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Over 38,000 Sri Lankans in 143 countries seek to return home

Sunday, 17 May 2020

Over 38,983 Overseas Sri Lankans (OSLs) in 143 countries at present seek to return home, based on information gathered mainly through the ‘Contact Sri Lanka’ Web Portal of the Ministry of Foreign Relations. This comprises 3,078 students, 4,040 short term visa holders, 27,854 Migrant workers, 3527 dependents and 484 duel citizens and others. Meanwhile since 21 April, up to now, 3600 OSLs have been repatriated from 15 countries, largely comprising foreign students and government officials on training, as well as their dependents.

Recognizing the need to collect data on vulnerable OSLs, the Ministry of Foreign Relations, with the assistance of the Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA), on 26 March 2020 created the ‘Contact Sri Lanka’ Web Portal, within a week following closure of the airport to inbound commercial flights. In parallel to the Portal, Sri Lanka Missions were also instructed to collect data on those who wish to return. The two sources, serve as the base for identifying vulnerable groups, prioritizing and repatriation.

Sri Lanka demands retraction of London Guardian Travel Quiz with reference to “Eelam”

Saturday, 16 May 2020

The attention of the Ministry is drawn to a quiz titled “Travel quiz: do you know your islands, Man Friday?” published on the web edition of The Guardian newspaper in the United Kingdom on Friday, 15 May 2020.  The second question reads -‘Eelam is an indigenous name for which popular holiday island?’

Among the answers to this question, Sri Lanka has been listed as one of the choices and when one selects  Sri Lanka as the answer, whilst indicating it as the correct answer, a further description ‘the full name of the island’s recent military insurgency was LTTE – Liberation Tigers for Tamil Eelam’ appears.

The High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in the United Kingdom wrote to the Editor of the Guardian newspaper on the inaccuracy of this information requesting that the content be removed.

Ministry of Foreign Relations


16 May 2020

Foreign Minister conveys Sri Lanka’s appreciation to Cuba for support during COVID-19

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

The Minister of Foreign Relations Dinesh Gunawardena conveyed his deep appreciation to the Cuban Government for the support extended through the dispatch of a Cuban medical team to the Republic of Haiti to attend to the medical needs of Sri Lankans employed in Haiti.  The Foreign Minister conveyed these sentiments during a meeting with the Cuban Ambassador in Sri Lanka Juana Elena Ramos Rodriguez on Tuesday 12 May at the Foreign Ministry. The five-member medical team was dispatched by the Cuban authorities on the express request of the Sri Lankan Government to support the over-50 apparel sector employees in Haiti.

India donates 4th consignment of essential medicines to Sri Lanka

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

The Deputy High Commissioner of India in Colombo Vinod Jacob today made a token handover of the fourth consignment of essential medicines and medical items to Minister of Foreign Relations Dinesh Gunawardena, Minister of Health and Indigenous Medical Services Pavithra Wanniarachchi, and Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha at the Ministry of Foreign Relations.


Monday, 11 May 2020

Sincere appreciation to Dr Sukumar Nagendran & Members of the Royal College Old Boys East Coast Foundation, USA, for the laudable project of Rs15mn for enhancing the facilities of the Nurses' Quarters at the Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH) Sri Lanka, at the request of the Presidential Taskforce for Covid-19 Control.

The facility was opened on Vesak day by Hon. Pavithra Wanniarachchi, Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine.

Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the UN