Foreign Ministry expresses condolences on the demise of former Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera

Foreign Minister Prof. G.L.Peiris and the staff of the Foreign Ministry express their deepest condolences on the passing away of former Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera.

The late Minister Mangala Samaraweera served two terms as the Foreign Minister from 2005-2007 and 2015-2017.  He will be remembered for his commitment and dedication to duty, for the values he stood for and for his humane qualities. Sri Lanka has lost a leader who was deeply committed to the welfare and development of his country.

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Statement on situation in Afghanistan

The Government of Sri Lanka is deeply concerned about the situation in Afghanistan and is closely monitoring developments. Our primary concern is the safety and security of Sri Lankans living in Afghanistan and evacuating them to safety or back to Sri Lanka. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has requested the governments of USA, UK, India, Pakistan and the United Nations to assist in evacuating the Sri Lankans in Afghanistan, should they desire to do so. Foreign Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris has during meetings with relevant envoys requested their assistance to the Sri Lankans in Afghanistan. The Government of Sri Lanka is ready to provide whatever facilities needed for this purpose. Of the total number of Sri Lankans in Afghanistan numbering eighty six (86), so far forty six (46) have already been evacuated. As of today, twenty (20) Sri Lankans are expecting to return from Afghanistan and Foreign Ministry is making arrangements for their evacuation. Meanwhile, twenty (20) other Sri Lankans have expressed their willingness to stay back in Afghanistan.

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Invitation for Bids

Invitation for international bid proposals from reputed and experienced agencies for selection of a Destination Representation Company in the UK to facilitate PR and Communication activities of Global Communication Campaign 2021 – 2025

Tender Ref. No. SLTPB/GCC/2020/DA/005

The Chairman, Standing Cabinet Appointed Procurement Committee of Ministry of Tourism invites sealed bid proposals from reputed and experienced agencies for selection of a Destination Representation Company in the UK to facilitate PR and Communication activities of Global Communication Campaign 2021 – 2025, in coordination with Campaign Management Unit on behalf of Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB).

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Foreign Minister Prof. G.L Peiris assumes duties

The newly appointed Foreign Minister Prof. G.L Peiris assumed duties at the Ministry today (18 August, 2021) at a simple ceremony graced by outgoing Foreign Minister and the new Minister of Education Dinesh Gunawardena; State Minister of Regional Cooperation Tharaka Balasuriya; State Minister of Women and Child Development, Preschools & Primary Education, School Infrastructure & Education Services Piyal Nishantha De Silva;  Member of Parliament and General Secretary of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Sagara Kariyawasam; Foreign Secretary Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage and other officials. The Buddhist clergy led by the chief incumbent of the Bellanwila Rajamaha Viharaya Ven. Dr. Bellanwila Dhammaratana Nayaka Thero invoked blessings on the occasion.

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Sri Lanka, as a globally acclaimed leisure destination, takes the lead to revitalize the regional and domestic tourism industry through enhanced regional cooperation

The Foreign Ministry of Sri Lanka, jointly with the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, organized a virtual business to business (B2B) interactive session on 17 August, 2021, with the Member States of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) to enhance tourism cooperation. About 100 tourism industry experts representing the public and private sector from twenty-seven CICA Member States participated in the webinar. The discussions focused on the importance and benefits of international collective efforts and joint endeavors to build a more resilient and sustainable tourism sector in the post-pandemic era.

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The late Lakshman Kadirgamar was an excellent and exemplary leader

Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena stated that the late Lakshman Kadirgamar was a great Minister born in Sri Lanka and an excellent and exemplary leader. Minister Gunawardena made these observations after paying a floral tribute to the statue of the late Lakshman Kadirgamar at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Centre in Colombo on the occasion of his 16th death anniversary. State Minister of Regional Cooperation Tharaka Balasuriya, Parliamentarians Suren Raghavan, Yadamini Gunawardena, Secretary to the Foreign Ministry Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage, Mrs. Kadirgamar and a group of officials from the Foreign Ministry were also present at the event.

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Updated information on removal of suspension of inbound passenger arrivals to Sri Lanka and home quarantine for the Fully Vaccinated

The temporary suspension of inbound passenger arrivals to Sri Lanka which was in effect from 11.59 pm on 21 May 2021 to 11.59 pm on 31 May 2021 was removed with effect from 1 June 2021.

Approval to enter Sri Lanka

The following categories of persons will be permitted to enter Sri Lanka without prior approval of the Foreign Ministry and the Civil Aviation Authority:

  1. Sri Lankans (including Sri Lankan seafarers arriving by air)
    2. Dual Citizens who travel on Sri Lankan Passports
    3. Foreign spouses of Sri Lankans
    4. Unmarried children of Sri Lankans, who hold foreign nationality

Ex-Sri Lankans holding foreign passports (who do not hold dual citizenship) as well as dual citizens travelling on foreign pasports travelling to Sri Lanka for family visits/family emergencies etc and valid residence visa holders should continue to obtain prior approval of the Foreign Ministry/Civil Aviation Authority. Such persons should obtain Foreign Ministry/Civil Aviation Authority approval by sending a request to the Foreign Ministry in Colombo to the email address giving the following details:

  1. Name of the passenger
    2. Nationality and the passport number
    3. The country of departure
    4. Intended date of entry into Sri Lanka and the flight number, if available
    5. Purpose of the visit
Obtaining visas for Sri Lanka

Foreign passport holders should have prior visas to enter Sri Lanka as On-Arrival visas are not issued at present. As visas for Sri Lanka are issued only by the Department of Immigration and Emigration at present, all passengers  who need a visa for Sri Lanka should arrange a representative in Sri Lanka to apply for a visa/landing endorsement at the Visa Division of the Department of Immigration and Emigration of Sri Lanka at Battaramulla with the relevant documents (copy of the passport of the traveller and the approval received by email from the Foreign Ministry for traveling to Sri Lanka) to obtain a by paying the relevant visa fee.

Ex-Sri Lankans and foreign nationals visiting Sri Lanka for tourism

Ex-Sri Lankans holding foreign passports and foreign nationals who wish to travel to Sri Lanka for the purpose of tourism should follow the Tourist Travel Bio Bubble procedure of the Sri Lanka Toursim Promotion Bureau. The procedure, including how to obtain the approval for travelling and visa procedure is available on the website at the link

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Colombo Plan is a Source of Strength to Face Post- Pandemic Global Challenges – Foreign Minister

Addressing the inaugural session of the 47th Consultative Committee Meeting of The Colombo Plan on August 11, Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena said that The Colombo Plan’s work and experience in the areas of socio-economic development will be a source of strength as member countries grapple with the challenges of the post-pandemic world. As the global climate calls for even more focus on social and economic development, The Colombo Plan member states must build upon existing cooperation and explore new avenues for cooperation in a new and challenging global environment.

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