Overwhelming support for Sri Lanka at the Interactive Dialogue at the Human Rights Council

At the Interactive Dialogue on the written update of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on Sri Lanka, which concluded on 7 March 2022, Sri Lanka received overwhelming support from countries of the Global South who expressed support for the Government’s significant efforts towards reconciliation and reiterated the importance of objective and constructive cooperation as the fundamental basis for multilateral engagement.

Of the 45 countries that spoke at the Interactive Dialogue, 31 spoke in support of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka received cross-regional support from a broad spectrum of states of South, South East and Central Asia and the African Group. The 31 countries that spoke in favour of Sri Lanka were Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Philippines, Nepal, Kenya, Ethiopia, Maldives, China, Cuba, Japan, Syrian Arab Republic, Viet Nam, DPRK, Venezuela, Nigeria, Pakistan, Cambodia, the Russian Federation, Lebanon, Uganda, Belarus, Zimbabwe, Eritrea, South Sudan, Lao PDR, Yemen, Iran, Niger, Kazakhstan, Bangladesh and Azerbaijan.

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Interactive dialogue on the OHCHR report on Sri Lanka Statement by Hon. Prof. G.L. Peiris Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka (Geneva, 04 March 2022)

04 03 01 hon mfa ID on Sri lanka04 03 2022 ID sri lanka 02

Mr. President,

The Resolution 46/1 on Sri Lanka was adopted by a divided vote in this Council. Sri Lanka and other Member States opposed this resolution in fundamental disagreement with its deeply flawed procedure and unacceptable content, in particular its OP para 6 regarding a so-called evidence-gathering mechanism. The Resolution was directly contrary to the Council’s founding principles of impartiality, objectivity and non-selectivity. It went well beyond the mandate that Member States conferred on it by UNGA Resolution 60/251. I have stated Sri Lanka’s views on this matter to this Council on 01 March. We also submitted in a timely manner our comments on the High Commissioner’s report. We note with regret that the Secretariat failed to publish this simultaneously with the High Commissioner’s written update.

Despite our rejection of the resolution, we will continue our voluntary international undertakings on human rights and engage with the United Nations, including with this Council. As stated by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka to our Parliament on 18 January 2022, “We are a nation that respects international laws and conventions”. We have regularly shared our progress and challenges in a candid and open exchange with this Council and other relevant organs of the United Nations system.

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Foreign Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris meets with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

02 02 mar 2022

Minister of Foreign Affairs Professor G.L. Peiris held wide ranging discussions with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet at her office in the Palaise des Nations in Geneva.

He was accompanied by Minister of Justice, Ali Sabry, State Minister of Production, Supply and Regulation of Pharmaceuticals, Prof. Channa Jayasumana and Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Admiral Jayanath Colombage.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Colombo

03 March, 2022

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Foreign Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris meets with President of the Human Rights Council and Permanent Representative of Argentina

01 02 mar 2022

Foreign Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris held a meeting with President of the Human Rights Council and Permanent Representative of Argentina, Federico Villegas at the Palais des Nations and discussed a range of issues relevant to Sri Lanka on the sidelines of the 49th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

He was accompanied by Minister of Justice Ali Sabry, Additional Solicitor General Nerin Pulle and Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Admiral Jayanath Colombage.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Colombo

04 March, 2022

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Foreign Affairs Minister Peiris holds multiple meetings on the sidelines of the Human Rights Council in Geneva

1 01 mar 2022

The high-level Sri Lanka delegation attending the 49th session of the Human Rights Council led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Prof. G.L. Peiris, met with the delegations of Pakistan, Palestine, South Africa, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, 1 March, 2022. 

At the meeting with the Foreign Minister of Palestine, Rizad Al Maliki, Foreign Affairs Minister Peiris observed that the relations between Palestine and Sri Lanka was one of the pillars of the foreign policy of Sri Lanka. He stated that Palestine was a trusted and reliable friend of Sri Lanka and expressed appreciation for the close and cordial ties between the two countries. The Foreign Minister of Palestine also expressed his appreciation on the longstanding friendship and support extended by Sri Lanka in the international fora. The two Ministers further discussed bilateral cooperation in many areas including in the context of human rights.

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Foreign Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris attends bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the High-Level Segment of the 49th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva

1 28 feb 2022


Minister of Foreign Affairs Prof. G.L. Peiris and the Sri Lanka delegation had high level bilateral meetings on 28 February, 2022, with the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), on the side lines of the High-Level Segment of the 49th session of the Human Rights Council which commenced 28 February, 2022.

During his meeting with Minister of State of the United Kingdom for South and Central Asia, UN and the Commonwealth Lord Tariq Ahmed, the Minister of Foreign Affairs discussed bilateral cooperation, and progress achieved by Sri Lanka in advancing reconciliation as well as the Government’s comprehensive efforts at fostering unity and harmony. The Minister emphasized the need for understanding and recognition of Sri Lanka’s efforts.

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Address by the Hon. Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka at the High Level Session of the Conference on Disarmament, 28 February 2022

28 02 2022 hon mfa CD


Mr. President,

Madam Secretary General and

Distinguished delegates,

It is an honour for me to address the high-level segment of the Conference on Disarmament, the world’s sole multilateral disarmament negotiating forum.

Mr. President as a member of the Conference on Disarmament since its inception, we take pride in its past achievements and recall its successes and those of its predecessor entities which led to the conclusion of landmark Conventions such as the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).   I would like to reiterate at the outset Sri Lanka’s long-standing policy against the possession development and use of all weapons of mass destruction; chemical, biological and nuclear. We remain a strong advocate of nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament in line also with the principles of the Non Aligned Movement in multiple fora in New York , Vienna , the Hague   and in particular here at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva.

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49th session of the Human Rights Council High Level Segment Statement by Hon. Prof. G.L. Peiris, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka

1 mar 2022 high level segment hon mfa1 mar 2022 high level segment hon mfa 2


Mr. President,

Sri Lanka is an active participant in the multilateral framework to realize the promotion and protection of human rights.

Fundamental rights are embodied in our Constitution, progressively advanced through our democratically elected organs of government and enforced through our independent judiciary. Despite multiple challenges we have faced from terrorism, we have restored peace, security and the rule of law throughout the country. Our democratic traditions and independent institutions ensure free and fair elections at regular intervals through universal adult franchise. We will further advance the considerable progress we have made in post-conflict recovery and healing. For this, we have put in place domestic institutions for reconciliation, accountability and social justice.

Through this Council, we have completed 3 mutually beneficial Universal Periodic Reviews, engaged in constructive dialogue with the Treaty Bodies, welcomed Special Procedures Mandate Holders, and held frank and open discussions with domestic and international interlocutors. We have benefitted from the considerable expertise available with the UN on human rights including through its technical cooperation and capacity building programs. Through the UN country team, we value the ongoing support to our domestic processes on reconciliation and achievement of SDGs.

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Investment Opportunity in Sri Lanka Development Bonds (SLDBs)

11 2 2022 treasury bills

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka [CBSL] has taken initiatives to promote investment opportunities in Government Securities, particularly in Sri Lanka Development Bonds. These investment opportunities are available for Sri Lankans living abroad, high-net-worth individuals, investment banks and foreign investors.

Relevant documents for investing in Government Securities are  given below:

Notice published by the CBSL - Annex-I

Application - Annex-II

Offer Document - Annex-III

Offer information - Annex-IV

 

Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka
Geneva

11.02.2022

Sixth Review Conference of the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects (CCW) - Intervention during the adoption of the Report o

24 12 2021 CCW

Thank you Madam Chair

allow me to congratulate you at the outset on your appointment as the chair of this Committee and to assure of our full support.

Sri Lanka takes note of the content of the draft report, and we note with concern that the recommendations on the future mandate of the GGE have fallen short of the expectations of those who voiced for a more ambitious mandate for the GGE.

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Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects CCW Sixth Review Conference General Exchange of Views Statement-Sri Lanka 13.12.2021

13 dec 2021 2 CCW Rev con  

Mr. President,

Allow me at the outset to congratulate you on the assumption of the Presidency of the Sixth Review Conference. We also congratulate the other members of the Bureau upon their election. As you are leading this important conference amidst challenges posed by the pandemic situation as well as by the critical substantive issues before the Review Conference for discussion, I would like to assure you of the full support of my delegation to make this Conference a success. We sincerely hope that our discussions this week would lead to forward-looking outcomes that would contribute to further strengthening the implementation of the Convention and its Protocols.

The CCW framework is an important pillar of the multilateral disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control system. We therefore believe that the Review Conference provides an important opportunity to assess fast developing technologies and their application to sophisticated weapon systems with a view to providing legal clarity as well as possible improvements to the CCW framework through internationally agreed benchmarks in response to the evolving warfare technologies.

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Facilitation of swift entry for all arrivals to Sri Lanka

crest front


Sri Lankans and foreigners arriving Sri Lanka require to complete the online Health Declaration Form prior to their arrival.

Declaration Form could be accessed through https://www.airport.lk/health_declaration/index

Additionally, the vaccine certificates and PCR tests could be submitted on arrival in hard copies enabling a smooth verification process.

Meeting of States Parties to the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) 22-25 November 2021 Agenda item 5 - General Debate, statement of Sri Lanka

25 nov 2021 BWC state party meeting


Mr. Chairperson,

On behalf of the delegation of Sri Lanka, I would like to extend our congratulations to Ambassador Cleopa Mailu of the Republic of Kenya on his election as the Chair of the Meeting of States Parties to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BWC). Please be assured of our delegation’s full co-operation and support in ensuring a successful conclusion to our deliberations. Sri Lanka also appreciates the Chairs of the Meetings of Experts and the staff of the Implementation Support Unit.

Sri Lanka aligns itself with the statement delivered on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.

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Seva Vanitha Unit of Sri Lanka Mission in Geneva donates Covid-19 medical equipment

18 nov 2021 medical equip 218 nov 2021 medical equip 1


The Seva Vanitha Unit of the Sri Lanka Mission in Geneva comprising staff members and spouses through various fund raising activities collected the necessary funds and donated 8 Oxygen Concentrators to be used in government hospitals in Sri Lanka treating Covid-19 patients.

The donation was presented at a ceremony held at the Foreign Ministry in Colombo. Foreign Secretary Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage handed over the donation to State Minister of Production, Supply and Regulation of Pharmaceuticals Prof. Channa Jayasumana and Secretary of the State Ministry Dr.R.M.S.K.Rathnayake.

State Minister Prof. Channa Jayasumana who accepted the donation appreciated the efforts of the Mission staff members and spouses to raise funds to save lives during the Covid-19 pandemic in Sri Lanka.

Foreign Ministry
Colombo

18 November, 2021

Nearly 12 000 landmines destroyed by Sri Lanka under the Mine Ban Convention

Geneva, Colombo September 2021 –“Sri Lanka is pleased to confirm that the Humanitarian Demining Unit of the Sri Lanka Army has destroyed nearly 12,000 stockpiled anti-personnel mines almost a year earlier than the deadline set to us by the treaty that bans the production, use, stockpile, and transfer of these indiscriminate weapons”, announced officials at the National Mine Action Centre (NMAC) of Sri Lanka in a statement sent to the secretariat of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention. Also known as Ottawa Convention, the treaty unites over 80% of the world’s states and bans the use, stockpiling, production, and transfer of these weapons.

NMAC, which oversees planning, coordination, and implementation of Sri Lanka’s obligations under the Convention, indicated that the mines were destroyed at the end of the summer in the Kilinochchi District, in the Northern Province. “With this act, Sri Lanka signals to the world its steadfast commitment to eradicating this scourge in line with the ongoing endeavours for reconciliation and lasting peace. Our efforts towards clearing all known mined areas will continue in partnership with international allies to reach the target of a mine-free Sri Lanka”, NMAC officials added.

Sri Lanka is one of a handful of countries in South Asia that have adhered to the international treatydoing so in 2017. Since then, the country has led efforts in promoting the Convention and its norms in the region.

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General Comments by Sri Lanka on the Revised Drafts Elements paper of the Chair at the Group of Governmental Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems 27 September 2021

27 sep 2021 LAWS

Thank you, Mr. Chair,

We thank you and your team for the revised elements paper and look forward for more focused and constructive discussion on the revised paper.

At the outset, we note a number of substantive changes to the initial elements paper shared by the Chair in the previous GGE session, which many delegations including Sri Lanka considered as a step forward in our deliberations, providing a solid basis for the Group to agree on forward looking recommendations for the Review Conference later this year. The current revised version of the paper however, in certain important sections is a setback in our view. The approach of the revised paper in some sections appears to provide the notion that development and use of LAWS is acceptable as long as such development and use are done following certain guidelines and practices.

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Second Review Conference of the States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) 20 September 2021

20 09 2021 CCM Rev Con statement

Agenda Item 7: Reaffirming the determination to put an end to the suffering caused by cluster munitions

Mr. President,

Sri Lanka is pleased to join the Second Review Conference of the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM), a significant milestone of the Convention. We join with other delegations in congratulating you, Mr. President and your team for your hard work and dedication in the process leading up to this important Review Conference.

Mr. President,

As a country that has never used or produced cluster munitions, we take this opportunity to renew our persistent commitment to the humanitarian principles and objectives enshrined in the Convention on Cluster Munitions. We acceded to the Convention on 1 March 2018 as a country that has been a keen and active participant in the disarmament and non-proliferation deliberations over the years. Sri Lanka had the honour to preside over the 9th Meeting of State Parties to the Convention, one year after accession to the Convention. We remain fully committed to the multilateral regime of disarmament and non- proliferation discourse and yearn to see substantive progress on some of the key outstanding issues in the realm of disarmament and non-proliferation.

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Statement by Hon. Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka at the 48th Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council, 14 September 2021, Geneva

14 sep 2021 48 session Human Right Council
Human Rights Council 
48th Regular Session

 Agenda Item 2: Oral update on Sri Lanka by the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Statement by Hon. Prof. G.L. Peiris Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka (Geneva, 14 September 2021)

 Madam President,

Let me begin by reiterating our strong and continued cooperation with this Council and the United Nations mandated human rights system, in keeping with our Constitution and our international obligations voluntarily undertaken.

Twelve years ago, Sri Lanka eradicated LTTE terrorism on its soil. We have restored peace, security and stability for the benefit of our people. We held firm to our democratic traditions and elections were held at regular intervals with high levels of voter participation – most recently at the 2019 Presidential and 2020 Parliamentary polls. The Government is committed to holding the Provincial Council elections at the earliest.

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Meetings of Experts of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), 30 August - 8 September 2021

8 sep 2021 bwc

Intervention made during MX 3 - Strengthening National Implementation 

Mr Chair,

Let me extend our warm congratulations on your assumption of duties as the chairperson, MX3 and hard work throughout.

Sri Lanka supports the BWC and very much in line with implementation process. We will further discuss implementation in Sri Lanka through preparedness and response at the proceedings of  MX4

I would like to congratulate Japan and US for the interesting working papers and comprehensive methodology applied for training and information sharing.

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Statement at the Plenary on “Women´s participation and role in International Security” Conference on Disarmament 26 August 2021

26 aug 2021 Statement at the Plenary on Womens participation and role in International Security



Mr. President,

Since this is the first time my delegation takes the floor during your presidency, allow me at the outset to congratulate you on the assumption of the presidency. You can count on our full support.

We thank the distinguished panelists for their valuable `insights into this timely discussion on Women and International Security.

Mr. President,

We repeat among ourselves at each session that the CD is the sole multilateral disarmament negotiating forum. Yet, regrettably, we have not been successful in reaching consensus on a Programme of Work, let alone the negotiations.. Irrespective of the CD’s lack of progress, the world outside keeps moving and the already fragile international security situation is taking a turn for the worse. Trust in multilateralism is challenged and there are concerns on the return of strategic competition among military powers. It is in these worrying circumstances that we welcome this session on ‘Women´s participation and role in International Security, a discussion that will shed light on an important link on the chain of disarmament and non-proliferation that is often over looked.

Sri Lanka in 1960 produced the world’s first elected female Prime Minister who mooted the proposal for the Indian Ocean to be made a Zone of Peace at the United Nations General Assembly in 1971. , Sri Lanka has over the years seen women leaders rising up to important government positions including the office of the President, Cabinet Ministers, Chief Justice, and the Attorney General. In the recent past two Sri Lanka female career diplomats have held senior positions at the IAEA and at the OPCW contributing to disarmament and non-proliferation efforts. We consider active female participation is essential in the disarmament and non-proliferation discussions and negotiations due to several reasons.

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Statement at the Plenary on Youth and Disarmament Conference on Disarmament 12 August 2021

20 Aug 2021 cd 2

Mr. President,

Since this is the first time my delegation takes the floor during your presidency, allow me at the outset to congratulate you on the assumption of the presidency. You can count on the full support of my delegation.

We appreciate the valuable insights of the distinguished panelist including Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake, United Nations Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth. Sri Lanka is proud of her leadership and proactive contribution to the youth strategy of the United Nations.

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Intervention by Sri Lanka on Section 4 of the Chair’s Working paper on draft elements on possible consensus recommendations in relation to the clarification , consideration and development of aspects of the normative and operational framework on emerging

11 August statement photo


11 August 2021

Thank you Mr. Chair,

I will make two brief comments on section 3 before providing some comments on section 4. We fully support the retention of specific references to branches of international law in section 3.1 for reasons we have repeatedly mentioned in our previous statements and by other colleagues this morning as well.  

Secondly, the willingness of programmers of autonomous weapon systems to ensure compliance with the existing legal norms and principles is a serious concern. Therefore, we support the inclusion of the word ‘development’ in section 2 as suggested by Austria and supported by other delegates.

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Intervention by Sri Lanka on General Considerations Section of the Chair’s Working paper on draft elements on possible consensus recommendations in relation to the clarification , consideration and development of aspects of the normative and operational

10 Aug 2021 Sri Lanka statement

Sri Lanka fully supports the reference to international human rights law in the general considerations section. Given the possibility of autonomous technology to be used in situations of armed conflicts as well as in law enforcement situations, recognition of the relevance of international human rights law and criminal law is important. Principles of non-discrimination and human dignity are cardinal principles of international human rights law which have a direct relevance to our discussion today.

Secondly Sri Lanka supports a stronger emphasis on ethical considerations. While it is understood that ethical dimension is already included in the IHL principles, a separate paragraph on this issue, we believe is an important reinstatement. Decisions on human life are too important to be left to the blunt expedient of a mechanical judgment.

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Statement by Sri Lanka on Chair’s Working paper on draft elements on possible consensus recommendations in relation to the clarification , consideration and development of aspects od the normative and operational framework on emerging technologies in the

9 August 2021 statement photo
9 August, 2021

Mr. Chair,

We thank you for the draft elements paper on possible consensus recommendations circulated last Friday.

We have been engaged in discussions on technological, legal, military and ethical considerations of the development of autonomous weapon systems in this GGE forum since 2017. Over the years, a growing number of States have repeatedly flagged the alarming consequences of the challenges posed to fundamental IHL principles and humanity by the potential use of autonomous weapon systems and the urgent need for internationally agreed prohibitions and limitations.

During the discussion last Friday, some delegations re-iterated the need for our discussion to be based on the 11 guiding principles adopted in 2019, as reflected in the decision of the High Contracting Parties in 2019 , where it called upon the Group to consider the guiding principles, with a view to further develop and elaborate.

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Group of Governmental Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS) Statement by Sri Lanka

3 Aug 2021 Statement photo


5 (a)   An exploration of the potential challenges posed by emerging technologies in the area of lethal autonomous weapons systems to international humanitarian law

3 August, 2021


Mr. Chair,

Excellencies, Distinguished participants,

At the outset, Sri Lanka would like to congratulate you on your assumption of the Chair of the Group of Governmental Experts on LAWS and for the continuous engagement with states on this issue. Let me assure you Mr. Chair, of the full support and cooperation of my delegation as we approach the preparation of the recommendations of the GGE to the 6th Review Conference of the CCW.

Sri Lanka aligns itself with the position expressed in the Working Paper submitted by Venezuela on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) on possible consensus recommendations.

Since this session is dedicated to exploration of the potential challenges posed by LAWS to IHL, our remarks will be aimed at addressing this particular issue.

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Special Deposit Account with an Additional Interest

Special Deposit Account CBSL

Main Features of the Special Deposit Account

1. Eligible Persons

a.    A Sri Lankan individual resident in or outside Sri Lanka
b.    Dual citizens
c.    Citizens of other states with Sri Lankan origin
d.    A non-national resident in or outside Sri Lanka
e.    Funds, corporate bodies, associations incorporated/registered outside Sri Lanka.
f.    Any other person as permitted by Regulations made under the Foreign Exchange Act, No. 12 of 2017.

2. How to open a Special Deposit Account?

Eligible persons who wish to deposit funds in Sri Lanka may open “Special Deposit Account (SDAs)” with an Authorized Dealer (any Licensed Commercial Bank and National Savings Bank) in Sri Lanka in the following manner.

a.    With inward remittances received into Sri Lanka through banking system until 07.04.2022.
b.    With remittances received into Sri Lanka through an Inward Investment Account or an account at the Offshore Banking Unit, maintained with an Authorized Dealer in Sri Lanka, to the credit of SDA on or after 08.04.2020.
c.    Out of foreign exchange legitimately acquired and brought into Sri Lanka by persons who have arrived in Sri Lanka from overseas on or after 01.01.2020 subject to a declaration made to the Sri Lanka Customs (if the amount exceeds USD 15,000) and the relevant Authorized Dealer (if the amount equals or less than USD 15,000)
d.    Out of foreign currency notes in the possession of any person in, or resident in, Sri Lanka, up to the limit of USD 15,000 and subject to a declaration on the source of funds to the relevant Authorized Dealer and applicable Foreign Exchange Regulations, Orders and Directions.

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