High Commission of Sri Lanka in India

President's message on the 25th Anniversary of the signing of the SAARC Charter PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Tuesday, 07 December 2010 11:17

Today, we in South Asia commemorate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and I have the pleasure on this occasion to extend warm greetings and best wishes of the Government and people of Sri Lanka to the Governments and people of South Asia.

As I stated on the occasion of the Silver Jubilee Summit in Thimphu in April this year, our hallmark and indeed our strength, is our collective identity, promoted and strengthened by over two decades of regional cooperation within the SAARC framework. This identity has been, and remains to be, a crucial factor in forging closer links among our governments and more importantly, amongst our people. As SAARC commemorates its twenty-fifth year, we must all take pride in the efforts taken since 1985 to build our Association. We now stand on the threshold of our continued onward journey towards the next generation of cooperative efforts.

As we observe the twenty-fifth anniversary of SAARC, we must resolve to work diligently towards the noble goals that we have set for ourselves. We must take bold steps to address the challenges before us which include translating our decisions and agreements into action and finding ways and means of enabling freer movement of people, goods, services and ideas within South Asia to build a more prosperous region for the benefit of our people.

I reaffirm on this occasion, Sri Lanka’s firm and continued commitment to SAARC and its objectives.

Mahinda Rajapaksa
The President of Sri Lanka

 

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7th Session of the Sri Lanka India Joint Commission PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Monday, 29 November 2010 10:10

November 26, 2010

The seventh session of the Sri Lanka-India Joint Commission was held on 26th November 2010 in Colombo. It was co-chaired by His Excellency, Shri S.M. Krishna, Minister of External Affairs of India and Hon'ble G.L. Peiris, Minister of External Affairs of Sri Lanka. The agreed agenda of the meeting is at Annexure-1. The lists of the Indian and Sri Lankan delegations are, respectively, at Annexure-2 and Annexure-3.

2. The discussions at the Joint Commission were marked by friendship, mutual respect and understanding. The two Ministers agreed that the shared cultural and civilizational heritage of India and Sri Lanka, the extensive people-to-people interaction and their common strategic concerns and interests provided the foundation to build a vibrant and multi-faceted partnership. India-Sri Lanka relations have diversified with the passage of time, encompassing all areas of contemporary relevance, including trade, services and investment, development cooperation, science and technology, culture and education. Today, with the end of armed conflict in Sri Lanka, these relations are poised to develop further in an all-round manner.

3. The Joint Commission reviewed developments in bilateral relations since the visit to India in June 2010 of His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa, President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and noted with satisfaction that the visit had laid a strong foundation for the future development of India-Sri Lanka relations. The Joint Statement issued during the visit embodies the vision of the two leaders for harnessing the enormous potential available for consolidating and strengthening the bilateral partnership. This can be achieved by building on shared values and principles of democracy and pluralism, leveraging common strategic concerns and interests, enhancing connectivity and economic engagement, and reinforcing institutional frameworks for a comprehensive partnership in all areas of bilateral endeavour. In this context, the two sides welcomed the opening of the Consulate General of India in Hambantota on 26 November and of the Consulate General of India in Jaffna on 27 November. The Ministers also reaffirmed the importance of the Joint Commission mechanism to monitor implementation of bilateral understandings.

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Indian Minister of External Affairs to visit Sri Lanka PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Thursday, 25 November 2010 18:42
Minister of External Affairs of the Republic of India, S. M. Krishna, will commence a three day visit to Sri Lanka on 25 November 2010.

This visit, which is the first high level visit from India in the second term of President Mahinda Rajapaksa follows up on the important visit to India from 8-11 June 2010 by the President, which has laid a strong foundation for the future development of India-Sri Lanka relations. The Joint Statement issued during President Rajapaksa's visit embodies the vision of the leaders of Sri Lanka and of India for harnessing the enormous potential available for consolidating and strengthening the bilateral partnership through building on shared values; leveraging common strategic concerns and interests; enhancing connectivity and economic engagement and reinforcing institutional frameworks for a comprehensive partnership in all
areas of bilateral endeavour.

A key event that will take place during the visit is the convening of the Seventh Session of the India - Sri Lanka Joint Commission which is co-chaired by Minister S.M. Krishna on behalf of India and Minister G.L. Peiris on behalf of Sri Lanka. This will provide the two countries an opportunity to review the growing ties between Sri Lanka and India; monitor implementation of bilateral understandings and further enhance the bilateral relations. Several bilateral agreements will also be signed during the visit.

The External Affairs Minister of India would make use of his visit to Sri Lanka to inaugurate the Consulate General Offices of India in Jaffna and in Hambantota.

The other key elements of Minister Krishna's programme include calls on President Mahinda Rajapaksa and on Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratne.
 
High Commissioner delivers Keynote address at the Mulagandha Kuty Vihara Anniversary PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Sunday, 21 November 2010 12:23

The 79th Anniversary of the Mulagandha Kuty Vihara in Sarnath, India, was held on 21st November 2010. The Vihara was built in 1931 by the late Anagarika Dharmapala in close proximity to the location identified as the place where Lord Buddha set in motion the Wheel of the Dhamma, delivering the first sermon, the Dhammacakkapavattana Sutta as well as the second sermon, the Anatta Lakkhana Sutta. The Minister of Tourism & Urban Poverty Alleviation of the Government of India, Kumari Selja, was the Chief Guest on the occasion while High Commissioner Prasad Kariyawasam delivered the keynote address.

 The High Commissioner, in his address, highlighted the relevance of Buddhism to solving the contemporary problems of the world, the contributions made by Sri Lankans such as Anagarika Dharmapala to the revival of Buddhism in the 20th Century and the contributions of the Mahabodhi Society to this task. He also noted in particular the contribution made by Brahmachari Devapriya Valisinha who was the General Secretary of the Mahabodhi Society from 1933 to 1968. Noting that Brahmachari Devapriya Valisinha was the late Anagarika Dharmapala’s foremost disciple, he highlighted Devapriya Valisinha’s contribution towards the building of the Mulagandha Kuty Vihara and the revival of Buddhism in India.

High Commissioner Kariyawasam also emphasized that the efforts taken by Sri Lankans to revive Buddhism in India and restore places of Buddhist worship as well as the large number of Sri Lankan pilgrims who still visit these sites every year are manifestations of their gratitude to the Buddha and the people of India for the gift of Buddhism received by Sri Lanka in 3rd Century BC. He thanked the Government of India through Minister Kumari Selja, for making very practical arrangements for Buddhists from Sri Lanka as well as all over the world to practice their religion in this land of the Buddha, without any hindrance. He recalled in his statement, the role played by the leaders of India along with the likes of Anagarika Dharmapala, in the revival of Buddhism in India. Stating that the presence of Minister Selja followed in the tradition of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru gracing the occasion of the opening of the Mulagandhakuti Vihara in 1931, the High Commissioner also noted that a lady was gracing the 79th anniversary celebrations as the Chief Guest. He added that this is significant in the context of the Buddha’s words relating to equality between all human beings. (Read full speech by High Commissioner Prasad Kariyawasam)
 

 

On this occasion, the original letters of communication between Srimath Anagarika Dharmapala and Brahmachari Devapriya Valisinha dating back to the 1920s and 1930s were handed over to the custody of the Anagarika Dharmapala Museum of the Mahabodhi Society of India by the family members of the late Devapriya Valisinha.

Two books edited by Ven. Dr. Kahawatte Siri Sumedha Thero entitled “History of the Mulagandha Kuty Vihara- Sacred Relics and Wall Paintings at Isipatana – the First Preaching place of the Buddha” and “Frescos of Mulagandha Kuty Vihara (The Life story of the Buddha)- Kosetsu Nosu and his other Paintings” were presented to Minister Kumari Selja and High Commissioner Prasad Kariyawasam.

Minister Kumari Selja, Ven. Dodangoda Rewatha Thero, General Secretary of the Mahabodhi Society, Ven. Kahawatte Siri Sumedha Thero, Assistant General Secretary of the Mahabodhi Society and Prof. P. Kannan of Nagaland University, also spoke on the occasion.

 

 

 
United in peace, lets build a great nation - President PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Saturday, 20 November 2010 03:38

Our first task in our rise to be among the great nations of the world, is to ensure lasting national unity and sustainable, permanent peace in our motherland, stated President Mahinda Rajapaksa after the swearing in for his second term of office today (19 Nov) at the Presidential Secretariat.

Our policy is one of non-alignment, he said adding, ‘we do not have enemy states or such groups or blocs. During the last era, we worked with many nations in agreement and friendship for national security. We now step into the development era. We extend our hand of friendship to those who assist us in this endeavour’.

We have the inherited wisdom to tolerate all opinion and take mature decisions. We have a tradition of understanding our problems and conflicts and finding solutions for them, he further stated.

‘We are not a miniature of a developed country. We are Sri Lanka. Our motherland is Sri Lanka’.

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