Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena meets EU Ambassadors in Colombo

Media Release

Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena meets EU Ambassadors in Colombo

Ambassadors of the European Union (EU) based in Colombo called on Foreign Minister Dinesh
Gunawardena on Tuesday 18 May 2021 at the Foreign Ministry, and discussed issues of mutual
interest, including EU-Sri Lanka cooperation, and the GSP Plus process.

The Foreign Minister welcomed the multifaceted cooperation existing between Sri Lanka and the
EU. Follow up action on the EU - Sri Lanka Joint Commission Meeting held on 25 January 2021
was also discussed.

Among other issues discussed was the EU’s contribution towards the COVAX facility supporting
global efforts to secure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines by countries, including Sri Lanka,
in the context of the national action plan to inoculate its adult population against the virus.

The Ambassador of the Delegation of the European Union to Sri Lanka Denis Chaibi, the
Ambassador of France Eric Lavertu, the Ambassador of Italy Rita Mannella, the Ambassador of
the Netherlands Tanja Gonggrip, the Ambassador of Germany Holger Seubert, and the Chargé
d’Affaires of Romania Victor Chiujdea participated in the meeting. The State Minister of Regional
Cooperation Tharaka Balasuriya, Foreign Secretary Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage and senior
officials of the Foreign Ministry were also present.

Foreign Ministry

19 May 2021

State Ministry of Regional Cooperation launches Creative Economy Programme

Media Release: State Ministry of Regional Cooperation launches Creative Economy Programme

The State Ministry of Regional Co-operation has launched a “Creative Economy Programme” with
the view towards contributing to the country’s economy and promoting Sri Lanka’s cultural heritage.
The ‘creative economy’ is a rapidly expanding segment of the global economy and has made a crucial
contribution towards generating employment, income and exports. Based on creativity, it encompasses
all artistic, innovative and cultural products and services. It is also conducive to sustainable

Recognizing the contribution that regional cooperation could make towards developing the creative
economy in Sri Lanka, State Minister of Regional Cooperation Tharaka Balasuriya launched two
inaugural initiatives under the “Creative Economy Programme” with Indonesia. The initiatives focus
on the development of the batik industry in Sri Lanka and the promotion of the country’s unique
architectural heritage.

The project to enhance Sri Lankan batiks has been launched in collaboration with the State Ministry
of Batik, Fabric and Local Apparel Products, the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Indonesia, the private sector
batik manufacturers and SMESCO of the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperatives
of Indonesia. The objective of this initiative is to obtain Indonesian expertise to introduce new
techniques to improve and develop the industry and to promote Sri Lanka’s batik products abroad.
This initiative will also serve to generate employment, particularly to rural women and contribute to
the export sector.

The second initiative seeks to promote Sri Lanka’s architectural heritage abroad. In this regard, a tour
by some of Indonesia’s most prominent architects is planned to study the country’s architecture,
including the renowned works of Geoffrey Bawa and his “tropical modernism” style. This initiative,
while enhancing cultural cooperation, also seeks to build linkages between the architecture fraternities
of the two countries and promote tourism.

Virtual discussions were held last week between Sri Lanka and Indonesia on these two initiatives.
CEO of SMESCO Indonesia Leonard Theosobrata, as well as leading Indonesian architects
participated at the event. State Minister of Regional Cooperation Tharaka Balasuriya, Ambassador of
Sri Lanka to Indonesia Yasoja Gunasekera, Director General of the State Ministry of Regional
Cooperation Savitri Panabokke and representatives from the batik and architecture fields were among
those who participated at the meeting.

State Ministry of Regional Cooperation

18 May, 2021


Sri Lanka opposes Bill 104 of Ontario Legislative Assembly

Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena met with the Canadian High Commissioner David
McKinnon at the Foreign Ministry today (10/05). The Minister conveyed the Government’s deep
concerns on the passing of Private Member Bill 104 on ‘Tamil Genocide Education Week’ by the
Ontario Legislative Assembly on 06 May 2021. The Minister explained that the Ontario
Legislative Assembly makes a finding that ‘genocide’ has taken place in Sri Lanka contradicting
the official position of the Government of Canada which had confirmed that it has not made a
finding that there was a genocide in Sri Lanka. He sought immediate intervention of the Canadian
government to stop Royal Assent by Hon. Lt. Governor of Ontario to the said Bill.

Joining the meeting, Foreign Secretary Admiral (Prof.) Jayanath Colombage elaborated on the
potential harm the Bill 104 could cause to the reconciliation process, peace building and the
bilateral relations at large.

The Foreign Minister, while thanking the Canadian Government for the continuous support
extended to Sri Lanka on multiple fronts, also discussed with the High Commissioner on a wide
range of bilateral issues.

Foreign Ministry

10 May 2021


Media Statement: Sri Lanka concerned over escalating violence between Palestine and Israel

Media Statement

Sri Lanka concerned over escalating violence between Palestine and Israel

Sri Lanka remains deeply concerned over escalating violence between Palestine and

The Foreign Minister has already conveyed to the Ambassador of Palestine to Sri
Lanka three days ago Sri Lanka’s deep concern over the situation and the interest to
protect the rights and the lives of the people of Palestine.

Sri Lanka urges all parties to cease conflict and restore peace and to take steps to
avoid any risk of a threat of instability to the wider region likely to arise from
ongoing developments.

Foreign Ministry

17 May 2021

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