Sri Lanka declared eligible for assistance under the Millennium Challenge Account


At the meeting of the Board of Directors of the U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) held in Washington DC on 16 December, Sri Lanka was selected as an eligible country for assistance from fiscal year 2016.

This decision of the Board was conveyed by telephone on the same evening, 16 December, to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, by the Chief Executive Officer of the MCC, Dana J. Hyde.


Celebrations in New York to mark the 60th anniversary of Sri Lanka-UN relations

14dec2015 un 70celebrations newyork

The Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka in New York celebrated today, December 14, 2015, the 60th anniversary of the admission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations with an archival photographic exhibition, which was followed by a breakfast reception.
Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) was admitted to the United Nations on 14th December 1955 along with Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Laos, Libya, Nepal, Portugal, Romania, and Spain, following its application to join the Organization in 1948.


Remarks to Media by Foreign Minister following talks with US Under Secretary of State

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Remarks to Media by Hon. Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of Foreign Affairs 
Visit of Ambassador Thomas Shannon US Under Secretary of State (designate) for Political Affairs to Sri Lanka.  Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 14th December 2015
Good evening ladies and gentlemen
It has been an honour and a privilege to welcome Ambassador Thomas Shannon, US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs- designate, to Sri Lanka, this evening.   
As all of you may know, Ambassador Shannon is the senior-most career United States Foreign Service Officer, and just the 14th in history to rise to the role of Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. 


President meets with Pope Francis

14dec2015 president meets pope-114dec2015 president meets pope

President Maithripala Sirisena called on His Holiness Pope Francis at the Vatican today (14).
Pope Francis expressed his happiness over the warm welcome and hospitality extended to him when he visited Sri Lanka last January and said that Sri Lanka is a beautiful island nation with friendly people.
His Holiness commended the initiatives taken by the President towards peacebuilding and reconciliation in the country.


Remarks to Media by Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera on Human Rights Day

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Remarks to Media by
 Hon. Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of Foreign Affairs
on Human Rights Day
Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 10th December 2015

Ladies & Gentleman,
Today is Human Rights Day, as you know. And as in the past, Sri Lanka will join the countries of the world in commemorating this important event. But this year, Sri Lanka’s commemorations will not only be symbolic – it will also be substantive. So I am very pleased to announce that Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, will today, this morning in New York, in fact, will be signing the International Convention on Enforced Disappearances.
As you are aware, Sixty-seven years ago, in 1948, as the world was recovering from the unspeakable horrors of the Second World War, delegates from around the world convened to adopt the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, affirming every person's right to liberty, equality, and justice under the law. 
In commemorating that event, 10th December, is celebrated internationally as ‘Human Rights Day’. 



01dec2015 amb kariyawasam speaks peaceinstitute

The United States Institute of Peace (USIP) hosted Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam, US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Biswal and US Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labour Tom Malinowski for a discussion on Sri Lanka titled “Towards Sustainable Peace in Sri Lanka: The Opportunities Ahead” on December 1st. The discussion was moderated by President of USIP Nancy Lindborg. Participation was by invitation only.


President says developed countries need very deep cuts in global emissions

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President Maithripala Sirisena emphasized the need to have deep cuts in global greenhouse gas emissions by the developed countries considering the historical responsibility.
He said that we need to embrace the principle of common but different responsibilities and respective capabilities in order to keep the temperature increase below two degrees Celsius in this century.
Addressing the United Nations Conference on Climate Change – 2015, in Paris, France today (Nov 30) , he further said that even though our per capita emission is low and insignificant in the global sense, we have contributed and will contribute to global mitigation efforts.


Sri Lanka calls on the international community to stand united in combating terrorism

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Sri Lanka today (1st December 2015) urged the world community to stand firm and united in combating terrorism. This call was made when Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the Netherlands and Permanent Representative to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Adam M.J. Sadiq addressed   the 20th Session of the Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention in the Hague.
Speaking on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka during the General Debate of the Conference which opened yesterday, Ambassador Sadiq referring to the terrorist attacks in Paris, told the meeting, “While  unreservedly  condemning  the  recent  cold-blooded  terror  attacks  in  Paris  and  elsewhere in  the  world, Sri  Lanka  which  lost  thousands  of  innocent  lives  and  suffered  wanton  damage and  destruction  of  property,  due  to  terrorism,   calls  upon   the  international  community  to  stand  firm  and  united  in  combating  terrorism  in  all  its  forms  and  manifestations,  irrespective  of  the  source  or  target  of  this evil  menace”. 


Common values we share bind us together, not the power or the wealth of the member States – President at CHOGM

President M Sirisena at CHOGM 201527nov2015 chogm-1

The common values we share bind us together, and, not the power or the wealth of the member States, says President Maithripala Sirisena.

“The influence of the Commonwealth has helped to guide the political and social behavior of all our members”, he said.


Foreign Minister Samaraweera signs agreement for creation of Commonwealth Trade Finance Fund for Small States

27nov2015 chogm fm trade

Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera together with the Foreign Ministers of India, Malta and Mauritius signed a Declaration of Intent for the creation of a Commonwealth Trade Finance Facility to assist boost trade and investment flows, particularly for small and developing countries in Malta on 26th November 2015.
The voluntary fund hopes to attract start-up capital of $20 million and will provide member countries facing trade challenges with the finance they need to increase their trade capacity. It is estimated for every dollar invested, the fund will generate $20. The Facility, structured as a guarantee fund, will cover risk for providers of trade credit in financial institutions of Commonwealth countries. It seeks to stimulate lending by major banks to smaller banks in member states and reduce risk.


Ambassador Samantha Power visits Sri Lanka

23nov2015 amb samanthapower

“I cannot think of a country in the world today where there has been this much change
in this short a period of time.” – Ambassador Samantha Power, Colombo, November 23rd
United States Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Samantha Power visited Sri Lanka from November 21st to 23rd. Ambassador Samantha Power is the second cabinet level visitor from the US Administration to travel to Sri Lanka this year, following Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit in May.


Remarks to the Media by Foreign Minister following talks with US Permanent Representative to the UN

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Remarks to the Media by
Hon. Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of Foreign Affairs
following talks with H.E. Ambassador Samantha Powers, Permanent Representative of the USA to the United Nations
Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 21st November 2015
Good evening ladies and gentlemen.
It has been an honour and a privilege today to welcome Ambassador Samantha Power to this historic Republic building.
As all of you know, Ambassador Power is the second member of President Obama’s Cabinet to visit Sri Lanka in the space of a year.


Annual Review of Proscribed Entities under UN Regulation No. 1 of 2012


The Government of Sri Lanka proscribed 16 organisations and 424 individuals under Gazette Extraordinary No. 1854/41 on 21 March 2014 using powers under the United Nations Act No. 45 of 1968. The proscription was announced eight days before Western and Southern Provincial Council elections, which were held on 29 March 2014.
The initial proscription process was conducted in haste and was not subject to a rigorous process of assessment and verification. Many of the listed organisations had never condoned violence or terrorism. Some of the proscribed individuals were even dead at the time of proscription - including one individual who died 8 years prior to the proscription.


Public Lecture by Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera on 'Politics and Development in Sri Lanka' at the Institute of South Asian Studies in Singapore

hon mfa singapore 16nov2015
Lecture by Hon. Mangala Samaraweera, MP
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka
Politics and Development in Sri Lanka
Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore
12 November 2015
It is a pleasure for me to join you here today, to speak on ‘Politics and Development in Sri Lanka’, soon after the official visit just last month to Singapore, by Prime Minister Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe.


Sri Lanka elected to the UNESCO Executive Board

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Sri Lanka was elected to the Executive Board of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) on 11 November 2015 during the 38th General Conference in Paris. Sri Lanka was one of six countries that qualified to serve on the Executive Board from the Asia and Pacific Group for the period 2015-2019, having received 149 out of 186 votes at the election in which there were eight candidate countries. The countries which were elected to the Executive Board from the Asia and Pacific Group with Sri Lanka are Malaysia, Viet Nam, Republic of Korea, Pakistan, and Iran (


Deepavali opening hearts for reconciliation - President

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President Maithripala Sirisena wishing Lankan Hindus a joyful Deepavali has expressed the hope that it will open up the hearts of all individuals with collective yearning for reconciliation as the festival symbolises victory of righteousness over evil.


Deepavali signifies a moment of light overcoming darkness PM

deepavali pm wickremesinghe

Deepavali renews hope in our hearts towards the engagement of the human spirit in overcoming evil with the goodness that exist among mankind., the Prime Minister said in his Deepavali Message. Also, it symbolizes the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, hope over despair, the statement said.


Struggle Ven. Maduluwave Sobitha Thera did in recent past for a democratic society is unparalleled – President

ven sobitha thera

Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera, the Chief Incumbent of the Kotte Naga Vihara has passed away on 8 November 2015 while receiving treatment at a hospital in Singapore. He was born on the 29th of May 1942 in Maduluwewa in Padukka, Homagama.

The Sri Lankan government has declared Thursday (12) a Day of National Mourning for the death of the reverend Buddhist leader Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera.


Economic Policy Statement made by Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe in Parliament

hon pm parliament

Following is the full text of the Economic Policy Statement made by Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe in Parliament on November 5, 2015.

Hon. Speaker,
On the 08th of January, the people of Sri Lanka elected Maithripala Sirisena as the President in pursuit of much needed change. This was confirmed at the Parliamentary Election held in August.

Our final goal is to improve and enhance the living standards of the people; it is the goal for which we have obtained the approval of the people at the election.


President Sirisena holds Bilateral talks with Thai PM

2nov2015 pr sirisena visit thailand

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena who is on a four day state visit to Thailand met the Prime Minister of Thailand General Prayut Chan-o-cha at the official residence of the Prime Minister today (Nov.2).The President who arrived at the official residence of the Thailand Prime Minister was warmly welcomed by the Prime Minister Chan-o-cha. The welcome ceremony included a Guard of Honor.

After the welcome ceremony, the two leaders commenced bilateral talks. The discussions focused on the fields of politics and culture of the two countries.


Finance Minister says Sri Lanka a Future Investment Destination

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The Minister of Finance, Mr. Ravi Karunanayake, called on Swiss investors to invest in the future investment destination that is Sri Lanka. He said that since the change of the new government in January 2015, there is a strong national oriented government in place ushering in sustainable political stability for Sri Lanka.
Now that the process of political stabilization has taken place, the government is laying emphasis on the economic stabilization of the country. He stated that they have de-politicized the running of the administration through independent commissions appointed to look after the financial system, law and order, human rights etc.


Sri Lanka's US$ 1,500mn Int'l Sovereign Bond Issue over subscribed

central bank

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL), on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka (Sri Lanka), successfully raised US$1,500 million 10-year International Sovereign Bonds (Bond) with a coupon of 6.850% per annum at par on October 27, 2015. 
This marks Sri Lanka’s ninth US Dollar benchmark as well as the largest offering in the international bond market since 2007, Central Bank said in a Press Release.


Sri Lanka at IORA Ministerial Meeting to Enhance Marine Economic Cooperation

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Hon. Dr. Harsha de Silva, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, attended the 15th Meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), which was held in 23rd October in Padang, Indonesia.
The Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) is the only regional organization consisting coastal nations bordering the Indian Ocean and seven dialogue partners consisting of the world’s leading economies.  IORA performs as a regional forum for strengthening economic, socio-cultural and technological cooperation among the member states through mutual cooperation. Maritime Safety & Security, Trade & Investment Facilitation, Fisheries and Aquaculture Management, Academic, Science & Technology Cooperation and Tourism & cultural Exchanges are IORA’s priority areas towards reaching economic prosperity in the region. 


Economic Diplomacy kicks off with inter Agency collaboration

15oct2015 hon dy mfa economicdiplomacy

In line with the government’s policy to enhance the economic development of the country, under the guidance of Hon. Mangala Samaraweera, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is geared to intensify the promotion of trade, investment and all economic endeavors through economic diplomacy.

As a first step in that direction, an inter-agency task force was established and the first meeting was held today (15.10.2015) in the Ministry with relevant Government agencies, Private Sector Institutions including Business Chambers.


Memorial Speech by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at the National Diet of Japan

6oct2015 pm speech parliament japan

  Memorial Speech by Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe – Prime Minister of Sri Lanka
at the National Diet of Japan 
on 6th October 2015
Sri Lanka – Japan Relations : Future Direction

His Excellency the Speaker, 
His Excellency the Prime Minister,
Distinguished Members of the Diet,
Ladies and Gentlemen.

It is with great pleasure and privilege and respect that I address this august audience. We have been in your country for three days and we leaving back to Sri Lanka tomorrow. My Delegation, including my wife and of course myself, were made to feel more than at home by your unique, sincere and warm hospitality and the courtesies integral and inherent to the peoples of Japan. We were extremely touched by the most cordial and congenial reception extended by the Government of Japan as well.

On this momentous occasion, I wish to take this opportunity to convey our good wishes and sincere appreciation on behalf of President Maithripala Sirisena, the Parliament and the peoples of Sri Lanka, to His Imperial Majesty the Emperor, the Prime Minister, the Government, the National Diet and the peoples of Japan.


Japan pledges Yen 45 Billion for BIA development

Prime Minister Wikckremesinghe - Japanase PM 6oct2015

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday pledged ¥45 billion in loans to expand Sri Lanka’s sole international airport.After meeting with Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at his office in Tokyo, the two leaders agreed to upgrade the bilateral relationship to a comprehensive partnership covering a wide range of areas, including politics, security and economics.
“To support its economy, we will further work together with Sri Lanka in three fields: promoting investment, cooperating on a national development plan, and national reconciliation and peace-building” under the enhanced partnership, Abe said.


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