The Interview featuring Foreign Secretary Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage on Sri Lanka’s success story amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and the country’s policies and cooperation within the region was telecast on 19 September 2020 on Thanthi TV in Chennai.
Statement by Sri Lanka during the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non- recurrence at the 45th Session of the Human Rights Council was made by Ms Dayani Mendis, Actg. Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in Geneva on 17 September 2020
45th Session of the Human Rights Council
Agenda Item 3:
Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the promotion of
truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non- recurrence
17 September 2020
As this Council is aware, in November last year, the people of Sri Lanka gave a resounding mandate to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to pursue a policy framework aimed at achieving the fourfold outcome of “a productive citizenry, a contented family, a disciplined and just society and a prosperous nation.”
The people of Sri Lanka gave a second mandate at the General Election held last month, with an unprecedented percentage of 59.09%, for the first time in the history in an election held under the Proportional Representation System. This is a re-endorsement of the first mandate and a clear signal of their support for a path forward for the country, towards prosperity while safeguarding the people and protecting the sovereignty of the country without succumbing to any force.
New York, 16 September 2020, 11:00 – 13:30 hrs
Welcome Remarks H.E. Mrs. Kshenuka Senewiratne,
Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations
Her Excellency UN Deputy-Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed
His Excellency Michal Mlynar, Permanent Representative of Slovakia to the UN
Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Jayathma Wickramanayake
Ladies & Gentlemen,
On behalf of the Permanent Missions of Sri Lanka and Slovakia, I am extremely pleased to extend a warm welcome to all of you, to this important stocktake, on the occasion of the second anniversary of the launch of the UN “Youth 2030” strategy.
As you are all aware, this Youth Strategy was officially launched in September 2018 at a high-level event here in New York, with the association of the UN Secretary-General His Excellency António Guterres. Given that 2 years have since passed, my friend Ambassador Michal of Slovakia and I thought it would be timely and opportune to examine the progress of its implementation, and seek out if there is anything that we, as Member States could assist to provide further impetus to this important initiative.
In our discussions with Jayathma UNSG’s Envoy on Youth on this subject, culminated to today’s initiative. My sincere appreciation is extended to the co-hosts of this event, the teams at the Permanent Missions of Slovakia and Sri Lanka, and at the Youth Envoys’ Office for their tremendous, ready support.
14 September 2020
Sri Lankan actress Dinakshie Priyasad has joined leaders and celebrities from across the Commonwealth for the first-of-its-kind 'Commonwealth Says NO MORE' campaign against domestic and sexual violence.
The Commonwealth Secretariat and NO MORE Foundation have launched the campaign designed to help tackle the immediate crisis of the rapid increase in domestic and sexual violence due to the impacts of COVID-19, while also providing support for governments, organisations and individuals to confront this issue through longer-term prevention strategies and support.
The launch was held at a special virtual event attended by representatives and advocates from across the Commonwealth and representing nearly one-third of the world’s population.
At the event, the partners unveiled the first pan-Commonwealth digital portal designed to support governments and civil society in identifying and implementing joint solutions while also providing individuals with concrete actions they can take to support both the campaign and those affected by domestic violence.
The 27th ASEAN Regional Forum was held on 12th September 2020 virtually. The State Minister for Regional Cooperation, Tharaka Balasuriya represented Sri Lanka at the Forum.
In his statement Minister Balasuriya commended the role of ARF as a proponent of peace, stability and prosperity in the region. Sri Lanka highlighting the values of constructive dialogue, consultation and cooperation by all member states in maintaining peace and security in the region, called for collective efforts by the ARF member states to address traditional and non-traditional security threats.
United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation
10 September 2020
Statement by H.E. Kshenuka Senewiratne, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations
Your Excellency Tijjani Mohammed Bande, President of the 74th session of the General Assembly,
Excellencies, Ladies & Gentlemen,
The initiative of the UN Office of the South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) to organize this Meeting is much appreciated. Sri Lanka aligns with the Statement delivered by the Chair of the Group of 77 & China.
As we commemorate the 42nd Anniversary of the adoption of the BAPA this year, the world is regrettably facing unimaginable devastation and suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has mutated from health to economic, humanitarian, and social crises.
Our hard-won development goals are well under threat of reversal due to the pandemic, thereby exacerbating the pre-existing vulnerabilities of the South. Global inequalities in the areas of the digital divide, trade and gaps in the access to education and health care facilities, and increasing vulnerability to external shocks have now been exposed with the onset of the pandemic. In this context, it is pivotal to explore partnerships to overcome these challenges through, technological transfer, technical assistance, negotiations on equal status, and sharing of lessons learnt, expertise and skills. While South-South Cooperation can make an important contribution initially to this end, it would need to be complemented by North-South Cooperation in order to derive the best.
As we have reached the Decade of Action, the world warrants urgent action by stakeholders at all levels to mitigate the health, economic and social consequences arising from the pandemic, and formulate strategies to move ahead. Time and again, South-South Cooperation has offered notable solutions to our shared development challenges. As such, it has a crucial role to play in the current context, driven by the spirit of solidarity of the South.
However, it is important to underline that, South-South Cooperation is not a substitute for Official Development Assistance, or replace the need for responsibilities of the global North, which are crucial for financing for development. Triangular cooperation also adds value to South-South cooperation by enabling developing countries to widen the source and access more resources, expertise and capacities.
The Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka in New York, in collaboration with Walgreens Duane Reade Pharmacy held its Annual Flu Shot Clinic for Diplomats of the Permanent Missions to the United Nations in New York and their families at its premises on Wednesday,09th September 2020. This is the 5th consecutive year that the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka has organized this service for the Diplomatic Community in New York.
Intervention by Hon. Ajith Nivard Cabraal,
State Minister for Money & Capital Market and State Enterprise Reforms
Event: Financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond: Meeting of the Ministers of Finance
Sri Lanka has been a remarkable “success story” in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. We have been able to contain the spread of the virus with very few deaths and minimum community spread. However, the measures taken to contain the spread, together with the adverse global economic conditions have unfortunately taken a sizable toll on the country’s fiscal and external well-being and health. As result, Sri Lanka, like several other middle income economies with sizable debt and heavy reliance on tourism and exports, have faced some formidable challenges. At the same time, it is also known that, although the fall-out of the pandemic affected all emerging and developing nations as well, the international financial institutions prioritized financial support for the lower income economies only. This policy forced many countries like Sri Lanka to rely on their own strengths to overcome the economic ramifications of this global crisis, although it has been quite stressful on our economies. It has also reduced our ability to provide further much-needed relief to our people who have been affected by this global debacle.
Even amidst these difficulties, we have courageously adopted relief measures to ease the burden on domestic businesses and individuals. We have granted debt moratoria, tax relief and concessional life-lines. We have provided cash grants to millions of affected persons to help them to face the challenges caused by this global pandemic.