Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on a state visit, announced a special gesture of on arrival visas to Sri Lankans holding diplomatic or official passport and visiting India as a step to enhance people-to-people contacts. He said that the new visa system will come into effect on April 14, 2015, as a gift on the important occasion of Sinhala and Tamil New Year, which is also the birthday of the great Indian Buddhist leader Dr Ambedkar.
After bilateral discussions between India and Sri Lanka, Mr Modi announced that the Reserve Bank of India will enter into an agreement with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka to establish a currency swap worth US $ 1.5 billion to ensure stability of the Sri Lankan Rupee.
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, the Chair-In-Office of the Commonwealth met the Head of the Commonwealth, Queen Elizabeth II in London Wednesday (March 11).
The Queen warmly welcomed the President Sirisena and Mrs. Jayanthi Sirisena who visited the Buckingham Palace yesterday at her invitation and engaged in a friendly conversation.
The United Kingdom is ready to offer its unwavering support to Sri Lanka in the country’s efforts to achieving future development goals, British Prime Minister David Cameron said during his meeting with President Maithripala Sirisena at No. 10 Downing Street yesterday.
During the discussion President Sirisena apprised the British Prime Minister of the steps initiated by the current government to ensure freedom and rights of every Sri Lankan including that of North and East. He also briefed the Prime Minister on the progress of the returning land to the civilians previously utilized for security purposes and the Task Force appointed to build harmony and reconciliation among different ethnicities. President while noting that the report of the said Task Force is scheduled to be released by July this year said steps have been taken to safeguard the independence of judiciary.
President Maithripala Sirisena as the Chair-in-Office of the Commonwealth and as a special guest attended the Commonwealth Day celebrations held at the Marlborough House, London, the headquarters of the Commonwealth Secretariat, yesterday (9). President Sirisena, Madam Jayanthi Sirisena and Sri Lankan delegation were wormly welcomed there on behalf of the Government of Britain.
Queen Elizebeth, along with the Duke of Edinburgh Prince Phillip, Prince Charles and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge; Prince Williem and Kate Middleton attended the ceremony along with other members of the Royal family.
Indian External Affairs Minister, Shrimati Sushma Swaraj paid an official visit to Sri Lanka from 06 to 07 March 2015. This is the first visit to Sri Lanka by Ms. Swaraj in her capacity as Minister of External Affairs.
During her visit, Minister Swaraj met with her Sri Lankan counterpart, Mangala Samaraweera and held an extensive and cordial discussion covering a wide range of areas relating to bilateral cooperation.
Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera concluded a successful two-day official visit to China today, during which he paid a courtesy call on the Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and also held extensive bilateral discussions with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, as well as met with the Vice Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and Minister of the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, Wang Jiarui and the Minister of Commerce, Gao Hucheng.
Both sides reiterated the importance of the bilateral relationship between China and Sri Lanka, which has stood the test of time amidst changing international circumstances and evolution of domestic political situations, as testimony of a solid and deep friendship between the two countries.
Foreign Minister Mangala Samaweera will travel to Geneva to attend the High-Level Segment of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to be held on 2nd March 2015. Over 65 Foreign Ministers from around the world will participate in this year's High-Level Segment.
He is also scheduled to meet UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein.
Washington DC, February 19: Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake visited Washington D.C. from 17th to 18th February and met with senior officials of the Bretton Woods institutions, the US Treasury, the US Department of State and the White House. He met with Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde, the World Bank’s Managing Director Sri Mulyani Indrawati, and US Assistant Secretary for Treasury Ramin Toloui as well as US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Nish Biswal and the senior officials of the White House.
Finance Minister Karunanayake briefed both the Managing Director of the World Bank and Managing Director of International Monetary Fund (IMF) of the new government’s policy agenda aimed at long-term sustainable development and inclusive growth following the 100 day programme of the Government which has specific tasks to be accomplished. He emphasized that steps have already been taken to eliminate wasteful expenditures and corruption.
The most visible aspect of this festival, the lighting of lamps, symbolizes the constant efforts by humans to dispel the darkness of ignorance with the light of knowledge and understanding. It also signifies the search for unity and harmony among people that transcends all differences in society, President Maithripala Sirisena said in a message to mark Maha Shiva Rathri.
“The Hindus of Sri Lanka, who have a long tradition of friendship and harmony with all other communities in Sri Lanka, will gain more strength in their search for unity through reconciliation and understanding with the spirit of this festival,” the President said.
Sri Lanka and India signed four agreements/MoU during President Maithripala Sirisena’s state visit to India, Feb. 15-18, 2015.
Mr. Patali Champika Ranawaka, Minister of Power & Energy on behalf of Sri Lanka and Mr. Ratan Kumar Sinha, Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy for India signed an agreement on Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy.
Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera visited Washington DC from 11-12 February. The visit which was his first to the US capital since assuming office as the Minister of Foreign Affairs followed the visit of US Assistant Secretary of State Nisha Biswal to Colombo on 2-3 February and coincided with the completion of 30 days in office of the new Government in Sri Lanka.
During the two day visit, the Minister held a range of meetings including with Secretary of State John F. Kerry, National Security Adviser Susan Rice, co-chairs of the Sri Lanka Caucus in the US Congress, Chris Van Hollen and Robert Aderholt, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Congressman Ed Royce and Ranking Member of the Committee, Congressman Eliot Engel. The visit also included speaking engagements followed by interactive sessions at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on ‘Sri Lanka after the Presidential Election’ and at the National Press Club on ‘Sri Lanka – US Relations’.
Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera met with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 13th February 2015 at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera held official talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington DC on Thursday 12 February 2015.
Remarks by US Secretary of State John Kerry and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mangala Samaraweera before their meeting.
President Maithripala Sirisena assured the diplomatic community that his government will not hesitate to punish the offenders of human rights violations said to have taken place during the war after the conduct of a credible domestic inquiry through a judicial process into the allegations.
Meeting with the diplomatic corps in Colombo Friday, President Sirisena said foreign policy of the present government is to strengthen the cooperation with all countries and international organizations that extend support to all communities.
The need to build genuine unity among all people of the country after the physical defeat of terrorism in 2009, the necessity to work with speed towards the eradication of poverty and the bringing of Constitutional changes to give effect to establishing a truly democratic country with the genuine sovereignty of Parliament as given in the recent mandate by the people were among the highlights of President Maithripala Sirisena’s address to the nations at the 67th Independence Day celebrations this morning.
President Sirisena also said the country would follow the middle path in foreign policy in friendship towards all countries, with due respect to the United Nations Charter and the conventions adopted by the United Nations.
The celebration of this 67th anniversary of our Independence is of special significance as it sees the launch of a new era of Good Governance in the country.
This comes with a new commitment to the unity of our people, to safeguard freedom and democratic rights, and proceed to a future that moves further from the re-emerging forces of colonialism.
Today we are celebrating the 67th anniversary of Independence while a civilized political culture is being created in our beloved motherland, said Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe.
In his message to mark Independence Day today (Feb.04) he stated; “Once we gained independence, the challenge that we had to face was to safeguard that unity and marches towards the development of the country”.
On the 67th anniversary of independence, Sri Lanka, one of the oldest democracies in Asia has, in the face of many challenges, again proved its commitment to freedom and democracy through yet another peaceful transition of power.
Unlike in the Arab Spring where change was brought about by bullets, pellets and stones Sri Lanka’s ‘rainbow revolution’ was achieved by power of the ballot — paving the way for far-reaching constitutional reforms that will make Sri Lanka a modern 21st century democracy.
Justice K. Sripavan, the senior judge in the Supreme Court took his oaths as the new Chief Justice before President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat today (30).
Justice Sripavanwas born on 29 February 1952. He was educated at Jaffna Hindu College between 1962 and 1972. He joined Ceylon Law College in 1974 and passed out as an attorney at law in 1976, obtaining a first class in the Intermediate Examination.
Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera held talks with visiting British Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Hugo Swire at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today. Minister Swire stated that the purpose of his visit was to convey the UK Government’s desire to work closely with the newly elected government of President Maithripala Sirisena and to convey a special message from Prime Minister David Cameron.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Mangala Samaraweera, concluded a two day official visit to Brussels today.Foreign Minister Samaraweera met Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Didier Reynders and members of the European Parliament. He also held talks with the European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs & Fisheries, Mr. Karmenu Vella, and the European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Mr. Neven Mimica.