One million Tourists for Sri Lanka in 2012

one million tourists sl 1 jan 2013-1
Gaining economic momentum after the end of the terrorist conflict, Sri Lanka made another first by welcoming 1,000,000 tourist for 2012 at its Bandaranaike International Airport last night.


2013 will see valuable work for progress of democracy – President

The year dawning today will see valuable work for the progress of democracy, equality among people and important aspects of development in our Motherland, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said.

"It is my belief that all communities will join in unity with the common purpose of success towards realizing these goals," he said in a New Year message.


UN Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict Closes its Dossier on Sri Lanka

The Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict adopted the “Draft Conclusions on the situation of children and armed conflict in Sri Lanka” on December 19, 2012, thereby closing the dossier on Sri Lanka in the Security Council. Prior to adopting the Draft Conclusions, the Working Group has considered the report of the Secretary- General on Children and Armed Conflict in Sri Lanka, and its recommendations in accordance with Security Council resolutions 1612 (2005) and 1882 (2009). The Mission had engaged a range of entities over the months on this issue.


Teaching of love and understanding helps strengthening bridges of peace - President

The teaching of love and understanding that brings the spirit of sharing, which marks the celebration of Christmas, can help in strengthening the bridges of peace, tolerance and reconciliation that are being built in our country, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said in his Christmas message.


Sri Lanka – Australia Bilateral Relations scale New Heights

External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris, held bilateral talks with his Australian counterpart Senator Bob Carr, on the evening of 16th December at the Ministry of External Affairs prior to the inauguration of the first meeting of the Joint Working Group on People Smuggling and Transnational Crime on 17th December at the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development. Minister of Foreign Affairs of Australia was on an official visit to Sri Lanka at the invitation of Prof. Peiris from 14th to 17th December 2012.


Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between Sri Lanka and El Salvador

The Government of Sri Lanka and the Government of El Salvador have established diplomatic relations between the two countries with effect from 10th December 2012. This follows the signing of an agreement by Mr. Karunatilaka Amunugama, Secretary of the Ministry of External Affairs of Sri Lanka and H.E. Mr. Ruben Ignacio Zamora, Ambassador of El Salvador to India. A Joint Formal Announcement to this effect was made by the Ministry of External Affairs of Sri Lanka, Colombo and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of El Salvador, San Salvador on Monday, 10th December 2012.

Sri Lanka call for Restraint

Sri Lanka is deeply concerned and disturbed at the recent serious escalation of violence in Gaza and deeply regrets the loss of lives and the great suffering experienced by the people of Palestine.    

Sri Lanka strongly believes the use of force and militaristic threats should be halted and that there is no alternative to the peaceful resolution of the conflict through peace talks. 

We call upon both the Israeli and Palestinian leaders to display restraint and avoid civilian casualties.  It is hoped that the parties would continue to demonstrate leadership and political courage and keep open the door to peace. 

MEA Statement in PDF.

External Affairs Ministry Statement on “Petrie report”

The Ministry of External Affairs refers to the “Report of the Secretary General’s Internal Review Panel on UN action in Sri Lanka” or the “Petrie Report” which was leaked to the media the day prior to its being formally handed over to the Secretary General on 14th November, and officially made public the same day. While this Report is an internal review of the UN’s action in Sri Lanka during the terrorist conflict, the Ministry’s attention has been drawn to certain issues with regard to allegations directed at the Government of Sri Lanka, which are regrettably unsubstantiated, erroneous and replete with conjecture and bias.


Sri Lanka - Hungary strengthen bilateral relations

On an invitation extended by Hon. Prof. G.L. Peiris, Minister of External Affairs, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Hungary, Hon. Dr. Janos Martonyi was on a visit to Sri Lanka, with the two Ministers holding bilateral talks at the External Affairs Ministry in Colombo.  The discussion between the Ministers served to underline the robust nature of the bilateral relations and the opportunities for promoting economic co-operation between the countries, as well as exchange views on the relations with the EU.


Sri Lanka Uganda Relations Strengthened

On the invitation of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and Janet Kataaha Museveni, First Lady &  Minister for Karamoja Affairs of the  Republic of Uganda concluded a three day State Visit to Sri Lanka from 12th – 15th November 2012. The delegation included members of the Ugandan Parliament Yorakamu Katwiremu, Nankabirwa Ann Maria and Chairman, Gerald Ssendawula of the Private Sector Foundation of Uganda.  The Ugandan President was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Presidential Secretariat on the morning of 13th November which included a Guard of Honour and a 21 gun salute.


Sri Lanka and Burkina Faso establish diplomatic relations

The Government of Sri Lanka and the Government of Burkina Faso have established diplomatic relations between the two countries with effect from 15th November 2012. This follows the signing of agreement by H.E. Mr. Prasad Kariyawasam, High Commissioner for Sri Lanka to India and H.E. Idriss Raoua Ouedraogo, Ambassador for Burkina Faso to India in New Delhi. A Joint Formal Announcement to this effect was made by the Ministry of External Affairs of Sri Lanka, Colombo and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Cooperation of Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou on  16th November 2012.

Sri Lanka and Suriname establish diplomatic relations

The Government of Sri Lanka and the Government of Suriname have established diplomatic relations between the two countries with effect from 16th November 2012. This follows the signing of agreement by H.E. Dr Palitha T. B. Kohona, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations and H.E. Mr. Henry Leonard Mac-Donald, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Suriname to the United Nations. A Joint Formal Announcement to this effect was made by the Ministry of External Affairs of Sri Lanka, Colombo and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Suriname, Paramaribo on  16th November 2012.

Sri Lanka’s efforts on IDP Resettlement hailed by the United Nations

Sri Lanka’s effective efforts toward the closure of Menik Farm in September this year has been hailed by Mr. Subinay Nandy, the country’s United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator, as a ‘milestone event towards ending a chapter of displacement in Sri Lanka...’ The story, published on several National and international media sites including the United Nations News Centre website, came after Mr Nandy’s address yesterday, at an event organized to mark the 67th UN Day. 


Hunger for alternative energy must not increase hunger for food - President at World Energy Forum

Countries must bear in mind that in search for alternative energy sources agricultural land of today and tomorrow must not be used. We must not let the hunger of alternative energy lead to an increase in hunger for food. The use of food crops for fuel production must be avoided to prevent the spread of today’s threat to food security caused by turning food crops into fuel crops.


Director – General of OPEC Fund commends Sri Lanka’s Performance on MDG Goals

Mr. Suleiman Jasir Al-Herbish, Director-General of the OPEC Fund for International Development, met with External Affairs Minister Professor G.L. Peiris at the Ministry on Monday.


President Rajapaksa launches Commonwealth Business Forum 2013

President Mahinda Rajapaksa launched the Commonwealth Business Forum (CBF) 2013 in Colombo on Thursday 11th October with a video projecting Sri Lanka’s resurgence as a regional economic and trading hub. This was preceded by a video presentation of President Rajapaksa’s keynote address to the CBF Session in Perth last year  on “The Indian Ocean and the Pacific Rim: Fastest Growing Markets”. The President on that occasion noted that Asia’s fast growth track cannot be sustained unless these nations continue to take the right steps and the current political and economic leaders have a responsibility in guiding the Asian nations to prosperity. Sri Lanka, President Rajapaksa observed, has provided clarity and confidence to the stakeholders and implemented balanced policies that embraced all vital aspects of the economy


Major Commonwealth Business Council Event in Sri Lanka

Professor G.L. Peiris, Minister of External Affairs, had a discussion with Dr. Mohan Kaul, Chairman of the Commonwealth Business Council on arrangements for the Business Forum to be held on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Summit.


Professor G.L. Peiris meets UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon

Appreciating the willingness on the part of the Government of Sri Lanka, to engage with the UN system as demonstrated by the invitation to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the recent visit of the technical team from her office, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon at a meeting in New York on Tuesday with External Affairs Minister Professor G.L. Peiris, stated that it would be a positive step for such engagement to continue at a senior working level in order to be updated on developments in Sri Lanka.


Developing Nations Require Greater Focus in International System- Prof. G.L.Peiris addressing UNGA

Sri Lanka believes that in the settlement of international disputes, action must be based on the fundamental principle of sovereign equality of states, a principle firmly enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, stated Professor G.L. Peiris, Minister of External Affairs in his address yesterday to the 67th Session of the UN General Assembly. He regretted that the noticeable recent tendency to selectively and arbitrarily intervene in the internal affairs of States flies in the face of this principle, and dilutes the confidence so carefully nurtured in the UN system.


Strengthening economic ties in Asia and Africa : Professor G L Peiris


Acknowledging a firm foundation in Sri Lanka’s relations with China, External Affairs Minister Professor G.L. Peiris assured the strong resolve to expand the contours of this relationship, during his meeting yesterday with Yang JiechiForeign Minister of China on the margins of the ongoing United Nations General Assembly Session in New York. Elaborating Professor Peiris observed that the ties between the two countries have stood the test of time and are rich and multi-faceted.


Issues of concern to be solved in keeping with countries’ value systems: Professor G.L. Peiris

Countries have to solve issues of concern in keeping with their values systems with primacy accorded to local procedures, as the needs of the country and its people are important, observed Minister of External Affairs Professor G.L. Peiris during his bilateral meetings yesterday (24th September) on the margins of the 67thSession of the UNGA, with the Deputy Prime Ministers & Foreign Ministers of Oman and the Czech Republic, Foreign Ministers of Bahrain, Cyprus, the Maldives and the US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. Minister Peiris is leading the Sri Lanka delegation to the UN General Assembly session this year.


Official Visit of the President Rajapaksa to India

President Mahinda Rajapaksa paid an official visit to India from 19-22 September 2012, following his State Visit to India in June 2010. He visited Delhi as Guest of Honour at the concluding ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in 2010 and visited Mumbai in April 2011 as well for the Cricket World Cup final between India and Sri Lanka.  


President Rajapaksa visits Sanchi

At the invitation of the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Shivraj Chouhan, President Rajapaksa visited sacred Sanchi on 21 September for a series of landmark events, during his official visit to India. 


Presidential pledges to boost Indo - Lanka amity

Indian President commends development initiatives in Sri Lanka: 

Indian President Pranab Mukherjee said yesterday it is the duty and obligation of Indian and Sri Lankan leaders to continue the centuries old friendship between the two countries. 


Historic visit of the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the NPC (China)

Visit by Wu Bangguo, China’s top legislature to Sri Lanka heightens the momentum of Sri Lanka – China Bilateral Relations  

At the invitation of the Speaker of Sri Lanka Parliament Chamal Rajapaksa, the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), Wu Bangguo representing the higher echelons of the leadership of the People’s Republic of China made a first ever historic visit to Sri Lanka from 15 – 18 September 2012.   This visit marked an important milestone in Sri Lanka-China relations particularly in consolidating friendly ties and setting the tone for future cooperation between the two countries. 


CHOGM 2013 will be a historic opportunity to showcase Sri Lanka

The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) to be held in Sri Lanka in November next year will be a historic moment for Sri Lanka to showcase the remarkable progress achieved by the country to the wider world in the post-conflict era. The Minister of External Affairs, Prof. G.L Peiris made this comment, while addressing a distinguished gathering, following the ceremonial inauguration of the Taskforce Secretariat for CHOGM 2013, located at the BMICH premises in Colombo today (Monday, 17th September 2012).


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