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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


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


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.

Foreign Minister holds an event to mark 65 years of Sri Lanka's membership at the United Nations

Tuesday, 15 December 2020

Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena met the United Nations Resident Coordinator Hanaa Singer and the heads of UN agencies based in Colombo yesterday 14 December 2020 at an event held at the Foreign Ministry to mark the 65th anniversary of Sri Lanka’s membership of the United Nations.

Addressing the gathering Foreign Minister Gunawardena reiterated Sri Lanka’s contribution to the UN system and reaffirmed the commitment of the Government of Sri Lanka led by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to represent the interests of the Global South through its Neutral Non-Aligned policy with the UN, based on the principles enshrined in the UN Charter.

Minister Gunawardena further stated President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s commitment to the two resounding mandates from the Sri Lankan people and their desire to enjoy Sovereignty, Human Rights and Democracy through his “Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour”.

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.