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Sri Lanka participates in the 8th annual One World One Family multicultural festival

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The Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Toronto, as a part of the country promotion/tourism promotion program 2019, participated in the 8th annual One World One Family multicultural festival held in Erin, Ontario from 4 to 5 August 2019. The event showcased products, games, crafts, cultural heritages  and performances from 28 different countries around the world.

The Consulate’s participation facilitated promotion of Ceylon tea and Sri Lanka tourism by raising awareness among the participants on Sri Lanka’s rich culture, history of Ceylon tea and travel information. Ceylon Tea samples from Dimbula, Nuwara Eliya, Kandy, Uva, Uda Pussellawa, Ruhuna and Sabaragamuwa regions, were displayed. Hot tea from the above regions was also served to the visitors.

Read more: Sri Lanka participates in the 8th annual One World One Family multicultural festival

 

Sri Lanka led IORA Maritime Safety and Security Working Group finalizes Work Plan

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The First Meeting of IORA Maritime Safety and Security (MSS) Working Groupchaired by Sri Lanka and held in Colombo on 8-9 August with the participation of 22 foreign delegates representing IORA member countries and representatives of the IORA Secretariat has finalized the Work Plan for action.

Inaugurating the meeting Foreign Secretary RavinathaAryasinharecalling Sri Lanka’s role in spearheading the Indian Ocean Peace Zone proposal in 1971, said at the time few recognized the importance of the concept. He saidit was pleasing to note that times have changed. The Indian Ocean has today been acknowledged as one of the world’s busiest and most critical trade corridors, carrying two-thirds of global oil shipments and a third of bulk cargo and hosting the most critical Sea Lanes of Communication (SLOCs), directly impacting global trade and economy. Sri Lanka as a country central to this region, while protecting its self-interest, is keen to ensurefreedom of navigationand lines of communication, which were an essential prerequisite not only to maintaining regional security and stability, but is also crucial for the future prosperity of the region. He said “The Indian Ocean: Defining Our Future” multilateral diplomatic engagement hosted by Sri Lanka last year which brought together not only the Indian Ocean littoral states, but also its maritime users, was an expression of this commitment.

Read more: Sri Lanka led IORA Maritime Safety and Security Working Group finalizes Work Plan

 

UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief visits Sri Lanka

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The UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Ahmed Shaheed called on Minister Tilak Marapana at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today, commencing his official country visit to Sri Lanka from 15- 26 August 2019.

The Special Rapporteur is undertaking this visit in response to the standing invitation extended to all thematic UN special procedures mandate holders by Sri Lanka in 2015. This is the 10th such visit by a special procedures mandate holder to the country in the past four years. The Government of Sri Lanka and the Special Rapporteur had agreed to schedule this visit in 2018.

During the meeting today, Foreign Minister Marapana said that in line with the Government’s policy of engaging in an open, transparent and constructive dialogue with the international community including the UN, a number of visits of special procedures mandate holders have been facilitated. He noted that the Government has always appreciated engagement with the Special Rapporteurs and taken note of their feedback positively.  He assured the Special Rapporteur that the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) will provide its fullest cooperation to him during his visit.

Read more: UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief visits Sri Lanka

 

Thirteen new Heads of Mission approved by High Posts Committee - Career HOM ratio rises from 37% to 54% within this year

The Committee on High Posts of the Parliament of Sri Lanka to Examine the Suitability of Persons Nominated/Appointed to the State Services and State Corporations (High Posts Committee) has approved the appointments of thirteen persons nominated by President Maithripala Sirisena, as Heads of Sri Lanka Missions overseas.

Among the thirteen new Heads of Mission appointed, there are nine career diplomats of the Sri Lanka Foreign Service (SLFS): Mr. A.S. Khan, High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to Nigeria, Mr. U.L. Mohammed Jauhar, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Kuwait, Dr. A.S.U Mendis, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the Republic of Korea, Mrs. S. Shanika Dissanayake, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Jordan, Mr. W.G.S. Prasanna, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Vietnam, Mrs. Himalee Arunatilaka, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Nepal, Mr. Lakshitha Ratnayaka, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Cuba, Mr. P.R.S. Sugeeshwara Gunaratna, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Ethiopia and Mrs. D.P.C.W. Karunaratne, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Lebanon.

The High Posts Committee has also approved the following professionals as Heads of Mission: Mr. J. C. Weliamuna, President’s Counsel and prominent human rights activist-lawyer as High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to Australia, former Air Force Commander Air Chief Marshal Kapila Jayampathy (Rtd.) as High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to Malaysia, Mr. Nimal Karunaratne, former Additional Surveyor General as Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Maldives, and Mr. Kithsiri Athulathmudali, international business consultant and businessman as Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Qatar.

Sri Lanka maintains 52 High Commissions/Embassies overseas. With these appointments, the percentage of career diplomats who will head Sri Lanka Missions overseas will increase to 54%, from 37% at the commencement of 2019. Of the 27 Heads of Mission appointed this year, 23 have been from the Sri Lanka Foreign Service.


Ministry of Foreign Affairs 

Colombo

10 August 2019

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Colombo

10 August 2019

Text in Sinhala (PDF)

Text in Tamil (PDF)

 

 

SRI LANKA-CAMBODIA JOINT STATEMENT

  • At the invitation of His Majesty Preah Bat Samdech Preah Boromneath NORODOM SIHAMONI, King of Cambodia, His Excellency Maithripala Sirisena, President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka paid a state visit to the Kingdom of Cambodia from 07 to 10 August 2019.
  • The President of Sri Lanka laid wreaths at the Independence Monument and paid homage in memory of the great war heroes and heroines of Cambodia. He also paid tribute at the Royal Memorial of His Majesty the late King-Father of Cambodia, Preah Bat Samdech Preah NORODOM SIHANOUK PREAH BOROM RATANAK KAUDH.
  • During this visit, His Excellency Maithripala Sirisena had an audience with His Majesty Preah Bat Samdech Preah Boromneath NORODOM SIHAMONI, King of Cambodia. His Excellency the President of Sri Lanka attended a state banquet hosted in his honour by His Majesty the King at the Royal Palace, where he also met with Samdech Vibol Sena Pheakdei Say Chhum, President of the Senate and Samdech Akka Moha Ponhea Chakrei Heng Samrin, President of the National Assembly.

Read more: SRI LANKA-CAMBODIA JOINT STATEMENT

 

The High Commissioner and the Consul General attended a Meeting with Sri Lankan expatriates at Brampton Buddhist Temple

The High Commissioner, Asoka Girihagama and the Consul General, Kapila Jayaweera attended a Meeting with Sri Lankan expatriates at Brampton Buddhist Temple on 27th July.

Around 100-120 Sri Lankan community members attended the meeting held in the temple’s sermon hall with the participation of the chief incumbent and other two monks. High Commissioner Girihagama explained the purpose of the meeting and briefed them on the activities of the High Commission and the Consulate, trade between the two countries, development projects, areas of cooperation and political issues that are currently being handled by the Mission and the Post including genocide allegations.

The Consul General, Mr. Kapila Jayaweera addressing the gathering explained the services rendered by the Consulate General office and issues that have impacted on Sri Lanka along with the action taken by the Mission and the Consulate.

The High Commissioner and the Consul General clarified various issues raised by the community members, which are related to dual citizenship, current trade activities, pension, genocide allegations and strategy to counter it. The chief incumbent and the organizers of the meeting appreciated the efforts of the High Commission and the Consulate to brief them on the current political scenario highlighted the importance of keeping them informed of the Mission’s and Consulate General Office’s activities.

 

 

   

High Commissioner Girihagama and Consul General Jayaweera participated in the 7th Annual Pilgrimage to Martyr’s Shrine – Sri Lanka Day by the Canada – Sri Lanka Catholic Association Ontario

The High Commissioner, Asoka Girihagama and the Consul General, Kapila Jayaweera participated in the 7th Annual Pilgrimage to Martyr’s Shrine – Sri Lanka Day organized by the Canada – Sri Lanka Catholic Association Ontario on 27th July.

 

The 7th Annual Pilgrimage to Martyr’s Shrine – Sri Lanka Day, a Sri Lankan Catholic religious event was attended by over 300 Sri Lankan community members. Reverend Bishop Maxwell Silva has been invited from Sri Lanka to the function this year.

 

The High Commissioner addressing the gathering highlighted the importance of religious and cultural harmony and unity among the communities. He noted that the Sri Lankan community in Canada had paid their tribute to the victims of the Easter Sunday attack by organizing religious events in various cities in Canada and that underscored the importance of such religious and cultural events to bring the community members together irrespective of their differences.  

   

High Commissioner and the Consul General participate in the Annual General Meeting of Ontario Sri Lankan Pensioners Association (OSPA)

The High Commissioner and the Consul General attended the Annual General Meeting of the Ontario Pensioners Association (OSPA) on 26th July at the Banquet Hall, Miracle Family Temple, and Scarborough, Ontario. Around 150 pensioners attended the meeting in which issues and grievances of the Sri Lankan pensioners were discussed.

 

The pensioners submitted their issues in writing to the President of the OSPA. The President (OSPA) will forward those issues to the High Commission through the Consulate General office in Toronto for forwarding them to DG/Pensions. The Secretary of OSPA, Mr. R. Ragupathy while appreciating the participation of the High Commissioner and the Consul General, expressed their expectation in resolving their pension issues by the Department of Pension at the earliest.

   

Foreign Minister Marapana calls for increased cooperation to combat regional security challenges at the 26th ASEAN Regional Forum

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Addressing the 26th session of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) held on 02 August 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand, Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana stressed the necessity for concerted global efforts to counter traditional and non-traditional security concerns including terrorism, violent extremism and cybercrime. In this context, Minister Marapana underscored the need for a deepened resolve among the ARF participants to overcome these challenges.

The 26th ARF session focused on expanding confidence building measures and enhancing cooperation in areas such as the anti-terrorism effort, strengthening the nuclear non-proliferation regime, preventive diplomacy, countering violent extremism, promoting women, peace and security and ensuring the secure use of information and communication technologies.

Further, the Meeting condemned multifaceted acts of terrorism including the Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka and the recent acts of violence in New Zealand and the Philippines.

Read more: Foreign Minister Marapana calls for increased cooperation to combat regional security challenges at the 26th ASEAN Regional Forum

   

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