Accepting an invitation extended by the Government in February 2015, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein will undertake a four-day official visit to Sri Lanka.
The High Commissioner will arrive in Sri Lanka on the morning of Saturday 6 February and depart on the morning of 10 February.
As we commemorate independence, let us dedicate ourselves to provide a truly ethical, virtuous, wise and equitable service to all. Let us pledge to consolidate on peace and freedom achieved and build this future for our land and people, stated President Maithripala Sirisena in his Independence Day message.
As we celebrate the gaining of Independence, today, we recognize our bounden duty to give all honour and respect to the members of the Security Forces who made great sacrifices to protect our sovereignty and territorial integrity in the battle against terrorism, the President added.
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe in his Independence Day message said. "On this Independence Day, let us strive to understand the challenges before us as a nation and determine to give of ourselves wholeheartedly to a noble vision of taking our country forward.
Independence Day Message
The 68th Anniversary of the Independence Day of Sri Lanka takes place at a time when our country is embarking on a new chapter in terms of strengthening democracy, good governance, rule of law, human rights and relations with the global community of nations.
This anniversary also coincides with the completion of the first year of the Government led by President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe that is committed to pursue the twin objectives of reconciliation and development aimed at taking our nation forward as a progressive, modern democratic nation, where its rich ethnic, cultural and linguistic diversity is respected, celebrated and valued.
The Working Group on Governance, Rule of Law and Human Rights under the European Union-Sri Lanka Joint Commission concluded its first meeting in Colombo on 21 January 2016. The meeting was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Colombo with the participation of senior officials from Sri Lanka and the European Union. The delegation of the European Union was led by Ms. Paola Pampaloni, Head of Division, Asia and the Pacific Department of the European External Action Service. The Sri Lanka delegation was led by Mr. A.L.A. Azeez, Director-General for European Union, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka.
The meeting of the Working Group follows the 19th Session of the European Union-Sri Lanka Joint Commission held in April 2015 in Colombo. The Joint Commission provides the forum for regular and structured bilateral engagement under the EU-Sri Lanka Cooperation Agreement on Partnership and Development of 1995.
Statement to the Media
by Hon. Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of Foreign Affairs
after the Official Talks with Hon. Børge Brende, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 7 January 2016
Our common determination in the New Year should be to safeguard the harmony through the strength of unity and cooperation, stated President MaithripalaSirisena in his New Year message.
I upheld the trust and confidence you placed on me and fulfilled the promise of making 2015 A Victorious Year, he said ,adding, “The coming year, 2016 too will also be a year without rest for you and us. We have to continue relentlessly on the path to build a prosperous future for our two million people”.
This New Year dawns with the refreshing promise of a new era – one that ushers in the dividends of democracy, fulfilling the long held aspirations of the people, Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe said in his New Year message.
The message further said, "It celebrates the emerging of a nation that understands and comprehends the true meaning of freedom from oppression.
“Keeping in mind the spirit of Christmas and its embedded human values of giving, sharing, forgiving and taking care of others, let us reach out today to people who were affected during the 30 years of war in Sri Lanka and lend our hands to make their life better”, says President Maithripala Sirisena.
In his message for the Christmas, the President states that the philosophy of Jesus is both eternal and universal. “Irrespective of one’s faith, we all have a sense of duty to ourselves and to one another to make a difference in the world that is genuine and lasting”, he said.
Prime minister Ranil Wickramasinghe sharing his Christmas message with the Sri lankan people says "The message of Christmas is also a message that the world today wants to hear – it transcends ethnic, religious and other man made limits, transforming lives and filling hearts with the joy of the Season. "
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.
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.