High Commission of Sri Lanka in India

Foreign Secretary Aryasinha outlines role and preparations of the Ministry and its missions in tackling the COVID-19 Pandemic PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Monday, 06 April 2020 13:15

Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha has outlined the role and preparations of the Ministry of Foreign Relations and its missions across the world, in helping Sri Lanka tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and addressing concerns of Sri Lankan nationals overseas. Referring to Sri Lankan citizens abroad, he said “parents here in Sri Lanka, should rest a little bit more comfortably about their children, knowing that the Embassy is a phone call away and if there are issues on the ground, that our Missions abroad will deal with it” and that “if there is a real calamity, the Government of Sri Lanka will step in”. He said while dealing with the immediate concerns at hand, the Ministry and Missions are working hard “to anticipate and prepare for any difficulties ahead, and to further map out what we do the day after this problem is solved, particularly on the economic front”.

The Foreign Secretary made these observations, in a wide-ranging interview with Indeewari Amuwatte, on the ‘Hyde Park’ programme of Ada Derana 24, on 4 April 2020.

Full interview is at : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zY1eD5c__h4

Below is the transcript of Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha’s interview with Indeewari Amuwatte on ‘Hyde Park’ on Ada Derana 24 on 4th April 2020 (Pl. note that some comments have been re-clustered under relevant headings)

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Foreign Ministry takes stock of action by Sri Lanka Missions abroad to ensure the welfare of Overseas Sri Lankans (OSL) PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Friday, 03 April 2020 05:20

The Ministry of Foreign Relations, sensitive to the concerns of the OSLs amidst the rapid spread of the COVID-19 and the inability to return to Sri Lanka, has held consultations over the past 2 days with its Heads of Missions based in 67 cities across the world, to facilitate the wellbeing and safety of Overseas Sri Lankans, while preparing for any exigencies they could have to meet in the coming days.

In a series of tele-conferences led by Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha with Heads of Mission/Post in 5 regional clusters (South Asia, Middle East, South East Asia & East Asia, Africa & Latin America, as well as North America & Europe), issues that demanded attention in respect of Overseas Sri Lankans were discussed, in keeping with the Government’s policy directives, on the COVID -19 pandemic. The focal point of the Foreign Ministry on COVID -19 Action and DG/East Asia Mr. Kandeepan Balasubramaniam, Additional Secretaries, respective territorial DGs and relevant functional DGs of the Ministry were associated in the discussions. The Acting General Manager of the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE), W.M.V. Wansekara, also attended some of the consultations which focused on Sri Lankan migrant receiving countries.

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Sri Lanka Missions in South Asia work towards ensuring safety of Sri Lankan expatriates in the region PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Tuesday, 31 March 2020 04:37

The Sri Lanka Missions in South Asia, in collaboration with the Foreign Ministry, have been closely engaging with the Sri Lankan communities overseas and are working towards assisting and facilitating the many Sri Lankan expatriates in the region in the wake of the COVID-19 epidemic. Mission wise, databases of Sri Lankan students and other expatriates are being compiled by the Missions with a view to keeping in close contact and ensuring their welfare at all times.  

The Government of Sri Lanka with its recent announcement requesting all Sri Lankan expatriates to remain in their current locations until the risk of COVID-19 is minimized, has further assured that requests for return of Sri Lankans will be considered once the spread of the virus is contained in the country.  

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Important Notice with regard to the extension of the validity period of the visas of foreign nationals stranded in India due to COVID-19 PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Sunday, 29 March 2020 07:44

The Government of India has conveyed the following notice to the Diplomatic Missions in India with regard to the extension of the validity period of the visas of foreign nationals who are stranded in India due to COVID-19:

“Regular Visa, e-Visa or stay stipulation, of such foreign nationals who have been stranded in India because of spread of COVID-19 in many parts of the world and due to consequent travel restrictions imposed by the Indian Authorities and whose Visas have expired or would be expiring during the period from 01.02.2020 (Midnight) to 30.04.2020 (Midnight), would be extended till midnight of 30.04.2020 on ‘GRATIS’ basis after making online application by the foreigner. Exit of such foreign nationals, if so requested by them during this period, will be granted without levy of overstay penalty” 

 
Over 17,000 Overseas Sri Lankans register on ‘Contact Sri Lanka’ PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Saturday, 28 March 2020 14:43

Over 17,457 Overseas Sri Lankans (OSL) had by Saturday noon (28 March), registered on the ‘Contact Sri Lanka’ Online Portal of the Ministry of Foreign Relations. Of these, 6773 are from the Middle East region, 1892 from Europe, 1302 from South Asia, 1028 from North America and over 6000 from other parts of the world.  

This portal jointly created by the Ministry of Foreign Relations and the Information & Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) for the benefit of Overseas Sri Lankans, was launched on Thursday (26 March 2020). It is hosted on the Ministry web page www.mfa.gov.lk and can also be accessed at www.contactsrilanka.mfa.gov.lk. A dedicated team of officials have been assigned by the Ministry of Foreign Relations to respond to queries.

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