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Let us unite and dedicate ourselves for the betterment of our Motherland – Foreign Minister Gunawardena

Saturday, 02 January 2021

It is our responsibility in the New Year 2021 to work together as Sri Lankans shedding all differences to safeguard the dignity, independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka while maintaining ‘Kalyana Mithra’ friendly relations with all countries of the world, Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena stated in his message for the New Year.

Everyone needs to think about how the countries in the world that are far more oppressed than our’s and have less facilities than us were able to develop faster than us. We should take examples of the political, social and economic changes that have taken place in those countries. 

Pure Theravada Buddhism is a very valuable guide for the development of Sri Lanka, but it is time now for us to look back to see whether we have paid full attention to do that.

The Policy Statement ‘Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour’ and the Non-Aligned Friendly Foreign Policy of the Government will help make Sri Lanka a great nation in the world. We will all work towards these goals in this New Year to protect our motherland as a sovereign state and exemplary to the future generations.

Foreign Minister Gunawardena  wished that this New Year would be a happy, healthy and prosperous year for all Sri Lankans, as well all people around the world.

Foreign Ministry

Colombo

01 January 2021

Government to re-introduce conditional repatriation in the wake of new strain of Coronavirus

Tuesday, 22 December 2020

In the wake of the discovery of a fast spreading new strain of Coronavirus in certain countries, the Government of Sri Lanka has decided to continue with the existing procedure of obtaining prior approval from the Foreign Ministry and the Civil Aviation Authority for all inbound travellers to Sri Lanka.

The revised guidelines on repatriation will be issued once the situation has been reappraised.

Foreign Ministry

Colombo

22 December 2020

Notice on Revision of Procedure for Inbound Travellers to Sri Lanka

Monday, 21 December 2020

The procedure for inbound travellers to Sri Lanka, introduced since March 2020 is hereby revised as follows, based on the joint decision made by the Foreign Ministry, the Department of Immigration and the Civil Aviation Authority and as agreed by the Presidential Task Force for Economic Revival and Poverty Alleviation.

The following procedure will take effect from 26 December 2020.

1.    The Government of Sri Lanka (Foreign Ministry and National Operation Center for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO) will arrange special repatriation flights for the Government quarantine facilities in coordination with Sri Lanka Missions abroad for migrant workers, students, patients, short term visa holders, government and military officials,

2.    i. However, Sri Lankans or Foreigners of Sri Lankan origin (Holders of Dual Citizenship) will be allowed to travel on any commercial/non- repatriation flights to Sri Lanka without the approval of the Foreign Secretary (or) Civil Aviation Authority subject to the limit of passengers per flight determined by the Civil Aviation Authority, based on concurrence/consultation of NOCPCO subject to compliance with paid quarantining at a designated hotel.

 ii. It is the sole responsibility of the Airline concerned to ensure that the passengers allowed on board under the above arrangement will strictly adhere to the paid quarantine.

The revision of procedure for inbound travellers will be subject to review based on further assessments made on new guidelines.

Foreign Ministry

Colombo

21 December 2020

Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena highlights Sri Lanka’s initiatives under e-Governance and Cyber Security at the Global Business Summit 2020

Sunday, 20 December 2020

Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena was invited by the Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu to represent Sri Lanka at the Global Business Summit 2020 on 16 December 2020. The summit was co-hosted by the Governments of Estonia and the United Arab Emirates. 

Addressing the Summit under e-Governance and Cyber Security, Foreign Minister Gunawardena highlighted that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has envisioned a people-centric and knowledge-driven new beginning for Sri Lanka, recognizing that the 21st Century was defined by knowledge and innovation. The Foreign Minister provided an overview of Sri Lanka’s digital government architecture designed to address the needs of multiple layers of customers whilst ensuring that such services were effective, transparent and corruption, free. He noted that work was already underway to develop the Unique Digital ID relating to biographic and biometric data, the centerpiece of a citizen- centric digital regime,    earmarked for completion by mid - 2021.   Services covered by e-governance would be in the education, health, transportation, immigration and emigration, registration of persons and companies, motor traffic, income tax and local government sectors. He also underlined that e-governance, e-commerce and e-medicine and such digitalization, would define the ‘New Normal’ in the post COVID-19 global landscape.

IORA Council of Ministers endorse Sri Lanka nomination as Vice Chair for 2021-2023

Friday, 18 December 2020

Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena leading the Sri Lanka delegation thanked  all Member States for placing their confidence in Sri Lanka when  its  application for  the position  of Vice Chair  was endorsed at 20th Council of Ministers (CoM) Meeting   virtually hosted by the United Arab Emirates today (17/12). Sri Lanka thereafter is expected to take over the Chair for the year 2023 to 2025.  

The CoM was preceded by the 22nd Session of the Committee of Senior Officials (CoS) on 15 and 16 December 2020.  The Sri Lanka delegation was led by Foreign Secretary Admiral Professor Jayanath Colombage.  

Sixth Sri Lanka-Pakistan Foreign Office Consultations concluded virtually

Friday, 18 December 2020

The sixth round of the Sri Lanka-Pakistan Foreign Office Consultations was convened by virtual mode on 16 December 2020 after a lapse of three years under the co-chairmanship of Foreign Secretaries Admiral (Prof) Jayanath Colombage and Ambassador Sohail Mahmood respectively.

During the Consultations, a wide range of issues reflecting the robust collaboration between the two countries were discussed. This covered trade and investment, culture and tourism, defence cooperation, agriculture and animal husbandry, education and technical cooperation, sports and media, aviation sectors with emphasis on a deliverable work agenda.