High Commission of Sri Lanka in India

Jaffna Students Tour of New Delhi PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Tuesday, 16 August 2011 07:20

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A 10-member group of school boys of St. Patrick’s College, Jaffna, visited India, sponsored by the Student Exchange Programme of the India-Sri Lanka Foundation. The team was accompanied by Rev. Fr. M. Jero Selvanayagam, Rector of the school and Mr. Berty Bannister, a teacher.

The student team was hosted by St Francis de Sales Senior Secondary School, Janakpuri, New Delhi. This is the first visit to Delhi in several decades by a team of school boys from Jaffna. 

The India-Sri Lanka Foundation was established by the Governments of India and Sri Lanka in 1998 in order to promote greater understanding through enhancement of economic, scientific, educational, technical and cultural cooperation between the peoples of the two nations. The student exchange programme of the Foundation seeks to develop and enhance the close bonds of friendship between schools and students of the two countries.

The St. Patrick’s team from Sri Lanka was able to showcase their skills in a football game, when they participated alongside their Indian counterparts at the Annual Father Peter Mermier Football Tournament 2011, organized by St. Francis de Sales Senior Secondary School at their grounds. They participated in cultural performances, depicting both Sinhala and Tamil culture, at the welcome ceremony accorded to them at the St Francis de Sales Senior Secondary School. The Sri Lankan boys’ team had the opportunity to visit the homes of their Indian peers and to experience Indian cuisine and to have a glimpse of the rich Indian culture.

The Sri Lankan student team, together with the Indian school team visited the Sri Lanka High Commission in New Delhi and met High Commissioner Prasad Kariyawasam.  They expressed appreciation for including students from Jaffna in the student exchange programme.


 
Pilgrims flock to Madhu Church festival PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Tuesday, 16 August 2011 06:15



The Madhu Church in Mannar, considered by Catholics to be their holiest place in the island, attracted more than 100,000 pilgrims during the festival commenced in the second week of August. The Sylvan Shrine of Our Lady of Madhu in the Mannar District of Northern Province come alive once again with a record number of pilgrims visiting for first time in twenty years. The church festival of ‘Our Lady of Madhu’ started with the Government and the security forces making all efforts to cope with the large number of devotees who throng the church grounds during the festival time.

The security forces have now renovated the church buildings, cleared the grounds of all booby traps and land mines and the Government has restored water and electricity supply to the area. The devotees coming to Madhu were allowed to stay at the grounds from August 12 to August 16. Mannar Bishop Rayappu Joseph said that all possible measures were taken to provide the basic facilities to the devotees.

Madhu Church which has a history of over 400 years had been a hallowed place of worship for Catholics of Sri Lanka for several decades where generations of Catholics make it a point to make a pilgrimage at least once a year attending the monthly festivals. But the August 15th festival draws the biggest crowds because it is one of the most hallowed days for Catholics celebrating the day of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus Christ, into heaven and also because the school holidays facilitate entire families to make the trip. There had been occasions when attendance at August festival at times touching close to a million people before the out break of the North East conflict.

Madhu festival provides an occasion for families and people of all walks of life, communities, races the young and the old to spend a few days away from it all camping it out in the open, imbibing in a bout of spiritual reflection together with some sort of mental and physical relaxation as well.



 
Service of Thanksgiving in Remembrance of Chrysantha Romesh Jayasinghe held in New Delhi PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Sunday, 14 August 2011 05:02

Former High Commissioner for Sri Lanka to India, Mr. Chrysantha Romesh Jayasinghe, who until recently held the post of Foreign Secretary of Sri Lanka, passed away in Colombo, on 8 August 2011, following a brief illness.


High Commissioner Prasad Kariyawasam, joined by members of the High Commission staff and their families, organised a Thanksgiving Service in remembrance of the late Mr. Jayasinghe on 12 August at the Cathedral Church of the Redemption in New Delhi. A number of Heads of Diplomatic Missions in New Delhi and Senior Officials of India as well as friends of Mr Jaysinghe attended the service. The Service of Thanksgiving included the hymns ‘Blessed Assurance’ and ‘Abide with Me’, congregational song ‘Amazing Grace’ and a Tribute to the late Mr. C.R. Jayasinghe by High Commissioner Prasad Kariyawasam.

The text of the Tribute by High Commissioner Prasad Kariyawasam to the late Mr. C.R. Jayasinghe:

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Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa and Parliamentary Delegation from Sri Lanka calls on the President of India PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Wednesday, 03 August 2011 10:02

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The Speaker of the Parliament of Sri Lanka Chamal Rajapaksa, visiting India with a delegation of Parliamentarians at the invitation of the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Meira Kumar, called on the President of India, Her Excellency Smt. Pratibha Patil, on 2 August at the Rashtrapathi Bhavan. The Speaker was accompanied by Ministers Dinesh Gunawardena, W.D.J. Senewiratne, Risad Badhiutheen, Deputy Minister Muthu Sivalingam, MPs Rajiva Wijesinha, Malani Fonseka and Selvam Adaikkalanathan, Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Kitulgoda and High Commissioner Prasad Kariyawasam.

The Official Visit commenced on 1 August with the delegation paying respects to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat. This was followed by visits to the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha on the first day of the Monsoon Session of the Indian Parliament. Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa and the delegation were received by the Speaker of the Lok Sabha and the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha with official announcements in both Houses.

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The delegation called on the Speaker of the Lok Sabha Meira Kumar, Vice President of India and Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, Hamid Ansari, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Water Resources Pawan Kumar Bansal and the Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj.

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The delegation met and interacted with the President and members of the India-Sri Lanka Parliamentary Friendship Group in the Indian Parliament, several other MPs and Indian and foreign media personnel, at the Residence of the High Commissioner.

The visit, manifesting the strengthening of relations between the two countries at all levels, provided an opportunity for the delegation to brief their counterparts and the media on progress in resettlement, rehabilitation and restoration of livelihoods in the post conflict phase. The delegation discussed with their counterparts, the importance of regular interactions and visits to each other’s countries to share best practices and learn from each other.

 
India-Sri Lanka Parliamentary Friendship Group in the Indian Parliament Formed PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Sunday, 31 July 2011 08:39

The formation of the India-Sri Lanka Parliamentary Friendship Group in the 15th Lok Sabha has been announced. The announcement coincides with the bilateral visit to India by the Speaker of the Sri Lankan Parliament, Hon. Chamal Rajapaksa, with a group of Parliamentarians comprising Ministers Dinesh Gunawardena, W.D.J. Senewiratne and Risad Badhiutheen and MPs Muthu Sivalingam, Rajiva Wijesinha, Malani Fonseka, Selvam Adaikkalanathan and D.M. Swaminandan.

The India-Sri Lanka Parliamentary Friendship Group in the Indian Parliament comprises Members from both Houses, the Lok Sabha (the House of the People) and the Rajya Sabha (the Council of States) representing a cross-section of political parties. Following established practice in the Indian Parliament, the group comprises exclusively of Members of Parliament who do not hold cabinet portfolios.

Shri Kumar Deepak Das, a Rajya Sabha MP representing the Asom Gono Parishad, serves as the President of the 22 member Group. The Group comprises MPs from the Indian National Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party, Biju Janata Dal, Bahujan Samaj Party, Janata Dal (United), Communist Party of India (Marxist), Telugu Desam Party, All India Democratic United Front, Bahujan Vikas Aaghadi, Shiromani Akali Dal, All India Trinamool Congress as well as one Independent MP.

The Members of the Group are scheduled to meet the Speaker of the Sri Lankan Parliament and delegation on 2 August in the Parliament House of India. High Commissioner Prasad Kariyawasam will host a Reception at the Sri Lanka High Commission to celebrate the formation of the Group and to welcome Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa and the delegation. Several Members of the Indian Parliament, especially from Tamil Nadu, and local and international media personnel will attend the Reception.

The formation of this Group in the Indian Parliament is an important step in forging stronger ties between the Indian Parliamentarians and their Sri Lankan counterparts. This will provide an opportunity for greater interaction between the Parliamentarians of the two countries and for visits leading to better understanding and appreciation of prospects, challenges and opportunities for exploring solutions to common problems.

 


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