The 27th ASEAN Regional Forum was held on 12th September 2020 virtually. The State Minister for Regional Cooperation, Tharaka Balasuriya represented Sri Lanka at the Forum.
In his statement Minister Balasuriya commended the role of ARF as a proponent of peace, stability and prosperity in the region. Sri Lanka highlighting the values of constructive dialogue, consultation and cooperation by all member states in maintaining peace and security in the region, called for collective efforts by the ARF member states to address traditional and non-traditional security threats.
The Export Development Board (EDB) and the Foreign Ministry are working closely together to increase the country’s export revenue and mitigate the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the export industry. Sri Lanka’s export income which stood at US$ 277 Mn in April 2020 has increased to US$ 1,090 Mn in July 2020 and is projected to grow in the coming months. There are several joint initiatives taken by the EDB and the Foreign Ministry to enhance exports. This includes identifying new market opportunities, creating awareness by disseminating market alerts, addressing supply chain issues, enhancing capacity building through webinars, and creating business linkages to support existing exporters to sustain their exports.
As a gesture of goodwill to appreciate the service rendered by the iconic veterans of the British Army, a donation of Ceylon tea was made by Sri Lanka to the Royal Hospital Chelsea on 26 August 2020.
The Sri Lanka Tea Board and seven leading tea producers in Sri Lanka, namely, Vintage Teas Ceylon Ltd, Tea Trends Export Ltd (New English Teas), English Tea Shop, Dilmah Ceylon Tea, Mlesna Ceylon Ltd, Stassen International Pvt Ltd and Akbar Brothers contributed to this generous donation.
The High Commission of Sri Lanka in London celebrated Ganesh Chaturthi at Sri Vel Murugan Temple in Catford, Lewisham on Saturday, 22 August 2020.
Ganesh Chaturthi is an auspicious festival in the Hindu calendar which marks the birth of the Lord Ganesh.
The puja was conducted by the Head Priest of the temple, Sridhara kurukkal. He invoked blessings on the staff of the High Commission, the Government and the people of Sri Lanka, and on the whole world to be rid of obstacles created by the current COVID19 pandemic.
Sri Vel Murugan Temple was started 23 years ago on hired community halls conducting puja on every Friday, and it was formally established at the current location in 2014. The Temple is being regularly patronised by Sri Lankan and Indian devotees.
Please see the video link below to the interview on “GET REAL with Mahieash Johnney – Foreign Relations under President Gotabaya” featuring Foreign Secretary Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage, which was telecast on Derana 24 Channel on 20 August 2020.