On 10 July 2019, Ambassador Saroja Sirisena presented Letters of Credence to His Excellency Dr Alexander Van der Bellen, Federal President of the Republic of Austria, at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna accrediting her as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Sri Lanka to Austria.
The ceremony entailed the presentation of credentials, followed by a Guard of Honour and the playing of the national anthem of Sri Lanka followed by that of Austria in the courtyard of the Hofburg Palace. The Ambassador was accompanied by Mrs Irosha Cooray, Counsellor and Ms Asanka Weerasingha, Attaché of the Embassy.
Ambassador Saroja Sirisena conveyed greetings of HE Maithripala Sirisena, President of Sri Lanka, recalling his visit to Austria in 2016. President Van de Bellen reciprocated his greetings to the President of Sri Lanka and recalled his visit to Sri Lanka as a tourist. He commended Sri Lanka’s position as a global destination for tourists including amongst Austrians. Discussions focussed on enhancing the profile of Austro-Lanka bilateral relations. It was welcomed that bilateral trade has witnessed an upward trend which lays a foundation for Austrian business and industry to view Sri Lanka as a gateway to the Asian region considering its market access, geo strategic location, logistics and infrastructure. The Austrian President was briefed on the importance of global efforts for enhancing security and the strengthening of legal frameworks to fight terrorism.
Following the conclusion of the ceremony a reception was held at the Embassy for officials of the Federal Ministry of Europe, Integration & Foreign Affairs and the Embassy staff.
Saroja Sirisena joined Sri Lanka Foreign Service in 1998 and served as Director General Economic Affairs, Director General Public Diplomacy and the Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs immediately prior to her appointment in Vienna.
In her diplomatic career, she served as the Consul General of Sri Lanka in Mumbai from 2014-2018 and held positions at Sri Lanka’s Missions in Geneva, Brussels and Paris
Her appointments in Colombo include a secondment at the Ministry of Economic Development as Director General/External Relations as well as in Economic Affairs, South Asia and Consular Divisions of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Ambassador Saroja Sirisena is a graduate of the University of Melbourne, Australia and has completed post graduate studies at the École Nationale d'Administration in France. She is a past pupil of Devi Balika Vidyalaya, Colombo.
Embassy and Permanent Mission of Austria
11 July 2019