The largest Poson pandal in Europe displayed at the Sri Saddhatissa International Buddhist Centre, Kingsbury

High Commissioner Saroja Sirisena and the members of the staff at the High Commission of Sri Lanka in London participated at the Poson celebrations organised by the Sri Saddhatissa International Buddhist Centre in Kingsbury under the aegis of the Chief Incumbent Aggamahapandita Ven. Galayaye Piyadassi, MBE on 24 June 2021.

The highlight of the celebrations was the display of a colourful pandal depicting the life story of Bhikkhuni Patachara which was inaugurated by High Commissioner Sirisena. The pandal which is 65 feet tall is the largest Poson pandal ever displayed in Europe. It was displayed at the forecourt of the temple premises for a period of one week.

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Policies from Sri Lanka receive Future Policy Award 2021 on protection from hazardous chemicals

Sri Lanka’s Control of Pesticides Act No. 33 of 1980 and the National Policy and Action Plan on Prevention of Suicide of 1997 are among the five inspiring and impactful laws and policies that won the Future Policy Award 2021.

The Award, often referred to as the ‘Oscar on Best Polices’ is celebrating the most effective policy solutions that minimise the adverse effects of exposure to chemicals on human health and the environment. The above two policies from Sri Lanka have contributed to one of the greatest decreases in suicide rates ever achieved in the world. They have saved about 93,000 lives over 20 years at a direct government cost of less than USD 50 per life.

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Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena attends the Asia-Pacific High Level Conference on Belt and Road Cooperation

Addressing the Asia-Pacific High Level Conference on Belt and Road Cooperation virtually on 23 June, 2021, Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunwardena stressed the importance of enhanced cooperation among states and other partners in addressing the COVID-19 challenges, including by recognizing the vaccines as global public health good. He also highlighted Sri Lanka’s policy focus and thrust on sustainable development with renewable energy as a national priority.

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High Commissioner Saroja Sirisena meets the Executive Committee of the Sri Lankan Medical & Dental Association in the UK

High Commissioner Saroja Sirisena together with senior diplomatic officers met the members of the Executive Committee of the Sri Lankan Medical & Dental Association in the UK (SLMDA-UK) at the High Commission of Sri Lanka on 19 June 2021.

At the meeting, the members of the Executive Committee informed of the origins of the Association in 1982 and that it is a voluntary Association for Sri Lankan and Sri Lankan origin Medical & Dental professionals in the UK.  They also briefed the High Commissioner of the activities and charitable work undertaken by the Association in the recent past.

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Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena and U.K. Minister for South Asia, Lord Ahmad discuss steps to enhance bilateral cooperation

Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena and the UK Minister for South Asia and the Commonwealth, Lord Tariq Ahmad have agreed to explore avenues to boost bilateral ties, during a video call yesterday, Thursday, 17 June 2021. They welcomed the multifaceted nature of the bilateral engagement between Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom in a wide range of areas of mutually beneficial cooperation.

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Compensation, salary dues and other redress to the family members of deceased Sri Lankan migrant workers overseas

The Consular Affairs Division of the Foreign Ministry organized a ceremony to handover letters of compensation of the deceased Sri Lankan workers abroad to their respective family members at the Ministry Premises in line with the International Domestic Workers Day as well as the International Day of Family Remittances held on 16 June, 2021.

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Sri Lanka’s Observations on the Resolution adopted in the EU Parliament

The Foreign Ministry regrets the adoption of a resolution on Sri Lanka in the European Parliament on 10 June 2021.  The resolution entitled “The Situation in Sri Lanka, in particular the arrests under the Prevention of Terrorism Act”, contains factual inaccuracies, and does not take cognizance of the multifaceted progress made by Sri Lanka in reconciliation and development.

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British Sri Lankans donate medical items to Sri Lankan hospitals

Dr Dinuka de Silva handed over 500 Non-rebreather masks for the use of Intermediate Covid-19 Treatment Centre at the Divisional Hospital Ittapana to High Commissioner Saroja Sirisena recently.
Many Associations of Sri Lankans in the UK as well as individual donors and well-wishers have also contributed to the Sri Lankan hospitals by providing medical equipment urgently required by health authorities in Sri Lanka. The High Commission, with the generous assistance of the national carrier SriLankan Airlines, already dispatched a several consignments of such medical items. The details of the donations are given below:

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Sri Lanka High Commission in London celebrates Vesak

The High Commission of Sri Lanka in London held annual Vesak celebrations from 26-30 May 2021 at the High Commission premises while observing the UK Government’s Covid-19 guidelines.

The celebrations began with a ceremony on 26 May 2021 with the attendance of the Maha Sangha, Members of Houses of Parliament, the diplomatic corps and members of British Sri Lankan community.

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