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Foreign Minister Gunawardena discusses GOSL concerns with Colombo based envoys

Wednesday, 09 December 2020

Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena met with the British High Commissioner Sarah Hulton and Canadian High Commissioner David McKinnon, this week to discuss matters of bilateral importance.  

The Minister addressed the mutual concern of security of countries, particularly in the context of the increasingly visible activities in the past few weeks by non-state actors engaged in glorification of terrorist acts of the LTTE, including suicide bombers. Serious note was taken by the envoys regarding the use of children in terrorist propaganda activities, leading to the radicalization of new generations of youth and children.

The High Commissioners conveyed the strong position of their governments that there was no tolerance for terrorist activities nor glorification of terrorism, in their countries, and the recent spate of acts of non-state entities in no way reflected a change in their official position on such matters.

Republic of Korea donates USD 300,000 worth Anti COVID-19 Test Kits to mark the 43rd Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations

Wednesday, 09 December 2020

The Ambassador of the Republic of Korea, Woonjin Jeong at a ceremony held in the Foreign Ministry on 08 December 2020, handed over a donation of USD 300,000 worth Real-Time PCR Test Kits to Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena in commemoration of the 43rd anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and the Republic of Korea. 

Addressing the handing over ceremony, Foreign Minister Gunawardena thanked the Republic of Korea for the generous contribution towards the COVID-19 containment efforts of the Government of Sri Lanka and highlighted that the traditional friendship between the two countries has flourished over time into a multifaceted partnership with economic cooperation as a key pillar. Acknowledging the exponential growth achieved by the Republic of Korea in the past decades, Foreign Minister Gunawardena sought the Republic of Korea’s expertise and support towards the development of rural economies and livelihoods in Sri Lanka with a special focus on the areas of aviation, shipping, health, agriculture, science & technology.

Ambassador Woonjin Jeong in his remarks stated that under the “Stay Strong” campaign, Korea and Sri Lanka have strengthened anti-COVID collaboration with each other. While expressing satisfaction at the ongoing development partnership between Sri Lanka and South Korea, the Ambassador invited Korean investors to explore more opportunities in Sri Lanka in key sectors including LNG, renewable energy, infrastructure and digital economy and more Korean tourists to come to Sri Lanka once the COVID-19 related travel restrictions are lifted.

State Minister of Regional Co-operation Tharaka Balasuriya, Foreign Secretary Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage, senior officials of the Foreign Ministry and the Embassy of Republic of Korea in Colombo were present at the event. 

Sri Lanka and the Republic of Korea established diplomatic relations on 14 November 1977.

State Minister for Regional Co-operation Delivers Remarks at an event on “Switching on Cross Border Start Ups & Innovation” - 08 December 2020

Wednesday, 09 December 2020

At the invitation of the High Commission of Sri Lanka in Singapore, State Minister for Regional Co-operation, Tharaka Balasuriya delivered a pre-recorded statement at 'Switching on Cross Border Start Ups & Innovation', an event organized jointly by GBCDL (GB Community Development Ltd.) as a consortium partner of Asian Development Bank (ADB-SP) Global Technology Innovation Village and Singapore Polytechnic (GTiV) with the High Commission of Sri Lanka to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and Singapore, on 08 December 2020.

In his remarks, the State Minister reiterated on the robust ties between the two countries that have flourished over the years following the establishment of formal diplomatic relations in 1950. He further noted the importance of expanding trade, investment, cultural and educational relations and expressed hope that the goodwill between Sri Lanka and Singapore will further expand in the years ahead.

Meanwhile, State Minister Balasuriya also took the opportunity to express appreciation to the Government of Singapore for the assistance rendered in the health sector of Sri Lanka.

Statement by Hon. Dinesh Gunawardena, Foreign Minister of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka at the 31st Special Session of the General Assembly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic 03 & 04 December 2020

Friday, 04 December 2020

Statement by Hon. Dinesh Gunawardena, Foreign Minister of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka at the General Debate of the 31st Special Session of the General Assembly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

03 December 2020

 

Mr President,

Mr Secretary-General,

Your Majesties,

Your Excellencies,

Distinguished Delegates,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

At the outset, I thank H.E. Volkan Bozkir, President of the General Assembly for convening the Special Session in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as proposed by the Non Aligned Movement and Azerbaijan, Chair of the NAM.   

I convey my deepest condolences to all those who have lost loved ones due to the COVID-19 Pandemic the greatest global health crisis to face humanity, and express appreciation to the frontline healthcare and essential services workers in Sri Lanka and worldwide, for their dedication and commitment.

Under the leadership of His Excellency President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka has been managing the spread of COVID-19 through the strict adherence to the Universal Health Precautions and with a whole-of-government approach, targeting zero transmission.

A National Operation Centre for the Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak was established to carry out operations to combat the pandemic. A digital platform - ‘Stay Safe’ – facilitates public engagement for contact tracing. The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 Prevention effectively coordinates these measures. The free Universal Health Care facility that Sri Lanka provides to its people has also lessened the spread of the virus.

Sri Lanka and China discuss consolidating bilateral relations at the 11th session of the Diplomatic Consultations

Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Foreign Secretary Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage together with Vice Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, Luo Zhaohui, chaired the 11th session of the diplomatic consultations between Sri Lanka and China virtually on 23 November 2020.

Foreign Ministry takes the lead in reviewing connections and opportunities in Marine Scientific Research and Maritime Safety and Security

Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Eminent international legal luminaries, Managing Director and Head of Projects for Morocco and Sudan at the Max Planck Foundation Prof. Rüdiger Wolfrum and member of the United Nations International Law Commission Sir Michael Wood were among the speakers at a webinar organized by the Foreign Ministry on 20 November 2020, as part of its responsibilities as the lead country for the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Working Group on Maritime Safety and security on the theme “The Nexus between Marine Scientific Research (MSR) and Maritime Safety and Security (MSS)”.

Statement made by Hon. Dinesh Gunawardena, Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka at the 44th Annual Meeting of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Group of 77 on 12 November 2020

Friday, 13 November 2020

44th Annual Meeting of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Group of 77

Intervention by Hon.  Dinesh Gunawardena, Foreign Minister of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka at the Interactive Dialogue on Major Priority Issues and the Global Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic and the Obstacles it poses to the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda and Achievement of the SDGs

12 November 2020

 

Hon. Chairman

Excellencies

Distinguished delegates

As a founding member of the Group of 77, Sri Lanka is pleased to participate at the 44th  Annual Meeting of Foreign Ministers. The theme of this year’s session is timely given the unprecedented challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The strong mandate given by the people of Sri Lanka to His Excellency the President, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, at the presidential election in November last year and at the general election earlier this year, for his Vision for Prosperity & Splendour gives us confidence to commit ourselves further to the goals of the G-77. For over half a century the G77 has provided a platform for developing countries to articulate and promote their collective interests and negotiating capacity, on all the major international economic issues within the UN system and to promote South-South cooperation for development. It has a significant role to play in the current context, driven by the spirit of solidarity of the Global South.

Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena and US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo hold bilateral discussions in Colombo

Wednesday, 28 October 2020

Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena and visiting US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo held discussions this morning (28 October 2020) at the Foreign Ministry, covering several areas of the multifaceted relationship which exists between Sri Lanka and the United States. The discussions followed those with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa earlier in the morning.

During the delegation level official talks, the two sides exchanged views on the economic, political, defence & security spheres which straddle the relationship and agreed to take measures to further invigorate the existing cooperation.  It was agreed to convene the annual Partnership Dialogue at an early, mutually convenient time frame, taking into account the existing COVID-19 pandemic situation. Furthermore, steps are to be taken to progress on several economic and development related initiatives, in addition to invigorating the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) and the US GSP facility.  They agreed to work in partnership to address the existing and post COVID-19 economic challenges. The two sides also exchanged views on regional and international developments of mutual interest.