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Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena assumes duties

Monday, 17 August 2020

Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena assumed duties at the Foreign Ministry on Monday 17 August 2020.

Minister Gunawardena was received by Foreign Secretary Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage and other senior officials upon his arrival at the Ministry. Following multi-religious observances, the Minister officially assumed duties.

Later, addressing the staff, the Foreign Minister remarked that the Government is ready to rise up to the new challenges with the mandate given by the people of Sri Lanka. The Minister stressed that with a strong government in office and its non-aligned and friendly foreign policy, it is envisioned to bring about a number of key changes beneficial to the country. He also called upon the Sri Lankans overseas to join hands with the government in this endeavour.

Outlining the Government’s efforts to address issues arising in the post-Covid-19 era, the Minister highlighted that Sri Lanka is geared to achieve its economic goals within the upcoming years. In this context, the Minister stated that the Department of Commerce has also been brought under the purview of the Foreign Ministry with a view to enhancing the exports, investments and entrepreneurship of Sri Lankans.

 

 

New Foreign Secretary Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage assumes duties

Friday, 14 August 2020

Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage (PhD) assumed duties as the Secretary to the Foreign Ministry today (14 August) following the appointment to the position by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

The new Foreign Secretary Admiral Colombage was warmly received by the senior officials of the Foreign Ministry this morning, upon arrival at the Ministry.

Admiral Colombage was previously Additional Secretary to H.E the President for Foreign Relations since December 2019. In addition, he is presently serving as the Director General of the Institute of National Security Studies Sri Lanka.

Admiral Colombage has served the Sri Lanka Navy for a period of 36 years and retired as the Commander of the Navy on 01 July 2014. He is the 18th Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy and was decorated for gallantry and commended for exceptional service to the Navy.

 

Lord Naseby ecstatic about electoral outcome here

Friday, 07 August 2020

British Conservative peer Lord Naseby, an ardent supporter of Sri Lanka has described the electoral outcome here as “a sea change never before witnessed; I for one recognise it – so too should the UK Government and the factions of the diaspora in the UK and elsewhere”

Lord Naseby, who is also the President and founder of the All Party British Sri Lanka Parliamentary Group in the UK said:

‘This is a truly remarkable result; yet again the ordinary people of Sri Lanka have turned out to vote at a level rarely seen anywhere in the World. This is true democracy at work. It would seem that the old order of the UNP and the SLFP have been consigned to history. In their place are the SLPP (Sri Lanka Podujana Peruma)- the party of the Rajapaksa brothers who now dominate Parliament, and, a new, much smaller Opposition Party, headed by the young Sajith Premadasa, the Samagi Jana Balawegaya. 

This is a new dawn for Sri Lanka, a fresh era creating the opportunity for the country to come together and finally put to bed the idea of any Tamil Eelam independence movement.

 Now is the time for the West to understand the new mood in Sri Lanka; the desire on all sides for reconciliation to become realistic without any interference from the West or the UN Human Rights Council.

Foreign Minister Gunawardena and UK’s International Trade Minister discuss stepping up bilateral trade and investment ties with the UK

Friday, 24 July 2020

Foreign Relations Minister Dinesh Gunawardena and the Minister for International Trade of the UK Ranil Jayawardena discussed stepping up bilateral trade and investment and expanding the areas of cooperation during a teleconference yesterday. It was the first official interaction between the two Ministers.

Both Ministers welcomed further consolidating the longstanding bilateral engagement through increased trade, security, research and training, science and technology and cultural cooperation, including people-to -people contacts.  In particular, Ministers Gunawardena and Jayawardena agreed on the need for close cooperation to address the challenges facing bilateral trade and investment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Both identified the importance of moving the supply chains and opening travel and tourism sectors to address pressing economic issues. Opportunities for new export products to the UK market from Sri Lanka were also discussed.

Recalling the shared values and interests between the UK and Sri Lanka as members of the Commonwealth, Minister Gunawardena reaffirmed Sri Lanka’s commitment to continue its active participation in the organization. 

Foreign Relations Minister Gunawardena extended an invitation for Minister Ranil Jayawardena to visit Sri Lanka at the earliest opportunity.

Ministry of Foreign Relations

Colombo

 24 July 2020

Sri Lanka to facilitate, protect and promote liberal ecosystem for Indian investors: Foreign Secretary Aryasinha

Thursday, 23 July 2020

 

Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha said that the investment environment in Sri Lanka for Indian investors is conducive not only because of its stable leadership but also due to the strong bilateral relationship between Sri Lanka and India. This was consolidated on following the early visits of the President, Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister to India where areas of cooperation was fully reviewed.

Addressing the webinar ‘Deepening Economic Collaboration between India and Sri Lanka’, organised by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) jointly with the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies, Sri Lanka (LKI), on 21 July 2020, Foreign Secretary Aryasinha said, “India is among the top 5 foreign investors in Sri Lanka. The government is committed to facilitating, protecting and promoting the liberal investment climate in Sri Lanka by continuing to realign the systems and procedures to suit modern business needs. The prospective investors are encouraged to take advantage of these untouched investment opportunities in the island.”

Highlighting the potential areas of investment in Sri Lanka, he said that the government is targeting more investment in high value products. “India is strong in sectors like textiles, IT, agribusiness and the private sector of our two countries can explore collaboration related to investment, technology transfer in these sectors,” the Foreign Secretary added.