It has been the practice of the Buddhist in our country since ancient times to remember, with utmost devotion the arrival of Arahat Mahinda Thero in the Island carrying the message of the Buddha, by observance of religious rituals. Such devoted remembrance is due to the fact that the arrival of Arahat Mahinda resulted in a significant transformation of religious, cultural, social and political civilization of Sri Lanka.
As a gesture of goodwill to support and appreciate the contribution being made by the National Health Service (NHS) UK which is at the frontline saving lives during the Covid-19 pandemic, a donation of Ceylon tea and disposable gloves to the staff of the NHS UK was made by Sri Lanka to coincide with the International Tea Day.
The Sri Lanka Tea Board and six leading tea producers in Sri Lanka, namely, Vintage Teas Ceylon Ltd, English Tea Shop, Tea Trends Export Ltd, Dilmah Ceylon Tea, Mlesna Ceylon Ltd, Stassen International Pvt Ltd, and manufacturer of disposal gloves Dipped Products Ltd of the Hayleys Group contributed to this generous donation.
Foreign Secretary appeals to OSLs to rethink plans to be repatriated unless in compelling circumstances
Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha has called on migrant workers as well as students and parents, to carefully calibrate the effect repatriation at this time could have on their jobs and education, before making decisions to seek to return to Sri Lanka, availing of the limited flights being operated by the Government for those facing compelling circumstances. He made this observation yesterday (16 May 2020) in an appearance on the ‘News at 9’ on Sri Lanka Rupavahini, where he noted that over 38,000 Sri Lankans are seeking to be repatriated, of that nearly 28,000 migrant workers. The comments made by the Secretary are below;
Priority right now of the Government following the Cabinet Paper presented by my Minister Dinesh Gunawardena two weeks ago, is to bring back the migrant worker category which needs to come, but more so in some cases have to come. Because they have gone out of status and are illegal, they also as a result of being illegal do not have access to the health facilities and anything else in those countries. There are many who have been thrown out of jobs. They are pretty much destitute. Thereafter we can consider those who want to come, but who have jobs and who simply want to come on holiday to avoid any Corona vulnerability. » Read more
The attention of the Ministry is drawn to a quiz titled “Travel quiz: do you know your islands, Man Friday?” published on the web edition of The Guardian newspaper in the United Kingdom on Friday, 15 May 2020. The second question reads -‘Eelam is an indigenous name for which popular holiday island?’
Among the answers to this question, Sri Lanka has been listed as one of the choices and when one selects Sri Lanka as the answer, whilst indicating it as the correct answer, a further description ‘the full name of the island’s recent military insurgency was LTTE – Liberation Tigers for Tamil Eelam’ appears.
The High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in the United Kingdom wrote to the Editor of the Guardian newspaper on the inaccuracy of this information requesting that the content be removed.
Ministry of Foreign Relations
16 May 2020
The Ministry of Foreign Relations handed over Rs. 27.7 million to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Thursday (May 14th), raised through the network of Sri Lanka Missions overseas, to support COVID-19 Health Care and Social Security Fund.
Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha handed over the cheque to the President, in the presence of the Minister of Foreign Relations Dinesh Gunawardena at the Presidential Secretariat.
High Commission of Sri Lanka in London, in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Relations, the Presidential Secretariat and SriLankan Airlines repatriated the first group of Sri Lankan students in the UK who had registered with the High Commission expressing their desire to return to Sri Lanka in the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic on 03 May 2020 by flight UL 504.
Repatriation of OSLs constrained by limited availability of quarantine facilities -Sri Lanka engaged with Kuwait to secure an extension of amnesty deadline
Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha has said, so far repatriations have been carried out by the GOSL identifying the most vulnerable categories of Overseas Sri Lankans (OSLs), in the face of the limited availability of quarantine facilities in the country, as Sri Lanka continues to seek to gain control over the spread of COVID 19 in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka Missions abroad seek to re-position Sri Lanka’s exports to meet market conditions resulting from the COVID-19 crisis
Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha has observed that even as the Foreign Ministry was preoccupied with endeavouring to mitigate a multitude of problems faced by Overseas Sri Lankans, it was in parallel also seeking to re-position Sri Lanka’s exports in the context of market conditions that have arisen as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. He said if this was successful, Sri Lanka would emerge one step ahead in the global supply chain, in a post COVID-19 world.