State Minister of Regional Co-operation Tharaka Balasuriya assumed duties at the Foreign Ministry today (19 August). The State Minister was received by Foreign Secretary Admiral (Prof.) Jayanath Colombage and other senior officials, upon his arrival at the Ministry. Religious observances were conducted to invoke blessings prior to the assumption of duties.
State Minister Balasuriya, addressing the gathering of senior officials and staff of the Ministry, following the assumption of duties, highlighted the importance of regional cooperation within Sri Lanka’s foreign policy and the necessity of exploring potential to attract investment to the country through regional cooperation. He reiterated that Sri Lanka will maintain close relations with neighbouring countries, especially within the Asian region with whom Sri Lanka has been maintaining close and friendly ties.
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.
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.
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.