AMBASSADOR-DESIGNATE OF SRI LANKA TO AUSTRIA SAROJA SIRISENA ASSUMES DUTIES

The Ambassador-designate of Sri Lanka to the Republic of Austria assumed duties at the Mission on 01 July 2019.

The Ambassador-designate assumed duties by lighting the traditional oil lamp. Religious observance and chanting of pirith was conducted by Venerable Seelawansa Thero of the Austrian Dhamma-Zentrum Nyanaponika.

Addressing the Staff, Ambassador-designate Saroja Sirisena emphasized the need to raise the profile of Sri Lanka in Austria towards increasing political and economic relations. She highlighted the need to engage actively to rebuild the tourism industry of Sri Lanka in collaboration with Austrian outbound travel industry.

Ambassador-designate Saroja Sirisena joined Sri Lanka Foreign Service in 1998 and served as Director General Economic Affairs, Director General Public Communication and Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs immediately prior to her appointment in Vienna.

From July 2014 to March 2018, Ambassador- designate Saroja Sirisena served as the Sri Lanka Consul General in Mumbai.

Her appointments in Colombo also include a secondment at the Ministry of Economic Development as Director General /External Resources as well as several key appointments in the Foreign Ministry including Director Consular Affairs, Director South Asia & SAARC, Deputy Director/Economic Affairs, Assistant Director /Economic Affairs.

In her Diplomatic career, Ambassador- designate Saroja Sirisena held diplomatic positions in several Sri Lanka Missions abroad. She served in the Sri Lanka Permanent Mission to the United Nations in Geneva as Minister, and in the Sri Lanka Embassy to Belgium, Luxemburg & European Union as Minister-Counsellor. She was the Acting Secretary General at Sri Lanka National Commission for UNESCO and served as First Secretary in the Sri Lanka Permanent Delegation to UNESCO.

Ambassador-designate Saroja Sirisena holds a Bachelor of Arts in political Science from the University of Melbourne, Australia and has completed post graduate studies at the École nationale d'administration in France. She is a pupil of Devi Balika Vidyalaya, Colombo.

MR. MAREK NEMEČ APPOINTED AS HONORARY CONSUL OF SRI LANKA IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC  

On 19 June 2019 the Chargé d' Affaires a.i of the Embassy and Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka handed over the Letter of Commission signed by the Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka constituting and appointing Mr. Marek Nemeč as the Honorary Consul of Sri Lanka in the Czech Republic, with full power and authority, by all lawful means to aid and protect the Nationals of Sri Lanka trading , visiting or residing in the Czech Republic.

FOREIGN MINISTER MARAPANA AND HUNGARIAN COUNTERPART PÉTER SZIJJÁRTÓ DISCUSS ROADMAP FOR VIABLE, RESULTS ORIENTED AND MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL SRI LANKA –HUNGARY BILATERAL PARTNERSHIP AS TWO COUNTRIES CELEBRATE SIXTY YEARS OF DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS THIS YEAR

Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana was in Budapest for bilateral discussions with the Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister of Hungary Péter Szijjártó last Friday. The visit, undertaken at the invitation of the Hungarian Foreign Minister Szijjártó, coincided with the sixtieth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and Hungary this year (since February 1959).

Underlining Sri Lanka’s keenness to deepen its bilateral engagement with the Eastern and Central European countries, Minister Marapana said that advancing cooperation with the Republic of Hungary across a broad policy range was central to this effort. Already, bilateral economic and financial cooperation was robust within the framework of the Sri Lanka-Hungary Joint Commission on Economic Cooperation and the ‘Agreement of Establishment of a Framework Programme for Financial Cooperation’ signed in December 2017.

The agreed areas of cooperation, following the first session of the Joint Commission in March 2019 includes agriculture and the food economy, SMEs development, water management and waste water treatment, education, science & technology, disaster management, wellness tourism and renewable energy. Tangible proposals for public-private partnerships have been identified under most of these areas. The two Ministers also reviewed the current status of four projects to be implemented under Hungary’s tied aid credit programme. These are the Bingiriya – Udubaddawa water supply project (Euros 53 million), construction of flyovers – Kohuwela and Gatambe (Euros 52 million), 148 railway level crossing protection (Euros 12 million) and electronic court management system (Euros 32 million). Rehabilitation of water treatment plants in Labugama (US $ 22.5 Mn) and Kalatuwawa (US $ 23.4 Mn), respectively, were implemented in 2017. Minister Marapana thanked the Government (HUF 11million) and people of Hungary (HUF 9 million) for the immediate humanitarian assistance of HUF 20 million (Euros 65,000) provided for the victims of the Easter Sunday attacks. He briefed Foreign Minister Szijjártó on the Government’s committed efforts to promote national reconciliation, good governance and inclusive economic development. He also highlighted the challenges Sri Lanka continued to face in this transformational journey. In response, Foreign Minister Szijjártó, while welcoming the positive developments in Sri Lanka, including in the aftermath of the Easter Sunday attacks, said that Hungary was mindful of the difficulties Sri Lanka faced in that journey and reaffirmed his Government’s full support for the country’s development programmes and outreach to the European Union and the international community.

During the visit, Minister Marapana met with Deputy Speaker Istvan Jakab of the Hungarian National Assembly in the context of the Hungary – Sri Lanka Friendship Group established in the Assembly in 2018. He also met with Dr. Andras Veres, Bishop of the Diocese of Szombathely to personally extend appreciation for coordinating the immediate funding assistance from Hungarian Catholic well-wishers for the affected in Sri Lanka. Minister Marapana led an interactive session with the CEOs of the Hungarian companies involved with the four development projects under the tied aid credit programme. A familiarization visit to the Bio Fungi agro food facility specialising in mushroom cultivation and value addition, was included in the bilateral segment of the visit. Setting up a pilot project in Sri Lanka was discussed with General Manager Arpad Mutsy.

Sri Lanka’s Charge d’ Affaires Irosha Cooray and Director General Dhammika Semasinghe of the Foreign Ministry were associated with the official visit and the discussions held.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Colombo

19 June 2019

This media release is also available in Sinhala and Tamil.

VESAK PROGRAMME AT THE EMBASSY AND PERMANENT MISSION OF SRI LANKA IN VIENNA

On the occasion of the Vesak 2019, the Embassy and Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka in Vienna organized a Vesak Programme. The Staff of the Embassy decorated the Embassy premises with Buddhist flags and colourful Vesak lanterns.

On 17 May 2019, a Dharma Sermon by Venerable Seelawansa Thero was organized at the Embassy premises and it was attended by the Sri Lankan Community in Austria. As per the Sri Lankan tradition, ‘Atavisi Buddha Pooja’ was offered with participation of Sri Lankan children in the Community. Addressing the gathering, the Chargé d' Affaires a.i. of the Mission highlighted the importance of the Lord Buddha’s philosophy to build inner peace within a person and for harmony in the society too. According to the Buddhist rituals, at the end of the Dharma Sermon, the victims from the recent attacks in Sri Lanka were remembered.

One-hour Dharma Sermon was followed by Prize Giving for those who won at the Art Competition held on 11 and 12 May 2019 at the Embassy and Permanent Mission under the theme of ‘Vesak Asiriya’. Nearly 30 participants including children and adults contested at the Art Competition and it was judged by a panel of experts. Chargé d' Affaires a.i. of the Mission and the Officials of the United Nations attended for the Prize Giving Ceremony. Awards were presented to winners and tokens of appreciation were presented all participants to the Vesak Art Competition. All drawings by the participants at the Vesak Art Competition were exhibited at the Corridors of the Chancery.

A ‘Danasala’ for the Sri Lankan Community in Austria was held on the same day at the Embassy.

Embassy and Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka
Vienna, Austria
22.05.2019

CULTURAL EVENING ON THE OCCASION OF THE SINHALA AND TAMIL NEW YEAR 2019 IN GRAZ, AUSTRIA

On 26 April 2019, Mrs. Irosha Cooray/ Chargé d' Affaires a.i. of the Sri Lanka Embassy and Permanent Mission in Vienna attended as the Chief Guest of the Cultural evening organized by Mrs. Edith Horning/ Sri Lanka Honorary Consul for Styria and Carinthia on the occasion of Sinhala and Tamil New Year 2019 with an objective of raising funds for children development aid in Sri Lanka. The Honorary Consuls based in Graz, Austria and dignitaries in Graz have been invited for the event.

During the event, one-minute silence was observed for the victims of the Easter Sunday attack in Sri Lanka. Mrs. Irosha Cooray in her speech outlined the importance of organizing an event to showcase Sri Lanka’s cultural identity to an international audience.

A colorful fashion show by artist and designer Ms. Sonali Dharmawardena was staged. Experimenting with new technologies and innovations in Sri Lanka’s fabric industry, adding more value and texture to the fabric created using traditional Sri Lankan batik methodology, Ms. Sonali presented internationally coveted creations exclusively in a colorful fashion show. The portrayed Sri Lankan batik fashion designs by the European Modelers was attracted by the audience.

The Girardi Quartett Graz and the De Lanerolle Brothers performed together for the first time and took the audience on a multicultural journey through musical entertainment.

Sri Lankan and Austrian culinary delights were served to the gathering. All proceedings of the event will be contributed in favor of ALOKA Children development aid in Sri Lanka.

Embassy and Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka
Vienna, Austria
02.05.2019

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