Let me begin by reiterating our strong and continued cooperation with this Council and the United Nations mandated human rights system, in keeping with our Constitution and our international obligations voluntarily undertaken.
Twelve years ago, Sri Lanka eradicated LTTE terrorism on its soil. We have restored peace, security and stability for the benefit of our people. We held firm to our democratic traditions and elections were held at regular intervals with high levels of voter participation – most recently at the 2019 Presidential and 2020 Parliamentary polls. The Government is committed to holding the Provincial Council elections at the earliest.
The newly appointed Foreign Minister Prof. G.L Peiris assumed duties at the Ministry today (18 August, 2021) at a simple ceremony graced by outgoing Foreign Minister and the new Minister of Education Dinesh Gunawardena; State Minister of Regional Cooperation Tharaka Balasuriya; State Minister of Women and Child Development, Preschools & Primary Education, School Infrastructure & Education Services Piyal Nishantha De Silva; Member of Parliament and General Secretary of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Sagara Kariyawasam; Foreign Secretary Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage and other officials. The Buddhist clergy led by the chief incumbent of the Bellanwila Rajamaha Viharaya Ven. Dr. Bellanwila Dhammaratana Nayaka Thero invoked blessings on the occasion.
Addressing the first International Forum on COVID-19 Vaccine Cooperation held virtually on 05 August 2021, Foreign Minister Gunawardena called for enhanced global efforts to forge closer cooperation between countries to enable the availability and affordability of COVID-19 vaccines to everyone in line with SDG 3 target to ensure access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all.
While highlighting GoSL’s success in vaccinating more than 90% of its population over the age of 30 with the first dose of vaccination, Minister Gunawardena underlined that there still remained significant inequalities in vaccination programs across the world, that need to be remedied to successfully defeat the COVID-19 pandemic.
Video Message of Hon. Dinesh Gunawardena, Foreign Minister of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka