THE BEST OF SRI LANKA
TENDER & OTHER NOTICE
Revised quarantine measures for travellers arriving from overseas during the pandemic of COVID 19 – effective from 00:00 hours on 18th October 2021
Foreign Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris addresses the Diplomatic Community at Foreign Ministry
Foreign Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris addressed the diplomatic community at the Foreign Ministry auditorium on 13 October 2021. The Colombo-based diplomatic community was present at the meeting which was conducted under the approved COVID-19 related guidelines.
At the outset the Minister appreciated his first opportunity to meet with the entire diplomatic corps collectively following his assumption of duties as Foreign Minister some weeks ago. Due to the previously prevailing COVID-19 situation, such a meeting could not take place earlier as he would have wished, the Minister stated. The objective of the meeting was to cordially brief the diplomatic community on recent developments of interest to them.
The Minister stated that he was pleased to report that the COVID-19 situation in the country had improved, following a very successful vaccination effort. Despite severe challenges, over 70% of the population has now been fully vaccinated allowing for the gradual opening up of the country. The Minister sought the cooperation of the diplomatic community in the resumption of tourism and economic activity. The Minister expressed his appreciation to the diplomatic community for their support and assistance during the COVID-19 crisis including to all UN agencies as well as donors and Colombo–based multilateral financial institutions.
Minister Peiris also briefed the diplomatic community on his recent overseas engagements, including at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva and during his visit to New York, accompanying the President when he addressed the United Nations General Assembly. At the UNGA, Sri Lanka stood in solidarity with global efforts to address pressing issues which required a collective approach from all countries big and small. In the next major international engagement which will be the COP 26 in Glasgow where the Minister will accompany the President, Sri Lanka as a climate vulnerable country, will further reiterate its commitments in this regard.
The Minister also recalled his statement to the 48th session of the UN Human Rights Council following the presentation of the Oral update on Sri Lanka by the High Commissioner for Human Rights, where he outlined Sri Lanka’s ongoing cooperation with the Council as well as the progress made on reconciliation and human rights through domestic institutions. Further updating the diplomatic community in this regard, he stated that Sri Lanka is open in acknowledging the challenges faced and will engage in candid discussions in this regard, both domestically with representatives of civil society as well as with the our international partners including the UN. However Sri Lanka rejects the establishment of an external mechanism when domestic processes were ongoing. The Minister also shared information relating to progress on the process of Constitutional reform and the Provincial Council elections.
The Minister further referred to the recent visits from the EU, in the context of the Joint Commission as well as to review the implementation of the GSP plus. The Minister expressed satisfaction that the discussions were held in a cordial manner and that officials have taken note of outstanding matters. The Minister recalled that the continuation of GSP plus is vital for the Sri Lankan economy, not only in the apparel sector, but also in other areas of bilateral trade. He stated that Sri Lanka’s efforts to achieve the SDGs as well as uplift the lives of our people require cooperation from all our international partners. COVID-19 dealt a significant blow to our plans and we need to recover.
The members of the diplomatic community thanked the Minister for his engagement and appreciated the opportunity provided to engage on issues of interest to them. Minister Peiris concluded the meeting by stating his intention to have regular interactions with the diplomatic community.
13 October, 2021
Quarantine measures for travelers arriving from overseas during the pandemic of COVID-19 – effective from 00:00 hours on 29th September 2021 to 24:00 hours on 31st October 2021
Speech of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at 76th UN General Assembly – New York, September 22, 2021
Statement by Hon. Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka at the 48th Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council, 14 September 2021, Geneva
Live Streaming of Wilpattu National Park, Sri Lanka
24th September 2021 and 26th September 2021
Health Protocol for arrivals to Sri Lanka
Statement on the issue of tracing the Origins of COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused severe disruptions to the health, safety, and livelihoods of people around the world. Therefore, multilateralism and international cooperation provide the best possible means to effectively and sustainably defeat the pandemic.
It is equally important to conduct a comprehensive, inclusive, and impartial study on the origin of the virus.
Sri Lanka notes the leading role played by the World Health Organization (WHO) in this regard and the contents of the joint report of the WHO–convened Global Study released in March 2021.
Sri Lanka reiterates that the study on the origin tracing of SARS-Co-V-2 should be based on scientific and evidence-based methods and should not be politicized. The next phase of the study should reflect the key findings of the previous WHO-led joint study report.
Sri Lanka will continue to constructively engage with all international partners to find amicable and comprehensive solutions to unresolved issues in this regard.
8 September, 2021
LTTE proscription in the UK
The Government of Sri Lanka has been made aware that the UK Home Secretary has decided to maintain the proscription of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) as a terrorist organization under the UK Terrorism Act No. 7 of 2000.
The Home Secretary’s decision, which has been taken following the judgement of the Proscribed Organizations Appeals Commission (POAC), rejects the application of a LTTE front organization to de-proscribe the LTTE in the UK. The LTTE, therefore, remains a proscribed organization in the UK, as in over 30 other countries worldwide, including in the EU region.
LTTE was initially proscribed in these countries due to the group’s brutality and atrocities targeting civilians and democratically elected leaders, involvement in organized crime and other criminal activities that impacted global and regional security. The continued retention of the LTTE’s proscription worldwide, is a recognition of the continued threat posed by the remnants of the group working through its international network, which continue to finance terrorist activities, radicalize youth towards violent extremism and cause ethnic disharmony and disrupt cohesive living in every country in which they are active.
The Government of Sri Lanka is appreciative of the partnership with the UK, and all governments, in the global fight against terrorism, and remain committed to working with the UK in all efforts to mitigate terrorism and violent extremism, that threaten the lives of citizens, and endanger global and regional peace and security.
2 September, 2021
Apostolic Nuncio discusses Easter Sunday bombing investigation in meeting with Foreign Minister
His Eminence Archbishop Brian Udaigwe, Apostolic Nuncio (the Vatican Ambassador) to Sri Lanka paid a courtesy call on the Foreign Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris on Tuesday 31 August at the Foreign Ministry.
During the meeting, the Foreign Minister explained that one of his first duties in his previous portfolio as Minister of Education was to confer degree awarding status to the Benedict XVI Catholic Institute at Bolawalana, Negombo, which was built by the then Defence Secretary, and present President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the armed forces. The Minister highlighted the importance of setting up the institution in not only imparting education but also developing social equity for the less privileged segments of society.
The Minister also expressed deep sorrow on the calamitous and horrendous tragedy, and the great deal of pain and suffering undergone by the Catholic Church, and his understanding of the sentiments of the Catholic Church, and the need for justice to bring all those who were responsible before the law.
Alluding to the sensitive nature of the ongoing investigation, the Minister emphasized the need to have an informed discussion with a view to facilitating to resolve the matters with His Eminence Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith and the Catholic Bishop’s Conference at the earliest juncture.
The Minister further stated that the Government understands perfectly the sincere motivation and unendurable anguish of the Catholic Church and its purest of motives.
The Minister drew attention to certain groups who are trying to exploit the situation for their own purposes which he asserted were contrary to the genuine motives of the Catholic Church, highlighting the upcoming session of the United Nations Human Rights Council Session, scheduled to commence on 12 September, and the United Nations General Assembly which is to be held on 21 September,2021. The Minister remarked that every endeavour should be made to ensure that the purest motives of the Catholic Church are not hijacked, either locally or internationally.
While expressing his sincere appreciation for the attention being received by the Catholic Church and Catholics in Sri Lanka, though they are a minority, the Papal Nuncio indicated that he has not witnessed similar recognition given to Catholics in other countries.
The Apostolic Nuncio suggested that a meeting could be arranged at an early date with a Committee of the Bishop’s Conference, so that the Government could discuss the relevant issues with representatives of the Church.
The Minister expressed appreciation of this opportunity, and said that the government is collecting all particulars from the Attorney General’s Department, the Police and other relevant State agencies to be able to provide the fullest information at the discussion with the Church.
The Apostolic Nuncio wished the Minister of Foreign Affairs every success in his new assignment.
01 September, 2021
Connecting the hearts and minds of Polish people with the soul of Sri Lanka – Ambassador’s Interview with the Wiadomosci Turystyczne magazine
Ambassador Semasinghe discusses roadmap for promoting bilateral trade and investment with KIG President Marek Kłoczko
Ambassador Dhammika Kumari Semasinghe met with Mr. Marek Kłoczko, President of the Polish Chamber of Commerce (KIG), and discussed at length the bilateral trade profile, emerging investment opportunities in Sri Lanka, and activities to increase two-way trade flows.
The Ambassador said that promoting trade and tourism was a priority for both countries, and highlighted that the legal framework was already in place to facilitate such activities with the signing of the bilateral agreements on ‘Cooperation in the field of Tourism’ and ‘Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income’.
She emphasized that Polish investors consider Sri Lanka as an attractive investment destination in the larger context of Asia, which is the emerging economic powerhouse. Sri Lanka was in Asia, and enjoyed its own unique strategic location as the gateway to access the vast Asia-Pacific markets.
The Ambassador further highlighted that the opportunity for diversifying export products and exploring cargo operations had expanded with the establishment of direct air connectivity between Warsaw and Colombo by the Lot Polish Airlines in 2019. She said that prioritized sectors involving value-addition and high-tech infusion for Polish investors were IT enabled services, manufacturing (electronics), food processing, agri-business, tourism, logistics, infrastructure, transport and pharmaceutical.
KIG President Marek agreeing that the prospects were bright for expanding business opportunities between Sri Lanka and Poland, underlined that increasing awareness of Sri Lanka as an attractive investment destination among the wider Polish business community was critical, along with building confidence in the credibility of the investment processes and investment protection in Sri Lanka. Mr. Marek briefed the Ambassador on the opportunities available for joint ventures in Poland. In this regard, the hospitality and IT/BPO sectors held much promise. Mr. Marek proposed convening a virtual event to enable B2B meetings between the IT/BPO sector companies in the two countries, to implement the trade and investment promotional roadmap discussed during the meeting.
Sri Lanka Embassy Warsaw
26 August 2021
Foreign Ministry expresses condolences on the demise of former Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera
The late Minister Mangala Samaraweera served two terms as the Foreign Minister from 2005-2007 and 2015-2017. He will be remembered for his commitment and dedication to duty, for the values he stood for and for his humane qualities. Sri Lanka has lost a leader who was deeply committed to the welfare and development of his country.
At this difficult time, our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the late Minister. The pandemic has claimed yet another life, and this time an illustrious son of Sri Lanka who served his country well. May he attain the supreme bliss of Nibbhana!
24 August, 2021
Statement on situation in Afghanistan
The Government of Sri Lanka is deeply concerned about the situation in Afghanistan and is closely monitoring developments. Our primary concern is the safety and security of Sri Lankans living in Afghanistan and evacuating them to safety or back to Sri Lanka. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has requested the governments of USA, UK, India, Pakistan and the United Nations to assist in evacuating the Sri Lankans in Afghanistan, should they desire to do so. Foreign Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris has during meetings with relevant envoys requested their assistance to the Sri Lankans in Afghanistan. The Government of Sri Lanka is ready to provide whatever facilities needed for this purpose. Of the total number of Sri Lankans in Afghanistan numbering eighty six (86), so far forty six (46) have already been evacuated. As of today, twenty (20) Sri Lankans are expecting to return from Afghanistan and Foreign Ministry is making arrangements for their evacuation. Meanwhile, twenty (20) other Sri Lankans have expressed their willingness to stay back in Afghanistan.
The Government of Sri Lanka is happy to note that the Taliban has offered an amnesty and promised not to harm any foreigners and requests the Taliban to continue honouring that commitment. The Government of Sri Lanka is also happy to see the pledges given by the Taliban that the women in Afghanistan can work and girls can go to school, following the Islamic tradition.
The Government of Sri Lanka also takes note in the pronouncement made by the Taliban that an All Party Mechanism will be established to take the country forward.
Now that the Taliban is in power, the Government of Sri Lanka requests that the law and order situation be stabilized and the safety, security and dignity of all people in Afghanistan be safeguarded.
The Government of Sri Lanka remains concerned of the possibilities of mass migration, extremist religious elements attempting to find a safe haven and enhanced illegal narcotic trade which can have a destabilizing effect on the entire South Asian region. The Government is keenly observing the situation on a daily basis.
As a member of SAARC, Sri Lanka is prepared to play its role to assist any regional efforts in this regard.
21 August, 2021
Foreign Minister Prof. G.L Peiris assumes duties
The newly appointed Foreign Minister Prof. G.L Peiris assumed duties at the Ministry today (18 August, 2021) at a simple ceremony graced by outgoing Foreign Minister and the new Minister of Education Dinesh Gunawardena; State Minister of Regional Cooperation Tharaka Balasuriya; State Minister of Women and Child Development, Preschools & Primary Education, School Infrastructure & Education Services Piyal Nishantha De Silva; Member of Parliament and General Secretary of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Sagara Kariyawasam; Foreign Secretary Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage and other officials. The Buddhist clergy led by the chief incumbent of the Bellanwila Rajamaha Viharaya Ven. Dr. Bellanwila Dhammaratana Nayaka Thero invoked blessings on the occasion.
Thereafter, both incoming Minister Prof. G.L Peiris and outgoing Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena met the senior staff of the Ministry. Addressing the occasion, Minister Prof. G.L Peiris stated that he was pleased to be back at the Ministry after six years. He commended the outgoing Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena for the leadership provided to the Foreign Ministry during the last two years and stated that in all activities of the Foreign Ministry, Minister Dinesh Gunawardena ensured that Sri Lanka’s inherent self-respect and dignity was not compromised.
State Minister of Regional Cooperation Tharaka Balasuriya and Foreign Secretary Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage welcomed the new Minister and stated that they looked forward to continue delivering on the mandate of the Foreign Ministry under his guidance. Both State Minister Balasuriya and Secretary Colombage thanked the outgoing Minister for his visionary leadership and guidance over the last two years.
18 August, 2021
Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena stated that the late Lakshman Kadirgamar was a great Minister born in Sri Lanka and an excellent and exemplary leader. Minister Gunawardena made these observations after paying a floral tribute to the statue of the late Lakshman Kadirgamar at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Centre in Colombo on the occasion of his 16th death anniversary. State Minister of Regional Cooperation Tharaka Balasuriya, Parliamentarians Suren Raghavan, Yadamini Gunawardena, Secretary to the Foreign Ministry Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage, Mrs. Kadirgamar and a group of officials from the Foreign Ministry were also present at the event.
“Hon. Lakshman Kadirgamar was a simple and humble person who was an academic with an in depth knowledge of international affairs, respected by the international community” said Minister Gunawardena. State Minister of Regional Cooperation Tharaka Balasuriya addressing the gathering stated that the service fulfilled by the late Lakshman Kadirgamar on behalf of the motherland can never be forgotten. He also stated that it is our duty to carry forward his policy towards the motherland.
13 August, 2021
The Sri Lankan Nationals in Poland, Romania, and Bulgaria are kindly requested to register with the Sri Lanka Embassy in Poland
The Ministry of National Security of Sri Lanka requests Sri Lankan citizens living overseas and foreign visitors to Sri Lanka, except those living in the Middle Eastern countries, to apply…
Live Streaming of the Historic and Grandest Traditional Parade in the region, the Kandy Esala Perehera – from 13th – 23rd August 2021