Sri Lanka elected to the United Nations Economic and Social Council

Sri Lanka has been elected by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) at the elections held in New York, on 07 June 2024, for a three-year term commencing on 01 January 2025.

Sri Lanka obtained 182 votes, of the 189 member states present and voting, securing the 2nd highest vote count from the region, and the 7th highest number overall. Sri Lanka was previously elected to the ECOSOC from 1985 – 1989 and from 2006 – 2008.


Statement by Hon. Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana, M.P. , Speaker of Parliament of Sri Lanka at the 148th Assembly of Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) from 23-27 March 2024 in Geneva, Switzerland

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Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,

To begin with, I feel so honoured and privileged to be in this wonderful capital and largest city of Switzerland on behalf of my delegation. It is a great pleasure for me to address the 148th IPU Assembly meeting today and I wish to thank the honorable Chairpersons and Speakers, the honorable members of the IPU, and the organizers of this event for their tremendous efforts for the success of this prestigious event. Today's IPU assembly provides a timely platform for furthering cooperation among democracies.

Let me elaborate on my speech on the topic of Parliamentary Diplomacy. We all know that one of the fundamental principles of parliamentary diplomacy lies in the belief that dialogue and cooperation among parliamentarians can contribute to the resolution of conflicts, the promotion of human rights, and the advancement of shared values. Parliamentary diplomacy acts as a bridge between governments and citizens, ensuring that the concerns and perspectives of the people are taken into account in the formulation of foreign policies.

In recent times, parliamentary diplomacy has gained prominence as a tool for conflict prevention and resolution. By facilitating dialogue and understanding between nations at the legislative level, parliamentary diplomats contribute to creating an environment conducive to peaceful coexistence. This can be particularly valuable in regions marked by historical tensions or ongoing conflicts.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Parliamentary diplomacy includes parliamentary bilateral diplomacy, parliamentary multilateral diplomacy, Friendship Groups, International Conferences, Permanent delegations of Parliament to international organisations including international parliamentary organisations, visits of parliamentary delegations and promotion of democracy by Parliaments and Parliamentarians. Parliamentary diplomacy is an important perspective and alternative form of diplomacy. Even if not widely studied yet, Parliamentary diplomacy has developed lately by the increasing role of Parliaments and their enrollment in foreign affairs and issues related to international relations.

Moving away from the general situation, now I would like to draw your attention to the experience of the Parliament of Sri Lanka.

The Inter Parliamentary union is one of the largest networks in the world with both national and sub-national parliaments and is focused on countries that have some linkage to the system of parliament. Sri Lanka joined Inter-Parliamentary Union on 9th Feb 1949. Since then Sri Lanka actively participated in IPU assemblies and we had the opportunity to host several seminars and workshops of IPU in the past.

Meaningful opportunities exist for parliamentarians to participate in foreign policy through the parliamentary securitize process. Since the government is directly accountable to Parliament, Ministers who are responsible for foreign policy, as well as their officials, can be called upon to address important issues relating to treaties.

Further, Sectoral Oversight Committee on International Relations and Consultative Committee on Ministry of Foreign Affairs have wide mandates to inquire into all aspects of foreign policy, to examine legislation referred to them as well as the expenditure estimates of departments and agencies that are implementing foreign policy. Sectoral Oversight Committee on International Relations has wide mandates to inquire into all aspects of foreign policy, to examine legislation referred to them as well as the expenditure estimates of departments and agencies that are implementing foreign policy.

More direct and specific roles for Parliament in respect of national emergencies are set out in legislation. Other statutes concerned with national security and other emergencies require parliamentary oversight.

Moreover, the parliamentarization of international relations can be identified as a result of democratization. Be it through ‘Friendship Groups Association’s occasional visits, regular meetings or simply by participating in different regional and international parliamentary meetings or conferences. Sri Lanka has been a member of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) since gaining independence in 1948. As an active member of the CPA, the Sri Lanka Branch has hosted Annual Conferences in 1974, 1995 and 2012. Parliament of Sri Lanka is a founding member of the Association of SAARC Speakers and Parliamentarians. Parliament of Sri Lanka has formed Friendship Associations with around 57 countries.

With regard to institutional diplomacy, the Speaker of a parliament participate in bilateral and multi-lateral meetings with other Speakers to learn about key issues, to discuss the impact of such issues and try to promote solutions to these issues. There are networks of parliaments that promote such meetings. Parliamentarians collaborate internationally in many ways with their colleagues from other parliaments. This is done through international organizations that are designed for meetings and gatherings of parliamentary assemblies.

Ladies and Gentleman,

Collaboration is also carried out by bilateral and multilateral parliamentary groups associations as well as various exchange programmes for staff and young professionals on the working level of the parliament. Parliamentarians have opportunities to act for peace, friendship among people, democracy, the rule of law, and human rights including at international level as well as national level. I would like to mention here, Open Parliament Initiatives were introduced in 2019 to bring the Parliament closer to the people more effectively. Open Parliament initiatives are expected to address the widening gap between the parliament and the citizens and enhance interaction with the people. Particularly, the Parliament has conducted several outreach programmes, workshops, and short courses on parliamentary practice and proceedings to educate university students, schools and local government members and officials on parliamentary practice and proceedings through the Department of Communication.

In recent times, parliamentary diplomacy has gained prominence as a tool for conflict prevention and resolution. By facilitating dialogue and understanding between nations at the legislative level, parliamentary diplomats contribute to creating an environment conducive to peaceful coexistence. This can be particularly valuable in regions marked by historical tensions or ongoing conflicts.

In conclusion, Parliamentary diplomacy stands as a beacon of hope in a world often marred by discord and strife. By emphasizing dialogue, cooperation, and inclusivity, it has the potential to build bridges and promote understanding among nations. As we navigate the complexities of the 21st century, let us recognize the vital role that parliamentary diplomacy in creating a more just, peaceful and interconnected world.

Thank you!

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Sri Lanka expresses grave concern over the death of aid seekers in Gaza

Sri Lanka is deeply troubled about the death of over hundred people who were waiting to receive aid in Gaza and joins the call for investigation into the incident.

The latest incident underscores the immediate need to end the blockade imposed on Gaza, depriving its civilian population, including women and children, of access to basic necessities such as food, water, medicine, electricity, and fuel.


Office for Overseas Sri Lankan Affairs (OOSLA )

Independence Day Wishes OOSLA
2022 interim budget proposal by his Excellency the President put to action under Cabinet Decision no. 22/2104/619/009 on December 19, 2022, the Office for Overseas Sri Lankan Affairs (OOSLA) was set up as an independent agency. OOSLA serves as the central nexus for coordination with Overseas Sri Lankans (OSLs), employing a dual strategy. Collaborating with 23 Government Stakeholders, it not only facilitates service delivery and information dissemination but also shapes policy recommendations addressing OSLs' concerns. The primary goal is to reconnect OSLs as investors, philanthropists, and knowledge remitters, fostering a single-stop engagement platform to earn their trust. This mutually beneficial approach transcends transactional relationships, aiming to deepen understanding and dialogue among communities. By actively engaging OSLs, OOSLA envisions playing a pivotal role in building unity and reconciliation for a harmonious Sri Lanka.


Sri Lanka elected to the Executive Board of the UNESCO

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Sri Lanka was elected to the Executive Board of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for the term 2023-2027, during the 42nd General Conference of the inter-governmental organization, on 15 November 2023 in Paris.

Sri Lanka obtained 144 votes out of 188 member states voting at the said election, co-securing the 3rd highest vote count from the region, with Bangladesh. The member states of the UNESCO elected 6 members, out of 9 candidates from the Asia-Pacific Region, to the UNESCO Executive Board. The other countries who were elected from the region are Pakistan, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Republic of Korea and Australia. Sri Lanka last served on the Executive Board from 2015 to 2019.

The UNESCO contributes to peace and security by promoting international cooperation in education, sciences, culture, communication and information. It also contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Sri Lanka’s membership in UNESCO in 1949, soon after its independence, is demonstrative of the country’s firm commitment to the values and principles upheld by UNESCO to promote collaboration among nations through education, science and culture, in order to further universal respect for justice, the rule of law and fundamental freedoms of the peoples of the world.

Since the inception, Sri Lanka has played a significant role and made proactive contribution towards the furtherance of the mandate of the UNESCO. Sri Lanka National Commission for UNESCO is the government arm for implementing the UNESCO Agenda in Sri Lanka, under the guidance of the Ministry of Education.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs together with the Sri Lanka Embassy in Paris and the Ministry of Education (National focal point) is pleased to have spearheaded the successful effort to ensure Sri Lanka’s election to UNESCO Executive Board.

It is notable that in the past months, Sri Lanka has been successful in consecutively being elected to 3 UN bodies/committees: Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families (CMW), and the UNESCO Executive Board.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs


16 November 2023

DIGIECON Sri Lanka 2023-2030

DIGIECON 2030 - ‘Digital Economy 2030’, is organized by the Government of Sri Lanka and coordinated by the Ministry of Technology as the leading organization for digitalization with the participation and patronage of His Excellency, the President Ranil Wickremesinghe, aiming to accelerate Sri Lanka's economy towards an inclusive digital economy by leveraging advanced technology-based solutions. More information:

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s Address at the UNGA: Sri Lanka’s Journey to Rebuild Trust and Global Solidarity


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  • Highlighting Challenges, Achievements and Commitment to Sustainable Development and Climate Action.

 President Ranil Wickremesinghe addressed the UN General Assembly in New York yesterday (21) which reflected on the theme of “Rebuilding trust and reigniting solidarity” and its relevance to Sri Lanka’s recent challenges.

He mentioned how Sri Lanka faced significant social, economic and political challenges in the past year, including threats to democratic traditions but managed to achieve a democratic transition.

He highlighted efforts to stabilize the economy, including economic reforms and foreign assistance. The President’s intention is to lead Sri Lanka towards sustainable recovery and growth, benefiting all segments of society and ensuring peace, prosperity and reconciliation.

The President also discusses the global geopolitical landscape, emphasizing the interconnectedness of various challenges, such as climate change, debt and sustainable development. He stresses the need for international solidarity and climate finance, particularly for smaller, climate-vulnerable and debt-ridden countries.

President Wickremesinghe mentions Sri Lanka’s commitment to climate action, including renewable energy goals, forest conservation and emissions reduction while expressing concern about the impact of climate change on food security, clean energy and livelihoods, emphasizing the urgency of mobilizing climate finance.

The President called on developed countries to fulfill their commitments, provide assistance and assume their share of responsibility, while underscoring the importance of restructuring the international financial system to address climate change and sustainable development.

Additionally, the President emphasizes the need for reform in multilateral institutions like the UN, particularly the expansion of the Security Council’s composition. He emphasizes the importance of disarmament and the impact of global military expenditures.

The President also expresses concern about big power tensions and their impact on international cooperation, including trade and ocean governance. They stress the preservation of a rules-based multilateral trading system through the WTO.

Overall, the President’s speech highlights the challenges facing both Sri Lanka and the world, emphasizing the importance of solidarity, climate action, disarmament and multilateral cooperation in addressing these issues.

Following is the full speech delivered by President Ranil Wickremesinghe at the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly;

“Rebuilding trust and reigniting solidarity“ is an appropriate point of departure not only for reflecting on the challenges before the multilateral today, but also for reviewing developments in my own country, Sri Lanka, over the past year.

At this time last year, amidst multiple global crises, Sri Lanka was experiencing its most challenging period in recent times socially, economically and politically, which had a devastating impact on people’s lives.

Even our Democratic traditions were threatened by attempts to occupy our Parliament and bring it to a halt. Nevertheless, we succeeded in bringing about a democratic political transition, due to our deeply entrenched and resilient democratic traditions.

Resorting to the re-graduation of Sri Lanka’s economy, coupled with the gift of fertilizer from the United States’ Government which led to a bumper harvest, has assisted us in ensuring stability during that period.

The reforms I have since initiated in the economic, financial, institutional and reconciliation fronts have been directed on the one hand towards rebuilding trust and confidence between the people and the government; and on the other, towards laying the foundation for economic stabilization and recovery. Sri Lankans are already witnessing the positive outcomes of these measures in their daily lives and the revival of confidence internally and externally in the progress of the country.

It is my intention to lead the country towards sustainable and stable recovery and growth which will benefit all segments of Sri Lankan society in all parts of the country, ensuring a future of peace, prosperity and reconciliation for the present and future generations of women and men. In reaching this goal, we will be accompanied by the support, trust, and solidarity of our own people and of the international community.

As we turn the corner towards the 80th anniversary of the UN and prepare for the Summit of the Future in 2024, we see the fragmented geopolitical landscape of a multipolar world where new centers of global power have emerged.

Accompanying this systemic change, are, on the one hand, great expectations of development and human progress with millions of people rising out of poverty to prosperity.

On the other hand, we see a world where former big power rivalries and geopolitical tensions have reignited in open war, overlapping with new theatres of conflict and tension on land and in the oceans. Security Alliances have expanded and recent arrangements have been formed to deal with strategic threat perceptions in old and new theatres of conflict. North-South divisions are widening with the digital divide, the financial and debt crisis and the energy transition. Contrary to the promise of 2030, today we are seeing levels of poverty and hunger not witnessed since decades.

Neutral, nonaligned countries of the global South such as Sri Lanka are once again constrained in-between new global power configurations facing those who not respect the sovereignty of our nations.

In numerous recent Declarations in the UN and beyond including at the G20 in Delhi, the BRICS in Praetoria and G7 in Hiroshima, we have agreed that our challenges are interconnected, across borders and all other divides. We must grasp the opportunity to unite in order to build an inclusive future.

It is an appropriate reflection of this current global predicament, that the theme of this year’s general debate is “Rebuilding trust and reigniting global solidarity”.

This year, in parallel with the UNGA, we have participated in three interrelated summits dealing with accelerating the SDGs, Financing for Development and Climate Ambition where we agreed that international solidarity and collective action is needed to address these simultaneously.

Cross-border financial impacts of crises such as climate change and the pandemic are impeding the ability of smaller indebted countries such as mine, to make progress on SDG’s and climate adaptation and mitigation. Conflicts and tensions among big powers are complicating the policy environment for the rest by adding uncertainty to economic and macro-financial stability, disrupting supply chains and causing inflation as well as food and energy insecurity.

Long before the SDGs, Sri Lanka had achieved high human and social development indicators which ranked us in a category well above other middle-income countries. Neither has Sri Lanka shirked its responsibility to the planet. Last year at COP27 we outlined our Climate Ambition Plan. We said that by 2030 we will have 70% renewable energy in electricity generation, increase forest cover by 32% and reduce greenhouse emissions by 14.5%. We will phase out coal by 2040, and reach net zero by 2050.

Our low carbon development trajectory gave us one of the lowest per capita carbon emission rates for a lower MIC country.

This year as a result of exogenous shocks and debt, the incremental progress we were proud to have reached has been reversed. Food inflation reached putting significant pressure on food security amongst vulnerable communities. At the same time children’s education and nutrition have suffered due to the pandemic and the economic crisis.

In parallel, last month in Sri Lanka we were grappling with the driest weather spell seen in recent years followed by torrential rainfalls.

Adverse climate outcomes spilling over onto our tight fiscal space just as we begin to stabilize from last year’s economic crisis. As a climate vulnerable developing country in debt crisis, the urgency to mobilize climate finance is greater today than it was ever before. However, despite promises made to which we were all witness, rich countries are not delivering to expectation.

Developed countries must do their part and fulfill what they agreed – assume their share of the common but differentiated responsibility, provide assistance for mitigation and adaptation and compensation for loss and damage.

National efforts alone will not suffice to ensure the success of the SDGs and reverse climate change. The need for global solidarity to restructure the international financial architecture is paramount. This is articulated loud and clear in multiple global fora including in G20, and the BRICS. The Secretary General’s SDG stimulus highlights the interconnections between the achievements of the SDGs, combatting climate change and the concrete interventions required by creditors sovereign and private, as well as by IFIs including to mitigate the debt crisis.

It is estimate that the 2008 financial crisis has cost the U.S. economy $4 trillion. Recent studies in the U.S. have stated that the impact of the pandemic on the U.S. economy from 2020 to 2024 would reach $14 trillion. These numbers would more than double if the rest of the global economy is added. We have not faced an economic crisis of this magnitude any time before in our modern history. The cost of World War 2 in today’s USD would amount to $4 trillion, and the Marshall Plan would be $ 150 billion.

This is the magnitude of the challenge before us. Therefore if we are unable to restructure the global fiscal order, then certainly we will fail in the struggle to reverse climate change and achieve the SDG goals.

There is still time for course correction as the crisis has not reached its peak. At the same time, the Paris Summit for a New Global Financing Pact will come up with the funding requirements.

Therefore, the Summit of the Future should not be crafting new programs, but re-structuring the present financial architecture to suit the needs of climate change and sustainable development.

This must be the priority of this General Assembly; we cannot afford to allow divisions to drive focus away from this crisis.

While key issues such as the Bridgetown Initiative and the necessity to address the debt of low-income countries are being discussed in this assembly, it is not commanding the attention it deserves. Unfortunately, the Security Council has failed to give priority to these connected issues of climate change, debt relief and sustainable development. This impacts the future of mankind. The survival of the planet must be our priority, we cannot afford to go into this war with a divided high command. The future of all species on the globe is dependent on our ability to put aside our rivalries until this crisis is solved.

Multilateral machinery which reflects the world of the past century needs to be reformed to meet the challenges of the present and the future, a machinery which has failed to find a solution to the longstanding Palestine question. The composition of the Security Council must be expanded to be representative of current global diversity and decision-making. In parallel, the role of the UNGA must be strengthened.

We are asking that the permanent members engage in a credible dialogue which will lead to a unified approach to combat these threats ahead of the next sessions.

While we seek solidarity and financing to alleviate poverty and climate challenges, global military expenditures have risen today to record levels reaching $2.24 trillion. This reflects the strategic trust deficit among the powerful, key arms control frameworks which were instrumental in maintaining system stability in the past have collapsed and nuclear conflict is once again under open discussion, potentially and apocalyptically triggered by autonomous control. We urge restraint in the increase of military expenditure which leads to escalation of conflict.

Developing countries have been the voice of sanity and reason in this regard for decades. In keeping with Sri Lanka’s longstanding position supportive of disarmament of WMD and nuclear weapons, this year Sri Lanka ratified the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Yesterday, we acceded to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

The war in Ukraine has far-reaching and severe financial and humanitarian repercussions on food, hunger and debt in all parts of the world including Sri Lanka. It is recalled that the UN Charter vests on powerful states in the Security Council the responsibility to maintain international peace and security and to deescalate rather than ignite conflict.

We need to halt the momentum where this and other big power tensions are spilling over into established areas of international rules-based cooperation forged over decades of multilateral negotiation, ranging from international trade to ocean governance.

This international system is today undergoing vast changes. At the same time, it is being confronted with unprecedented challenges. We come to the United Nations to demonstrate solidarity in arriving at common solutions. What is at stake is not the future of the United Nations, but of our planet as a whole. Member States will need to find new ways of working together despite the increasing mistrust that has permeated international relations.

We who have not been able to find a solution to the Palestinian question must now be able at least to find a solution to the questions which threaten the existence of the present global community.

This can be achieved through the willingness of the permanent members to work together in solidarity with the developing world. They must show the way

President Wickremesinghe also extended his sincere condolences to the victims and families of the natural disasters that hit Morocco and Libya in recent days and pledged solidarity with Moroccan and Libyan friends during this difficult time.

(Source: President’s Media Division, 22 September  2023)

Address by HE Ranil Wickremesinghe – President of Sri Lanka at the Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the G77 & China on Current Development Challenges: The Role of Science, Technology and Innovation -on 15 September 2023 in Havana, Cuba

Your Excellency President Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez,


Cuba for many decades has stood as a champion for the concerns and aspirations of developing nations within various multilateral fora. In that spirit, President Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez has convened this timely Summit of the Leaders of the G77 and China. I join with the other delegates in congratulating him.

Let me also join the previous speakers who have extended their deepest condolences to the Government and people of the Kingdom of Morocco and of the State of Libya for the recent natural disasters and extensive loss of lives.

This year, Cuba assumes the Presidency of the G77 at a crucial time when the global South is impacted by multiple and interlocking challenges related to pandemics, climate change, food, fertilizer and energy crises which paved the way for setbacks to the SDGs and a deepening global debt crisis.

In the 15th century, Asia was the most technologically developed region. Europe had advanced only in a few sectors including Gunpowder, Canon, and Ocean-going ships. These three technologies helped Europe to conquer the rest of the world. The conquest of Asia and Africa set back the development of Science and Technology in our countries creating the technological divide of today. Another quantum leap in technology and innovation is taking place in the 21st Century at a geometrical progression further widening the existing technological divide leading to the marginalisation of the South.

There are two key factors essential for the developing nations to come out of these crises. The first, is Digitalization and the adoption of New Technologies. eg. Big Data, IoT, AI, Blockchain, Biotechnology, and Genome Sequencing. The second is, ensuring human resources skilled in the multifaceted fields of Science and Technology. An educated manpower well equipped with knowledge and technological know-how is necessary to keep the smooth flow of the needed transformations. These two factors single-handedly will lubricate the development and catching up process in developing nations.

Let me outline the measures my government is taking. Our continuing economic restructuring process after the financial crisis 2022, provides us with a chance to harness the potential of science, technology, and innovation to our future trajectory of sustainable development and high growth.

We are currently evaluating the performance of all our existing Science and Technology Research Institutes, some of which are under-performing. To promote the utilising of New Technologies for Sri Lanka’s growth, the Government will establish a Technology and Innovation Council as well as a Digital Transformation Agency. Our universities currently do not have the capacity to create the requisite number of technology specialists. Therefore, we will establish four new Universities focusing on the new technologies. One of these is the outcome of the technological cooperation between India and Sri Lanka. The fifth will be establishing the International Climate Change University.

The digital divide presents significant challenges to development in the Global South. These include,

limited access to costly technology,
inadequate digital skills and infrastructure
cultural and institutional barriers, and
financing constraints
Global trade barriers further compound these issues. To overcome these challenges, the G77 & China must establish effective mechanisms for cooperation. Otherwise our endeavours will be limited to words.We must immediately reinvigorate the Consortium of Science & Technology & Innovation for the South (COSTIS). This will be the test of our commitment. In addition, a revised Programme of Action with many of the proposed new measures is required. These measures should include,

Collectively creating technological platforms modeled on the European Union’s Technology & Innovation Platforms in the following fields: Digitalization, Health and Medication, AI and Renewable Energy including Green Hydrogen.
Interested G77 countries must make a commitment to earmark 1% of their GDP for R&D. This has to be achieved over a decade, and
we must foster collaboration between the governments and the private sectors.
The brain drain from the South to the North and the resulting loss of educated manpower, is another threat to the development of Science, Technology and Innovation of the South. China, India Japan and South Korea have developed Science, Technology and Innovation by nurturing their manpower. Therefore, we must ask for compensation from the North for the loss of our manpower.

Strengthening South-South cooperation can also play a significant role in addressing the critical issues of expanding our human resources. Sri Lanka urges the Group of 77 and China to work together to introduce a scheme similar to the Colombo Plan to increase collaboration, exchange best practices, and push policies that harness the transformational potential of science, technology, and innovation.

Sri Lanka is committed to supporting the new Havana Declaration. We must ensure that the collective voice of G77 and China is heard in the international fora.

In conclusion, let me once again thank President Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez and the Government of Cuba for your generous hospitality and excellent arrangements.

Thank you.

Information on Sri Lanka Digital Investment Summit – 2023

Sri Lanka Digital Investment Summit 2023


Sri Lanka Digital Investment Summit (DIS) 2023 will be organized by The Computer Society of Sri Lanka (CSSL) and Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) on 13 October 2023 at the Hotel Shangri-La Colombo from 9.00 am onwards, under the patronage of the Government as a public- private partnership.

The event is also a part of the GoSL‘s DIGIECON 2023-2030 strategic initiative. It has its key objective of leveraging the technology industry for economic prosperity and economic resurgence at a time the GoSL is expecting to increaseICT export revenue from USD 1.8 Bn level in 2022 to USD 3.0 Bn in 2024.

For more information :


Sri Lanka rejects the reference to Tamil Genocide Remembrance Day by the Canadian Prime Minister

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs unreservedly rejects the reference to a Tamil Genocide Remembrance Day in the statement issued on 23 July 2023 by the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Canada's continued reference to a false, distorted narrative of the past conflict in Sri Lanka is aimed solely at achieving local vote-bank electoral gains, and is not conducive to broader goals of communal harmony.

Sri Lanka urges Canada and its leaders to support Sri Lanka in its efforts to ensure stability, progress, peace and reconciliation among all communities in all parts of Sri Lanka, as well as among communities of Sri Lankan heritage overseas.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

25 July 2023

United Nations Resident Coordinator Meets President Wickremesinghe

UN resident coordinator meets President Wickremesinghe r

The United Nations Resident Coordinator, Marc-André Franche, paid a courtesy call to President Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday afternoon (24).

During the meeting, Marc-André Franche, the UN Resident Coordinator, engaged in constructive dialogue with President Wickremesinghe on matters of utmost importance for Sri Lanka's economic stability and growth. Both parties acknowledged the significance of the role the UN could play in assisting Sri Lanka in ensuring equitable debt treatment as Sri Lanka undergoes a restructuring process to overcome financial challenges and foster sustainable development.


The Ella Odyssey: 75 Years of Diplomacy

Foreign Heads of Mission on Familiarization Tour of Sri Lanka’s Hill Country

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in collaboration with the Presidential Secretariat and the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau organized the Ella Odyssey, a familiarization tour of Nuwara Eliya and Ella for foreign heads of mission in Colombo, and nine heads of mission based in New Delhi who presented credentials to President Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Ella Odyssey is part of Sri Lanka’s commemoration of 75 years of independence and 75 years of diplomacy – testament to the country’s enduring engagement with the international community.

This journey to the mesmerizing ‘tea country’ in the mountains of Sri Lanka took place from 1 - 3 July 2023.

The foreign heads of mission undertook a journey on board the Viceroy Special - a vintage train reminiscent of the country’s colonial past. The diplomatic envoys forayed into the country’s cool highlands – past Kandy to Nuwara Eliya en route to Ella - to experience Sri Lanka’s verdant beauty, hospitality and adventure tucked away in the lush and misty mountainous landscapes in the country’s interior, passing along the way the gushing waters of St. Clair’s Falls, the biodiverse Knuckles Range and Pattipola, home to Sri Lanka’s highest railway station. The passengers also witnessed a railway signaling routine from the bygone era, still meticulously adhered to on the country’s tracks - the Tyer’s Tablet System.


Hajj Message

hajj message

In these challenging times, as we strive for a future filled with renewed hope, the advent of the Hajj festival this year is of extreme significance.

The sacred festival of Hajj, embodies values and fulfilment derived from engaging in humanitarian endeavours, seeking solutions for the impoverished, without the expectation of respite from one’s own difficulties. It is a testament of the spirit of selflessness and compassion.

Prophet Ibrahim, his son Prophet Ishmael, and Mother Hagar stand as timeless symbols of dedication and sacrifice. For centuries, they have been revered universally, with their sacrifices being a source of gratitude and admiration.


Sri Lanka elected to the UN Committee on Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families (CMW)

29 06 2023 Mr. Prasad Kariyawasam

Sri Lanka’s candidate Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam was elected to the UN Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families at the election held on 27 June 2023 at the United Nations in New York.

Ambassador Kariyawasam is a retired career diplomat and has previously served in the Committee three times, during which he was also the Chairperson during the Committee’s initial formative stages.


Sri Lanka Prepares for Upcoming Country Assessment on Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism

Addressing the National Law Conference yesterday (03), President Wickremesinghe said that Sri Lanka’s next country assessment on Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism will commence soon. The assessment, slated to commence soon, holds immense significance as it directly impacts the country’s ease of doing business rating and its ability to attract foreign investments.

In an important development, Sri Lanka has been informed about the impending country assessment on anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism. This assessment holds significant weight as Sri Lanka’s compliance in these areas is crucial for enhancing the ease of doing business rating and attracting foreign investments.


Passing Away of Ambassador Deshamanya Jayantha Dhanapala

27 05 2023 jayantha dhanapala
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs learns with deep sorrow of the passing away of eminent Sri Lanka Foreign Service officer Deshamanya Jayantha Dhanapala and conveys its profound condolences to his family.

The late Mr. Dhanapala joined the Sri Lanka Foreign Service in 1965 and had a distinguished career as a public servant during which he served his country with integrity, dedication and the highest professionalism which has inspired succeeding generations of Foreign Service officers.

In his Foreign Service career, he served in Sri Lanka Missions in Beijing, New Delhi and London and as Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva and as Ambassador to the United States. He was also Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He also served as Secretary General of the Secretariat established to Co-ordinate the Peace Process in Sri Lanka and as Senior Advisor to the President of Sri Lanka.


2nd Meeting of Experts on the Migration Partnership between Sri Lanka and Switzerland

19 05 2023 migration partnetship

The 2nd Experts Meeting on the Migration Partnership between Sri Lanka and Switzerland was held on 16 May 2023 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The meeting was co-chaired by Director General/Europe & North America the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka Shobini Gunasekera, and Ambassador Vincenzo Mascioli Director of International Affairs, State Secretariat for Migration (SEM), Federal Department of Justice and Police (FDJP) of Switzerland.

The meeting reviewed the progress made under the Migration Partnership since its launch in 2016 and discussed the priorities and challenges for the future. The two sides reaffirmed their commitment to enhancing bilateral cooperation on migration issues. They also exchanged views on current migration trends, developments, and avenues for promoting employment opportunities in Switzerland for skilled workers from Sri Lanka. Both sides agreed to explore possible future cooperation in the hospitality sector, especially sustainable tourism and also in the fields of vocational training, skills development and sustainable reintegration.


Sri Lanka is concerned over the deteriorating situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories

Sri Lanka is deeply concerned over the recent escalation of violence in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including the incidents at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the holy month of Ramadan.

Sri Lanka calls on all parties concerned to exercise restraint, maintain calm and take sustained measures to address the worsening humanitarian situation.

Sri Lanka reaffirms its unwavering support for the right of the Palestinian people to statehood in accordance with the provisions of the UN Charter and the relevant UN resolutions.  Sri Lanka remains committed to supporting a negotiated settlement in line with internationally agreed parameters of two states living side by side on the basis of the 1967 borders, which is key to achieving long term security, peace and prosperity.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

11 April 2023

Foreign Minister concludes working visit to South Africa

28 03 2023 hon mfa visit to south africa

Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Sabry, accompanied by the Minister of Justice, Prison Affairs and Constitutional Reforms Wijeyadasa Rajapakse, concluded the 3 day working visit to South Africa from 21-25 March 2023.

It is recalled that the Cabinet of Ministers in January this year approved the concept of a Truth and Reconciliation mechanism as proposed by the Cabinet Sub-Committee on Reconciliation, which is chaired by President Wickremesinghe. The proposed concept states that an independent, domestic mechanism of truth seeking is identified as a meaningful way for Sri Lanka to advance and secure peace, after the country’s arduous journey of ending conflict of three decades. The Cabinet also authorized the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Justice to operationalize this concept and to initiate discussions and facilitate the drafting of a Truth and Reconciliation law. It is in support of this process, the current visit took place at the invitation of the South African Government.


Sri Lanka’s 6th Periodic Review under the ICCPR to be held in Geneva

Sri Lanka’s 6th Periodic Review under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) will be held on 8 and 9 March 2023 in Geneva.

It is recalled that Sri Lanka acceded to the ICCPR on 11 June 1980. Currently, 173 countries have ratified the ICCPR. In addition to the implementation of the Covenant, all States Parties to the Covenant have undertaken a voluntary obligation to submit periodic reports to the Committee and participate in periodic reviews.

Accordingly, Sri Lanka has submitted 5 Periodic Reports in 1983, 1990, 1994, 2003 and 2013 and has participated in 5 Reviews in 1983, 1991, 1995, 2003 and 2014.

The 6th Report was submitted on 22 February 2019 to the Human Rights Committee. The Human Rights Committee is a body comprised of 18 independent experts that monitor the implementation of the ICCPR. The Reviews of all countries are conducted by the Committee.

At the request of Sri Lanka, the 6th Review will be conducted in hybrid format and will be led by Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Himalee Arunatilaka. The Sri Lanka delegation also comprises senior officials from the Presidential Secretariat, Ministry of Public Security, Attorney-General’s Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the UN in Geneva participating in person. Senior officials from Colombo will join the Review virtually representing the Ministry of Justice, Prison Affairs and Constitutional Reforms, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Women, Child Affairs and Social Empowerment, Ministry of Health, Department of Prisons, Department of Police, Office on Missing Persons (OMP), Office on Reparations (OR) and Office for National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR).

In addition to Sri Lanka, the following countries will also be reviewed by the Human Rights Committee during its 137th session to be held from 27 February to 24 March 2023: Egypt, Turkmenistan, Zambia, Peru, and Panama. 

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

06 March 2023

75 th National Day Message 2023 - H. E.the President

HE President Ranil Wickremesinghe r
Independence Day Message

Our 75th Anniversary of Independence from colonial rule is being observed during an extremely critical and challenging time in the country. It is, indeed, a decisive moment. However it presents an opportunity for us not only to review our strengths and gains as a nation but also to rectify our errors and failures.

Since 1948, we have, as a nation, undergone many tests and travails - from riots, insurgencies and war to natural disasters. These experiences have left us with a sense of inculcated resilience that has made us revive better when faced with adversity. Therefore, I am confident that even at this juncture we will pool our energies as the daughters and sons of one mother to rise up from the current economic abyss and build back stronger.

There is a new economic and social reform agenda before the country with the objectives focusing first on recovery and then on renewed development. It is imperative for us to unite in its implementation so that we can emerge with a high level of economic prosperity. I pledge today to make the extremely difficult though vital decisions to achieve this goal with courage and determination. I anticipate the confidence and support of you, the people of our country, in this

I also take the opportunity to thank you, the Sri Lankan expatriate community, for your contribution towards the development of our motherland despite your distance. I would like to invite you to join us in securing a bright future for the younger generation of Sri Lankans who are at the vanguard of economic and social development. Your faith and investment in the unique and creative ideas of our talented youth who lack capital could give considerable hope and be of
immense benefit to our country in this crisis.

On this historic anniversary, let us all resolve to meet the challenges of this year with further patience and fortitude.

I extend warm felicitations to you, Sri Lankans, here and aboard.

Ranil Wickremesinghe
Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
04 th February 2023

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75 th National Day Message - Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs

Hon M.U.M Ali Sabry Minister of Foreign Affairs Photo r

Independence Day Message

75 years ago, after nearly five centuries of European colonial rule, Sri Lanka attained independence as a proud sovereign nation on February 4th, 1948. We entered the international community shortly thereafter as a member state of the United Nations, founded on the principle of the sovereign equality of states.

In the early years of independence Sri Lankan statesmen played a prominent role in championing the aspirations and priorities of newly independent countries at international fora. Through the Colombo Plan, the Colombo Powers, the Bandung Conference, and the Commonwealth, our leaders, including the father of the nation D.S. Senanayake, were at the forefront in forging international partnerships and strengthening solidarity. Under the leadership of the world's first female Prime Minister, Sirimavo Bandaranaike, Sri Lanka rose to the forefront of the Non-Aligned Movement, where it stood together with other newly independent developing nations in Asia and Africa in support of self-determination, equity, and justice in international affairs.

Through the provision of universal healthcare and free education, we have achieved important progress in enhancing literacy, quality of life, and well-being of our people during the past 75 years. We have also secured the nation and overcome terrorist separatist threats to national security. Nonetheless, we must consider realistically what we may have accomplished better. We have much to achieve in the realms of nation building, reconciliation, creating national unity through a single Sri Lankan identity, and constructing a resilient, sustainable, export-oriented economy. To achieve these goals, we must honestly reflect and review, as well as plan forward.

Today, Sri Lankans stand together in a united effort to face unprecedented social and economic challenges through strengthened democratic government, reconciliation, economic stabilisation, and growth. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will focus its diplomatic efforts on maximising prospects for the development and advancement of all sectors of our society. The Ministry and its network of Sri Lanka missions overseas is committed to securing international support for these national priorities. We recognise the significant contribution of Sri Lankans living abroad and welcome their continued engagement.

On the 75th anniversary of our independence, we have been presented with an opportunity. An opportunity for unity, reconciliation, and the strengthening of ethnic harmony and an environment devoid of populist policy to build a stable foundation for sound economic management, recovery and future growth. An opportunity to set our differences aside, to rebuild and renew with hope for success, prosperity and a brighter future for our nation. We must be resolute in our commitment to seize it. We invite Sri Lankans living all over the world join us in this crucial endeavour.

M.U.M. Ali Sabry, P.C., M.P.

Minister of Foreign Affairs

4th February, 2023

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facets banner c r

For thirty years, FACETS has showcased the best of the gem and jewellery industry of Sri Lanka, a country labeled by ancient travelers as Ratnadveepa, or the Island of Gems.The Sri Lanka Gem & Jewellery Association hosts FACETS SRI LANKA 2023 – THE PREMIER EDITION From the 7th to 9th January 2023 At Cinnamon Grand Colombo, Sri Lanka


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