Sri Lanka Reopens to International Tourism on the 21st of January 2020

 Open for Tourist 14 jan 2021

 

Sri Lanka is ready to welcome tourists with our traditional greeting, 'Ayubowan' by adhering to strict safety protocols. Health authorities of Sri Lanka has formulated health guidelines for tourists to be observed on arrival. KPMG has awarded 'Safe & Secure' certificates for tourist establishments and service providers that required to be met with COVID-19 protocol. Sri Lanka has received the Safe Travel Stamp from the World Travel & Tourism Council considering required safety measures have been implemented in the country.

Repatriation Process “People Centric and Transparent” - Foreign Ministry sets the record straight

crest front
The Foreign Ministry will continue facilitating repatriations without any financial burden on Sri Lankans, the Foreign Secretary asserted responding to misinformation in the public domain. Secretary Jayanath Colombage made it clear that the role of the Missions is strictly confined to organizing repatriation flights for returnees who are tested on arrival, offered all logistical support and are quarantined at Government facilities free of charge.

The returnees are drawn from the list of overseas Sri Lankans registered in the Missions and Posts and repatriated depending on their vulnerability levels and on a “first come first serve basis“. Foreign Employment Bureau and their representatives are working with our missions on the safe return of the expatriate working community on the same basis in relation to availability of flights and clearance by Airport Authorities in the relevant countries. The number of passengers who are permitted to travel per day, however, is determined by the Task Force chiefly based on a periodical appraisal and inputs provided by the Army in charge of quarantine centres and the Ministry of Health which is entrusted with the task of implementing health guidelines.

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Sri Lanka's First-Ever Virtual Design Festival to Showcase ‘Designed and Made in Sri Lanka’ Globally

SLDF

Setting a new national benchmark, the Academy of Design (AOD) has conceptualized SRI LANKA DESIGN FESTIVAL 2021, with the purpose of promoting the country’s ‘designed and made in Sri Lanka’ initiatives through a series of virtual fashion showcases, design exhibitions, forums and workshops that focus on product innovation, sustainable design, art and creative industries. The Sri Lanka Design Festival 2021 will be held virtually for the first-time, on the 15th, 16th and 17th of January 2021. The Festival will showcase to a global audience through various collaborations and international partnerships.

Under the theme ‘impACT’, the Virtual Festival will showcase fashion and design initiatives that motivate the industry to ACT now and create a positive impact, in a meaningful way whilst bringing in much-needed new exports through design driven innovation.

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Foreign Secretary Colombage speaks of the repatriation process and the revival of tourism

06 jan 2021 foreign secretary interview news first

Foreign Secretary Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage was interviewed on Sirasa TV1 on 05 January 2021 where he explained about the repatriation process of Sri Lankan’s overseas and the revival of the tourism industry amid the COVID-19 pandemic.


The full interview is available at: https://youtu.be/RWI8WuQ7qWc

Government to re-introduce conditional repatriation in the wake of new strain of Coronavirus

In the wake of the discovery of a fast spreading new strain of Coronavirus in certain countries, the Government of Sri Lanka has decided to continue with the existing procedure of obtaining prior approval from the Foreign Ministry and the Civil Aviation Authority for all inbound travellers to Sri Lanka.

The revised guidelines on repatriation will be issued once the situation has been reappraised.

Foreign Ministry
Colombo

22 December 2020

Foreign Minister holds an event to mark 65 years of Sri Lanka's membership at the United Nations

15 dec 2020 65 anniversary at united nations

Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena met the United Nations Resident Coordinator Hanaa Singer and the heads of UN agencies based in Colombo yesterday 14 December 2020 at an event held at the Foreign Ministry to mark the 65th anniversary of Sri Lanka’s membership of the United Nations.

Addressing the gathering Foreign Minister Gunawardena reiterated Sri Lanka’s contribution to the UN system and reaffirmed the commitment of the Government of Sri Lanka led by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to represent the interests of the Global South through its Neutral Non-Aligned policy with the UN, based on the principles enshrined in the UN Charter.

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Statement by Hon. Dinesh Gunawardena, Foreign Minister of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka at the 31st Special Session of the General Assembly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic 03/04 December 2020

3 december 2020 UN special session  on covid

Mr President

Mr Secretary-General

Your Majesties

Your Excellencies

Distinguished Delegates

Ladies and Gentlemen

At the outset, I thank H.E. Volkan Bozkir, President of the General Assembly for convening the Special Session in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as proposed by the Non Aligned Movement and Azerbaijan, Chair of the NAM.

I convey my deepest condolences to all those who have lost loved ones due to the COVID-19 Pandemic the greatest global health crisis to face humanity, and express appreciation to the frontline healthcare and essential services workers in Sri Lanka and worldwide, for their dedication and commitment.

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Remarks Made by Hon Dinesh Gunawardena Foreign Minister at the Inaugural Event of the 4th NSA – Level Trilateral Meeting on Maritime Cooperation on 28 November 2020

28 nov 2020 hon mfa 4th ns a trilateral meeting


Hon. Mariya Didi, Defence Minister of Maldives,

Shri Ajit Doval, National Security Adviser of India,

Defence Secretary Major General Kamal Gunaratne,

Foreign Secretary Admiral Professor Jayanath Colombage,

Distinguished delegates,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me, at the outset, warmly welcome you and the visiting delegations from India and Maldives to this important Trilateral Security Meeting, which is being convened after a lapse of six years. I also welcome to our midst the latest Observer Bangladesh and of course Mauritius and Seychelles who have been with us as observers since 2014.

Your presence in Colombo, despite the challenges, posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, amply demonstrates the commitment – both individually and collectively- to the common purpose of collaborating on our key maritime security interests and for the region’s stability and wellbeing. Our national priorities demand of us to collaborate in order to ensure our collective security and wellbeing. As littoral States, the Indian Ocean holds a vital conduit for our prosperity and as some have said, it may well define the destiny of the planet in the 21st century. This forum provides us with a valuable platform to pursue these goals.

Our Security is not limited to physical security and consequent regional stability, but also encompasses nontraditional security challenges including threats to marine environment. Over exploitation of ocean-based living and natural resources, pollution, threats posed by oil spills and chemicals, acidification of the seas and sea-level rise are also among our concerns.

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Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena underscores the importance of adequate funding for development initiatives enabling developing countries to overcome the multifaceted challenges hindering the achievement of SDGs

12 nov 2020 hon mfa

Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena reiterated the call of the Group of 77 for adequate funding for development initiatives enabling developing countries to overcome the multifaceted challenges hindering the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in the context of the exacerbated global situation due to the pandemic and its adverse effects on trade, tourism, investment and employment.

The Forty-Fourth Annual Meeting of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Group of 77 was held virtually on Thursday (12 November), chaired by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana. The interactive dialogue was held on the theme "Major priority issues and the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the obstacles it poses to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and achievement of the SDGs".

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Foreign Ministry cautions Sri Lankan travellers

The Foreign Ministry of Sri Lanka urges all prospective Sri Lankan travellers both inbound and outbound to be cautious of individuals who demand payment / fee or any form of financial charges to facilitate entry permission to Sri Lanka or any third country.

The Foreign Ministry hereby announces that no individual or entity is authorized by the Sri Lankan Government to facilitate entry to or exit from Sri Lanka other than the Government institutions concerned.

The repatriation process which was temporarily suspended due to the rising numbers of caseloads in the country, will be resumed in the coming weeks with priority offered to the most vulnerable and deserving cases.

Those who reside overseas may contact your nearest Sri Lanka Embassy, Sri Lanka High Commission or Consulate General for further and authentic information or register your concerns on the Contact Sri Lanka web portal at https://www.contactsrilanka.mfa.gov.lk/

Foreign Ministry

Colombo

13 November 2020

The Speech Delivered by the Hon. Foreign Minister of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka at the Launch of the UN Network on Migration in Sri Lanka, 11 November 2020

11 nov 2020 hon mfa migration

Ayubowan,

Mr. Chairman,

Excellencies, Distinguished Guests

I am deeply honoured to deliver the opening address at the Launch of the Sri Lanka Chapter of the United Nations Global Network on Migration. At the outset may I take the opportunity to extend a warm appreciation to Her Excellency Madam Hanaa Singer, the UN Resident Coordinator in Sri Lanka and Mr. Sarat Dash, Chief of the International Organization for Migration for inviting me to deliver the opening address at this event.

The United Nations Global Network on Migration establishes a network on migration to ensure effective, timely and coordinated system-wide support to Member States. In carrying out its mandate, the Network would prioritize the rights and well-being of migrants and their communities of destination, origin, and transit. Most importantly, it places emphasis on those issues where a common UN system approach would add value and from which results and impact can be readily gauged.

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Performing Consular Services at the Foreign Ministry under COVID-19 Pandemic Situation

The Foreign Ministry has decided to resume document attestation services offered by the Consular Affairs Division of the Ministry to limited number of clients per day strictly on prior appointment basis with effect from 11 November 2020, in order to ensure uninterrupted efficient service for the general public in line with the health protective measures introduced.

Accordingly, an appointment should be made through the following web extension or telephone number prior to visit the Consular Affairs Division and the appointments will be available only from 10.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. during working days:

Web extension: http://consular.mfa.gov.lk/ONLINEBOOKING

Telephone: +94 112 338 812

The persons who have not made an appointment in this manner will not be allowed to enter the office premises located at the Ceylinco Building in Colombo 01 and the people in the areas of isolation/ curfew should refrain from visiting the office during this time.

For queries related to death, compensation, repatriation and miscellaneous matters of Sri Lankans overseas please contact the following:

Fax:+94 112 473 899              e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Section

Telephone

Death

+94 112 338 836        

+94 113 136 715

+94 776 032 252 

+94 773 586 433

+94 718 415 623        

+94 701 428 246

Compensation

+94 112 437 635                 

+94 117 101 193

Repatriation

+94 112 338 837

Miscellaneous

+94 112 338 843                 

+94 117 101 162

Please note that both the Regional Consular Offices in Matara and Jaffna, will also be opened for the general public during working days. Please make prior appointment through the following telephone numbers:

Regional Consular Office in Matara:  +94 412 226 697

Regional Consular Office in Jaffna:   +94 212 215 972

Foreign Ministry

Colombo

10 November 2020

Read more: www.mfa.gov.lk

Foreign Secretary Colombage speaks of growing Indian Ocean importance

24 oct 2020 sfa adaderana interview r

Foreign Secretary Prof. Jayanath Colombage highlighted the growing importance of the Indian Ocean for global trade, and global security on Hyde Park, Ada Derana on 24 October 2020.

He also spoke of the 'Sri Lanka First' policy and maintaining the non-aligned stance and neutrality.

Full interview at: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=apUiG0mqr5M

Address by Guest of Honour, Hon Dinesh Gunawardena, Foreign Minister at “Shaping our future together” the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations and 65th Anniversary of the United Nations in Colombo, virtual event on 23 October 2020

23 oct 2020 hon mfa shaping the future together

Hon Prime Minister,

Hon Minister of Youth and Sports

Her Excellency the UN Resident Coordinator in Sri Lanka

Staff of the UN Country Team in Sri Lanka,

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen

I am pleased to address you today on this historic occasion of the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations and the 65th Anniversary of the United Nations in Colombo.

The United Nations’ reaching its seventy-fifth year, demonstrates the durability of not only this organization, but also the concept of multilateralism, based on the core principles of sovereign equality of all States, respect for their territorial integrity and non-interference in their domestic affairs. The partnerships fostered between Member States and the UN continues are at their best when based on these principles.

As we are celebrating this milestone, the world is faced with the unprecedented challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic. This virus transcends national boundaries and no Member State can withstand the varied effects of the pandemic nor find solutions alone. The UN plays an important role in fostering multilateral action and mobilizing global solidarity towards addressing this scourge. Sri Lanka appreciates and supports the contributions by the UN and especially the WHO to the global response to address the multiple challenges of the pandemic.

While celebrating the 65th anniversary of Sri Lanka’s membership in the United Nations this year, Sri Lanka is pleased to have contributed significantly to the work of the United Nations, from its peacekeeping operations to its specialized agencies. Sri Lankan nationals have served with distinction in varied roles within the organization.

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Temporary Suspension of Consular Services at the Foreign Ministry

The Foreign Ministry has decided to suspend all services offered by the Consular Affairs Division of the Ministry until further notice, to restrict the congregation of the general public and thereby to prevent the spreading of COVID-19 Virus.

Accordingly, the Consular Affairs Division situated at the Ceylinco Building in Colombo will remain closed for visitors, including exporters who visit the Division for attestation of Export Documents, until further notice. Please note that document attestation services will also not be offered by both the Regional Consular Offices in Matara and Jaffna, until further notice.

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Address by Foreign Minister, Dinesh Gunawardena at the High-Level Meeting on the 25th Anniversary of the 4th World Conference on Women on 01 October 2020

01 oct 2020 hon foreign minister World conference on women

Address by Foreign Minister, Dinesh Gunawardena at the High-Level Meeting on the 25th Anniversary of the 4th World Conference on Women on 01 October 2020

Address by Hon Dinesh Gunawardena,

Foreign Minister of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

at the High-Level Meeting on the 25th Anniversary of

the 4th World Conference on Women

01 October 2020

Theme: “Accelerating the realization of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls”

Opening remarks:

Mr. President,

Mr. Secretary-General,

Your Excellencies,

Distinguished Delegates,

Ladies and gentlemen,

· I am honored to represent Sri Lanka at this High-Level Meeting to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the 4th World Conference on women.

· Undoubtedly, the Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action, which was adopted during the 4th World Conference on Women in 1995 is a landmark global agenda for the empowerment of women. This comprehensive policy document remains relevant today as it was 25 years ago, as a source of guidance and inspiration for the advancement of women and the achievement of gender equality, globally.

· While recognizing that vital steps have been taken by the global community towards achieving gender equality and empowering women, we also acknowledge that challenges and obstacles continue to remain, impeding the socio-economic and political development of women.

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Statement by H.E. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka at the UN Summit on Biodiversity, 30 September 2020

30 sep 2020 president bio diversity

We are committed to protect and sustainably manage natural resources – President tells UN Biodiversity Summit

The Government of Sri Lankan is committed to protect and sustainably manage natural resources, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said addressing the United Nations Summit on Biodiversity today (30).

“Sri Lanka is home to two UNESCO   Natural Heritage Sites: the Central Highlands, and the Sinharaja Rain Forest Reserve. We are also proud of our six sites recognized under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. Sri Lanka firmly stands committed to protect and sustainably manage these natural assets that contribute to our unique and rich biodiversity” President Rajapaksa told the virtual gathering held under the theme of Urgent action on biodiversity for sustainable development”.

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Virtual Bilateral Summit between Prime Minister of Sri Lanka H.E. Mahinda Rajapaksa and Prime Minister of India H.E. Shri Narendra Modi

Joint Press Statement

Mitratva Magga -Path of Friendship: Towards Growth and Prosperity


Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, H.E. Mahinda Rajapaksa and Prime Minister of India, H.E. Narendra Modi held a Virtual Summit today in which they discussed bilateral relations and regional & international issues of mutual concern.

2. Prime Minister Modi congratulated Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa on his assumption of office of Prime Minister with a decisive mandate at the Parliamentary Election held in Sri Lanka in August 2020. Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa expressed his gratitude for the good wishes and conveyed his keenness to work together closely with Prime Minister Modi.

3. Both the leaders recalled the successful State Visits by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to India in November 2019 and February 2020, respectively. These visits gave clear political direction and vision for the future of the relationship.

4. Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa commended the strong leadership shown by Prime Minister Modi in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic based on a vision of mutual support and assistance to the countries of the region. Both leaders agreed that the current situation presented a fresh opportunity to give added impetus to bilateral relations. Both the leaders expressed happiness that India and Sri Lanka worked very closely in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Prime Minister Modi reaffirmed India’s continued commitment for all possible support to Sri Lanka for minimising the health and economic impact of the pandemic.

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Statement by H.E. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka at the General Debate of the 75th Session of the UNGA, 22 September 2020

UN’s responsibility is to assist democratically elected governments – President tells UNGA

Global community must stand in solidarity with Sri Lanka to counter terrorism
As a nation that witnessed the bitterness of war, SL is committed to promote peace across the world
Vigilant on transnational drug trafficking
Once developed, universal access to COVID – 19 vaccine is vital

“Democratically elected governments of nations understand the pulse and needs of their people the best. It is the responsibility of the UN to assist and support processes of such elected Governments to bring about sustainable solutions for needs of their people” President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said in pre-recorded address to the General Debate of the 75th General Assembly on the United Nations today (23).

Sri Lanka is committed to follow a neutral foreign policy with no affiliations to any particular country or power bloc, President reiterated.

The annual session of the General Assembly commenced at the UN Headquarters in New York at 9.00 pm in Sri Lanka Time yesterday (22) using video conferencing technology.

This year’s General Session will be held under the theme of “The Future We Want, the UN We Need: Reaffirming Our Collective Commitment to Multilateralism”.

President Rajapaksa joined the Session around 4.45am local time.

Emphasizing that Sri Lanka remains deeply committed to addressing drug-related socio-economic issues President pointed out the need to enhance efforts to strengthen the prevention of drug abuse among children and youth, and ensure that educational settings are free of any harmful and addictive drugs.

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Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena leads the Sri Lanka delegation to the informal meeting of SAARC Council of Ministers

24 09 2020 hon minister informal meeting of SAARC Council of Ministers


Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena led the Sri Lankan delegation to the informal meeting of the Council of Ministers of the eight-member South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) on 24 September 2020. The annual event, which traditionally takes place on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, was convened in virtual mode this year amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.

At the informal meeting, Minister Gunawadena underlined the need for coordinated and collaborative action to mitigate the adverse impact of the Covid 19 pandemic, as the United Nations forecasts South Asian economies to contract by 4.8% this year. He also pointed out the importance of reviewing South Asia’s economic outlook, finding employment for impacted workforce, revitalizing businesses, while increasing production.

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High-Level Meeting to Commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations – 21 September 2020

21 sep 2020 unga statement HE the President

We expect the United Nation will place due emphasis on non-interference in domestic affairs of other states, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said in a pre-recorded statement at the High-Level Meeting to Commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations today (21).

“At a time when the world is facing a common and an unrivalled threat, the “United Nations We Need”, I am certain, will place due emphasis on the sovereign equality of States, respect for territorial integrity and non-interference in their domestic affairs”, President said.

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Interview of State Minister Tharaka Balasuriya on the Government’s initiatives and regional cooperation

02 09 2020 interview of state Minister Tharaka Balasuirya on News 1st Newsline

State Minister of Regional Co-operation Tharaka Balasuriya was interviewed on News 1st NEWSLINE with Faraz Shauketaly on TV1 on 02 September 2020. The State Minister speaks of the Government’s initiatives on the welfare and safe repatriation of Sri Lankans overseas and plans for furthering regional cooperation.

Video Link: https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=ZZwo3u8swHM

Interview of Foreign Secretary Colombage on the Government’s priorities and foreign relations

30 08 2020 foreign secretary admiral prof Jayanath Colombage r


Foreign Secretary Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage speaks on the Sri Lankan Government’s priorities and the country’s foreign relations at a special interview held on “Irida Ayubowan” programme on Rupavahini on 30 August 2020.

Video Link : https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2amcR3tZJ4

Policy Statement made by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the Inauguration of the First Session of the Ninth Parliament

  • 20 08 2020 president inaugural speech

    I will take the country towards prosperity without succumbing to any force – President

    Public trust on the Government will not be breached

    19thAmendment to be abolished

    New Constitution giving priority to “One Country – One Law”

    Waste and corruption at ministries and pubic institutes will be eradicated

    People’s representatives must go to the public


President Gotabaya Rajapaksa emphasized that he will take the country towards prosperity while safeguarding the people and protecting the sovereignty of the country without succumbing to any force.

People gave a resounding victory to the Government at the recently concluded General Election. The Government aspires to serve the public while ensuring the public trust said the President adding that the trust people placed on him and the Government will not be violated at any cost.

President Rajapaksa made these remarks at the inauguration of the First Session of the 9th Parliament today (20).

The opening ceremony was conducted in a simple manner without any pomp or pageant.

Upon his arrival President was welcomed by the newly appointed Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardene and the Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Dissanayake amidst chanting of Jaya Mangala Gatha by school students.

The period between the Presidential Election and the Parliamentary Election has been very challenging for us, the President said. What we inherited was an economy that had collapsed and we had to face the COVID-19 pandemic that disabled the entire world during that period. At a time when even the most powerful countries in the world were left helpless in the wake of COVID – 19 catastrophe, we were able to successfully face the challenge. Even foreign nations praised our efforts to prevent the spreading of the pandemic, he said.

“The historic mandate received at the election has proven that people are impressed with the way we have governed the country during the past 9 months despite various obstacles,” President added.

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State Minister of Regional Co-operation Tharaka Balasuriya reiterates need to strengthen relations with Asian neighbours

19 08 2020 hon state minister

State Minister of Regional Co-operation Tharaka Balasuriya assumed duties at the Foreign Ministry today (19 August). The State Minister was received by Foreign Secretary Admiral (Prof.) Jayanath Colombage and other senior officials, upon his arrival at the Ministry. Religious observances were conducted to invoke blessings prior to the assumption of duties.

State Minister Balasuriya, addressing the gathering of senior officials and staff of the Ministry, following the assumption of duties, highlighted the importance of regional cooperation within Sri Lanka’s foreign policy and the necessity of exploring potential to attract investment to the country through regional cooperation. He reiterated that Sri Lanka will maintain close relations with neighbouring countries, especially within the Asian region with whom Sri Lanka has been maintaining close and friendly ties.

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Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena assumes duties

17 08 2020 hon mfa assumes duties

Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena assumed duties at the Foreign Ministry on Monday 17 August 2020.

Minister Gunawardena was received by Foreign Secretary Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage and other senior officials upon his arrival at the Ministry. Following multi-religious observances, the Minister officially assumed duties.

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