Interactions and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA)

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Sri Lanka was unanimously accepted as a Member of the Conference on Interactions and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) on 15 August 2018, by its 26 Member States. At a ceremony held in Beijing on 15 August, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the People’s Republic of China, Dr. Karunasena Kodithuwakku signed the Declaration of Principles Guiding Relations among the CICA Members States and the Almaty Act, the two mandatory documents that a new Member State is required to sign to obtain full membership.

Established in 1992, the CICA is a multi-national forum for enhancing cooperation towards promoting peace, security and stability in Asia, which focuses on confidence building measures. Sri Lanka has been an Observer State of the CICA since 2012.

The membership of the CICA would further enhance Sri Lanka’s bilateral, economic and trade cooperation as well as people to people contacts with other CICA Member States.

The Member States of the CICA include Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Palestine, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Russia, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan and Viet Nam.

The current Chair of the CICA is China and the Secretariat of the Conference is located in Astana, Kazakhstan.

 

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Colombo

 

17 August 2018

Text in Sinhala  (PDF)

Text in Tamil (PDF)

   

Sri Lanka and Oman sign Agreement on Avoidance of Double Taxation and Prevention of Fiscal Evasion

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During the Second Meeting of the Sri Lanka-Oman Bilateral Consultations, held on 15 August 2018 in Colombo at senior officials' level, an Agreement on Avoidance of Double Taxation and Prevention of Fiscal Evasion between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Sultanate of Oman was signed by the leaders of the respective delegations.

The Sri Lanka delegation to the Bilateral Consultations was led by Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Prasad Kariyawasam and the delegation of Oman was headed by the Under-Secretary for Diplomacy and Chief Master's Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Oman Mahmood Awad Al Hassan. Senior Officials of both Foreign Ministries participated in the discussions with several line Ministries and agencies representing Sri Lanka joining as well.

During the Meeting, Sri Lanka and Oman reaffirmed the commitment to further consolidate and advance bilateral political and economic cooperation. The discussions focused on the follow-up action on the decisions made at the First Meeting of the Sri Lanka-Oman Bilateral Consultations held in Muscat in 2014, and new avenues for bilateral cooperation. The two sides agreed to work towards the establishment of business, trade and shipping links between Oman, as a gateway to the Middle East and Sri Lanka, as a hub of the Indian Ocean.

A wide range of matters for mutual collaboration in the fields of trade; tourism; immigration and emigration; labour and manpower training; defence; agriculture; higher education; and culture were reviewed and discussed. Moreover, fisheries, sports, oil and gas were identified as new areas for possible future cooperation. It was also agreed to assist the establishment of a Sri Lanka-Oman Business Council between the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka and the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The two sides also agreed to conclude an Agreement on Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investments at the earliest, and to consider entering into a MOU on Skills Development and Mutual Recognition of Qualifications to facilitate mobility of skilled workers from Sri Lanka to Oman.

The two sides stressed the importance of continuing to work together at regional and multilateral fora for advancing shared interests. Consolidation of bilateral political relations through exchange of high-level visits was also discussed at the Meeting.

The visiting Omani delegation also called on Speaker Karu Jayasuriya and Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana during their stay in Sri Lanka.

 

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Colombo

 

16 August 2018

Text in Sinhala (PDF)

Text in Tamil (PDF)

   

Second Integrated Consular Mobile Service coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs held in Mannar on 12 – 13 August 2018

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The 2nd Integrated Consular Mobile Service (ICMS), coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was held on 12 – 13 August 2018 at the Mannar Town Hall.

The purpose of the ICMS was to address the consular related needs of those who had sought refuge overseas during the conflict and returned to Sri Lanka following the end of the conflict.  During the two-day ICMS, 242 applications for citizenship were received, 59 consular birth certificates were issued, and clarification was provided to those seeking advice and guidance on matters related to citizenship and birth certificates.

Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana participated in the ICSM on 12 August and interacted with the people seeking assistance.

Officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Registrar General’s Department and the Citizenship Division of the Department of Immigration and Emigration conducted the ICMS.

The 1st ICMS was held in Killinochchi on 01 – 02 July 2018 at which 201 applications for citizenship were received and 61 consular birth certificates were issued.

 

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Colombo.

 15 August 2018

Text in Sinhala (PDF)

Text in Tamil (PDF)

   

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