High Commission of Sri Lanka in India

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bhutan visits Sri Lanka PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bhutan, Lyonpo Ugyen Tshering, who is on a two day visit to Sri Lanka from 18-19 February 2010, met with Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama at the Foreign Ministry on 18th February 2010. In keeping with SAARC tradition, the Foreign Minister of Bhutan is scheduled to call on President Mahinda Rajapaksa who currently holds the Chair of SAARC, on 19 February, to hand over an invitation from the Prime Minister of Bhutan, Jigme Yoser Thinley, for the 16th SAARC Summit which will be held in Thimphu from 28-29 April 2010. 

Welcoming the Foreign Minister of Bhutan to Sri Lanka, Minister Bogollagama assured him of Sri Lanka’s wholehearted support as Bhutan prepares to assume the Chair of SAARC for the first time since the inception of the Association.

The two ministers discussed a range of issues pertaining to SAARC including the theme of the 16th Summit which is ‘Climate Change’.

Discussions also covered progress on the establishment of the Secretariat of the SAARC Development Fund (SDF) in Thimphu. With the establishment of the Secretariat, it is envisaged that the Fund will begin active operation in serving as the umbrella institution for SAARC projects and programmes.

Foreign Minister Tshering conveyed the greetings of the Prime Minister of Bhutan to Minister Bogollagama and congratulated Sri Lanka for the active stewardship of the Association during the last 18 months since assuming the Chair of SAARC in August 2008. Sri Lanka’s Foreign Secretary and senior officials were also associated with the meeting.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
18th February 2010

The High Commission celebrates Independence and National Day PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Sunday, 07 February 2010 18:30

The grand Reception held at the High Commission in New Delhi to celebrate this year’s Independence and the National Day was attended by a cross section of distinguished personalities in New Delhi and the diplomatic community.  Union Cabinet Minister of Human Resource Development of India, Kapil Sibal represented the Government of India as the Chief Guest.  The event included a Cultural Show presented by Sri Lanka Navy Cultural Troupe and was embellished with authentic specialty Sri Lanka cuisine prepared by the two prominent chefs from Sri Lanka.

Chief Guest of Sri Lanka’s National Day Celebrations in New Delhi, Union Cabinet Minister of Human Resource Development of India,  Kapil Sibal, greeting High Commissioner Prasad Kariyawasam on the occasion.

H.E. the President's Independence Day Message 2010 PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail

The 62nd anniversary of independence we mark today has special significance being the first such celebration of our freedom since the defeat of terrorism in our country last year, and also as it takes place soon after  our people have expressed their firm and resounding commitment to democracy. 

The freedom from colonial rule that we gained 62 years ago is now more meaningful, because we have been liberated from the forces of separatist terror that marred our freedom for nearly half the period since independence, and also gravely threatened the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our country. 

As much as we recall with gratitude the great contributions made by our patriots of the past in the struggle for independence, it is also fitting that we pay a tribute in full measure to all our heroic troops and their families for the sacrifices made in the battle against terrorism, as well as all sections of our people for the patriotism they showed in putting up with the hardships during this battle to restore freedom and democracy to our entire country. We are particularly grateful for the courage shown by the people as we were confronted with the armed might of the forces of terror from within, as well as forces from outside who sought to pressure us into conceding to the aims of those who used terror as a political weapon.  

We are also grateful to all friendly nations, from East and West, those near and afar,  who understood the true nature of the struggle we were engaged in, and extended to us all support to achieve our objective of true freedom for our country and people.  

As we move into the new era of peace in our country, we are ready to face the challenges of the future. It is necessary that we give equal priority to the tasks of national reconciliation and the building of trust among all sections of our people, as well as to development that will take us to our rightful place in the community of nations. The fruits of peace and the aspects of development that were not neglected despite our major occupation with the battle against terror, are already seen in the many projects initiated and completed in the power and energy sectors and in infrastructure development. 

As our forefathers did in the glorious days of our past, and the more recent leaders in the struggle for freedom showed us, we remain committed to a single, unitary Sri Lanka, where all our people, irrespective of differences of ethnicity, religion or political persuasion, can enjoy the full benefits of freedom, development, and equal rights in a democratic society. 

The new and even stronger mandate you have given us, gives greater confidence to move ahead in building the New Sri Lanka, which we envisage as the hub of economic activity and a beacon of progress in our region; together with a full commitment to the Rights of Man which are integral to the heritage bestowed on us from the past. 

On this historic and significant anniversary of freedom, let us re-dedicate our nation to the ideals of peace, tolerance, mutual trust and progress, in the democratic tradition our people have cherished and protected as the oldest democracy in Asia. 

I wish you a Prosperous Future. 

May our nation be blessed by the Noble Triple Gem.

62nd Independence Day Message of Hon. Prime Minister PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail

Freedom is desired by all living beings.

Sri Lanka enriched by Buddhist values, is a nation which gives importance to the freedom of the individual. 

Inhumane acts of a few in the society violate the freedom of the entire society. The value of freedom is deeply felt when it is lost, more than when it is enjoyed.

History shows that there was a period when Sri Lankans were longing for freedom. And during that period great national personalities have emerged, who surmounting all barriers had achieved the coveted goals for the nation. 

We recently passed an era when freedom was limited to a word. During that bleak period the society had to live in fear and with uncertainty of the future. However, the country was fortunate enough at that juncture to be blessed with heroes who sacrificed their lives to bring freedom and happiness to the nation by ending the scourge of terrorism that lasted nearly thirty years. 

Freedom which was achieved in February 1948 became more meaningful in 1972. It strengthened to an absolute freedom in 2010, with the results of the recently concluded Presidential Election where Sri Lankans freely expressed their democratic rights. 

I believe that all the citizens of this country will now unite to bring a brighter- future to our motherland.

62nd Independence Day Message of the Hon Minister of Foreign Affairs PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Rising from the shackles of colonialism 62 years ago and annihilating an almost three decade long grip of terrorism from our shores eight months ago, we celebrate this anniversary of Independence in 2010, with a great sense of oneness and pride. Nearly half of our country’s contemporary independent history has witnessed a struggle against the brutal forces of terrorism which sought to tear asunder the very sovereignty of our great nation gained by our forefathers.
The successful humanitarian operation to extricate our motherland from the jackboot of the terrorists under the committed leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, has brought a new Sri Lanka to its people and the world at large. The vote at the recent Presidential election, is an overwhelming endorsement by the people of this country of President Rajapaksa’s achievements for their betterment, and providing a firmer foundation for the further strengthening of national amity, progress and prosperity of our nation as envisioned in the “Mahinda Chinthana”.

The defeat of the separatist terrorists, one time thought to be invincible, has been achieved, thus eradicating the plague of terrorism. I pay tribute to our heroic forces who valiantly fought the elimination of terror to secure our blessed country, and the people of Sri Lanka, for the resilience demonstrated by their sacrifices through those dark days of uncertainty.

A new era of peace and hope has dawned for the country with a renewed mandate for the continued leadership of President Rajapaksa, that too with the beginning of another decade. Sri Lanka is now wholly poised as a free country to achieve prosperity, which the people so richly deserve. This freedom I believe, enriches the achievement of our Independence in 1948. While in the clutches of terrorist conflict, unprecedented development work has been undertaken by the Government, with the last four years recording an exceptional increase in per capita income, enabling sustained economic growth. Sri Lanka is a land of plenty, fertile in rich resources which provided the very basis for the country’s economic resistance to a turbulent world economy, exacerbated by having to defend the onslaught of terrorism domestically.

Mega development programmes are being actively pursued in the country with the initiation of the construction of harbours, airports, roads, electricity generation etc. Investments are flowing into the country with new employment avenues being generated, further empowering the people with the accruing benefits which the Government has sought to spread equitably with the distribution of equal resources throughout the country. The surge towards the country’s development and glory has now begun in earnest, which we must sustain to emerge as a “Wonder of Asia” in the near future.

Guided by the principles of non-alignment and being friends with all in the conduct of foreign relations, has earned Sri Lanka a pivotal position in the global community. The bedrock of our engagement with the international community has been one of moderation, engagement and peaceful co-existence which have facilitated Sri Lanka to continue to play an important role in the United Nations and other multilateral fora, culminating in currently being Chair of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), and Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) and endorsed to take the top slots of the G-15 this year and Commonwealth in three years. The diverse interests of Sri Lanka have been served through its membership in multilateral fora which also include BIMSTEC, IORARC, G77, Shanghai Cooperation Dialogue and the ASEAN Regional Forum. Sri Lanka has never been bereft of friends in the international community, and this is an appropriate opportunity to extend our appreciation for the assistance rendered to us in countering terrorism to safeguard the sovereignty of this nation and enhancing economic development.

On this momentous anniversary of Independence, with the added significance of it being in immediate succession of the first post conflict national election, let us Sri Lankans, all come together in a spirit of trust and understanding leaving aside differences, to rededicate ourselves to be united as a single nation, community and citizenry, and embark on a journey to lead Sri Lanka into new vistas for a brighter future. Following in the footsteps of those Sri Lankans who freed our country from colonial domination, it is time that we banished any hatred and mistrust amongst us, and let no force queer the pitch of democratic institutions being reinvigorated which has begun, in order to create an equal political space for us all.

I reiterate the call of President Mahinda Rajapaksa for all Sri Lankans living overseas to return to Sri Lanka and join in being true stakeholders of Sri Lanka’s economic and social advancement.

As we celebrate our anniversary of Independence in this new decade of the 21st century, let us all march forward united, to secure and begin an era with a greater vibrant democracy and spiraling development for the country, while achieving our own aspirations – it is a New Sri Lanka that is before us today.

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