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Sri Lanka Day' successfully held in Toronto

2019-09-13

Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Toronto together with the assistance of Toronto Police Community Partnership and Engagement Unit, and Toronto Police Cricket Club organised and successfully concluded the 'Sri Lanka Day' on 08 September 2019 at the Toronto Police Perceval Cummins Cricket Field in Scarborough, Toronto.

'Sri Lanka Day' was ceremonially started with a procession carrying Sri Lankan national flags, Sesath and other traditional symbols and a march by Toronto Police Ceremonial Unit. After playing the national anthems of Sri Lanka and Canada, the event was adorned with traditional cultural dances of Upcountry, Bharatha and a bridal pageant.

Delivering the opening remarks, as the Chief Guest, Sri Lanka's High Commissioner in Canada  highlighted  the importance of sports in unifying all expatriates in Toronto and admired the assistance extended by the Toronto Police to organize this event under the theme of    “Partnership and Engagement”. The Superintendent of Toronto Police as Chief representative from the Canadian side, David Rydzik assured their support for partnership among all in his speech. Other dignitaries who graced the event as special guests were representatives from diplomatic corps and international organisations, senior Toronto Police officials, Member of the Sri Lanka Parliament Mayantha Dissanayake and other professionals from Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim and Malay communities.

Read more: Sri Lanka Day' successfully held in Toronto

 

Sri Lanka and Venezuela agree to forge closer bilateral ties

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As part of an Asian tour undertaken to promote closer cooperation between the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and Asian countries, the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs for Asia, Middle East and Oceania of Venezuela, Ruben Dario Molina visited Sri Lanka from 24 to 28 August 2019.

The Venezuelan dignitary held official talks with the State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vasantha Senanayake on 27 August at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where both sides discussed modalities to forge closer cooperation between the two countries.

A draft Agreement to formalize a Political Consultation mechanism between the two Foreign Ministries, enabling a structured dialogue and enhancing bilateral ties for the mutual benefit of the two countries was discussed. Furthermore, a draft Agreement on the Exemption of Visas for holders of Diplomatic and Service passports was also shared with the Sri Lankan side with a view to facilitating official travel between Sri Lanka and Venezuela.

During the meeting, Sri Lanka emphasized its increased focus towards the Latin America region and both countries committed themselves towards a Road map to renew and expand their trade and economic cooperation, as well as, people to people contacts.

State Minister Senanayake conveyed the best wishes of President Maithripala Sirisena to the Government and the people of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.  Venezuela is the current Chair of the Non Aligned Movement (NAM) of which Sri Lanka is a founding member.

Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha and senior Foreign Ministry officials were associated with State Minister Senanayake at the meeting. Vice Minister Molina was accompanied by Mr. Nestor Enrique Lopez, Minister Counsellor of the Venezuelan Embassy in New Delhi, which is concurrently accredited to Sri Lanka.

 

 Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Colombo

28 August 2019

Text in Sinhala (PDF)

Text in Tamil (PDF)

 

"Island of Ingenuity" promoted in Toronto

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The Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Toronto arranged the Information & Communication Technology / Business Process Management (ICT/ BPM) promotional workshop “Island of Ingenuity” on 12 August 2019 at Edward Hotel, Toronto, Ontario. The Advisor to the team working as the Sectoral Expert for the ICT/ BPM sector in Sri Lanka, Ruwindhu Peiris participated in the event as the resource person.  The workshop was attended by Sri Lankan expatriates engaging in the ICT sector.

The aim of this initiative was to leverage Sri Lanka’s Diaspora network to help transform the industry by tapping into their networks and unraveling opportunities for Sri Lanka’s ICT/BPM sector. Sri Lanka’s National Export Strategy 2022 targets to elevate IT/BPM sector and achieve a target of USD 5 billion in export revenues, 200,000+ new jobs and 1,000 new start ups.

Read more: "Island of Ingenuity" promoted in Toronto

 

Event on Sri Lanka Day-2019

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Appointment of Lt. Gen. Shavendra Silva, Commander of the Sri Lanka Army

Media Release

Appointment of Lt. Gen. Shavendra Silva, Commander of the Sri Lanka Army

 

With reference to comments that have appeared since the above appointment, the following is noted:

 

• The appointment of the Army Commander of Sri Lanka is a sovereign decision by the Head of State.

 

• Foreign entities trying to influence the decisions and internal administrative processes of public service promotions in Sri Lanka is unwarranted and unacceptable.

 

• Articulating a position of concern on this appointment by certain bilateral partners and international organizations, based on allegations, is regrettable and contrary to the principles of natural justice espoused by all responsible members of the international community.

 

 

 

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Colombo

20 August 2019

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Read more: Appointment of Lt. Gen. Shavendra Silva, Commander of the Sri Lanka Army

 

Sri Lanka participates in the 8th annual One World One Family multicultural festival

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The Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Toronto, as a part of the country promotion/tourism promotion program 2019, participated in the 8th annual One World One Family multicultural festival held in Erin, Ontario from 4 to 5 August 2019. The event showcased products, games, crafts, cultural heritages  and performances from 28 different countries around the world.

The Consulate’s participation facilitated promotion of Ceylon tea and Sri Lanka tourism by raising awareness among the participants on Sri Lanka’s rich culture, history of Ceylon tea and travel information. Ceylon Tea samples from Dimbula, Nuwara Eliya, Kandy, Uva, Uda Pussellawa, Ruhuna and Sabaragamuwa regions, were displayed. Hot tea from the above regions was also served to the visitors.

Read more: Sri Lanka participates in the 8th annual One World One Family multicultural festival

   

Sri Lanka led IORA Maritime Safety and Security Working Group finalizes Work Plan

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The First Meeting of IORA Maritime Safety and Security (MSS) Working Groupchaired by Sri Lanka and held in Colombo on 8-9 August with the participation of 22 foreign delegates representing IORA member countries and representatives of the IORA Secretariat has finalized the Work Plan for action.

Inaugurating the meeting Foreign Secretary RavinathaAryasinharecalling Sri Lanka’s role in spearheading the Indian Ocean Peace Zone proposal in 1971, said at the time few recognized the importance of the concept. He saidit was pleasing to note that times have changed. The Indian Ocean has today been acknowledged as one of the world’s busiest and most critical trade corridors, carrying two-thirds of global oil shipments and a third of bulk cargo and hosting the most critical Sea Lanes of Communication (SLOCs), directly impacting global trade and economy. Sri Lanka as a country central to this region, while protecting its self-interest, is keen to ensurefreedom of navigationand lines of communication, which were an essential prerequisite not only to maintaining regional security and stability, but is also crucial for the future prosperity of the region. He said “The Indian Ocean: Defining Our Future” multilateral diplomatic engagement hosted by Sri Lanka last year which brought together not only the Indian Ocean littoral states, but also its maritime users, was an expression of this commitment.

Read more: Sri Lanka led IORA Maritime Safety and Security Working Group finalizes Work Plan

   

UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief visits Sri Lanka

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The UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Ahmed Shaheed called on Minister Tilak Marapana at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today, commencing his official country visit to Sri Lanka from 15- 26 August 2019.

The Special Rapporteur is undertaking this visit in response to the standing invitation extended to all thematic UN special procedures mandate holders by Sri Lanka in 2015. This is the 10th such visit by a special procedures mandate holder to the country in the past four years. The Government of Sri Lanka and the Special Rapporteur had agreed to schedule this visit in 2018.

During the meeting today, Foreign Minister Marapana said that in line with the Government’s policy of engaging in an open, transparent and constructive dialogue with the international community including the UN, a number of visits of special procedures mandate holders have been facilitated. He noted that the Government has always appreciated engagement with the Special Rapporteurs and taken note of their feedback positively.  He assured the Special Rapporteur that the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) will provide its fullest cooperation to him during his visit.

Read more: UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief visits Sri Lanka

   

Thirteen new Heads of Mission approved by High Posts Committee - Career HOM ratio rises from 37% to 54% within this year

The Committee on High Posts of the Parliament of Sri Lanka to Examine the Suitability of Persons Nominated/Appointed to the State Services and State Corporations (High Posts Committee) has approved the appointments of thirteen persons nominated by President Maithripala Sirisena, as Heads of Sri Lanka Missions overseas.

Among the thirteen new Heads of Mission appointed, there are nine career diplomats of the Sri Lanka Foreign Service (SLFS): Mr. A.S. Khan, High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to Nigeria, Mr. U.L. Mohammed Jauhar, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Kuwait, Dr. A.S.U Mendis, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the Republic of Korea, Mrs. S. Shanika Dissanayake, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Jordan, Mr. W.G.S. Prasanna, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Vietnam, Mrs. Himalee Arunatilaka, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Nepal, Mr. Lakshitha Ratnayaka, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Cuba, Mr. P.R.S. Sugeeshwara Gunaratna, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Ethiopia and Mrs. D.P.C.W. Karunaratne, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Lebanon.

The High Posts Committee has also approved the following professionals as Heads of Mission: Mr. J. C. Weliamuna, President’s Counsel and prominent human rights activist-lawyer as High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to Australia, former Air Force Commander Air Chief Marshal Kapila Jayampathy (Rtd.) as High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to Malaysia, Mr. Nimal Karunaratne, former Additional Surveyor General as Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Maldives, and Mr. Kithsiri Athulathmudali, international business consultant and businessman as Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Qatar.

Sri Lanka maintains 52 High Commissions/Embassies overseas. With these appointments, the percentage of career diplomats who will head Sri Lanka Missions overseas will increase to 54%, from 37% at the commencement of 2019. Of the 27 Heads of Mission appointed this year, 23 have been from the Sri Lanka Foreign Service.


Ministry of Foreign Affairs 

Colombo

10 August 2019

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Colombo

10 August 2019

Text in Sinhala (PDF)

Text in Tamil (PDF)

 

   

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