Sri Lanka promotes Ceylon Tea in Austria

The Embassy organized a Tea Promotion event on 11 August 2020 at the Embassy premises. The event was attended by Mr. Stephan Kroemer, Managing Director of Teegarten and President of the Austrian Tea Institute, Mr. Hornig, Chief Executive Officer of J. Hornig GmbH and the Embassy staff.  

Tea from the seven regions of Sri Lanka namely Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Uda Pussallawa, Uva, Sabaragamuwa, Dimbulla and Ruhuna with distinctively unique characteristics was arranged for tasting and delicately fragrant Nuwara Eliya Tea and exotically aromatic Uva Tea entertained the palates of the participants.

Austria’s appetite for flavoured and infused Ceylon Tea is on the rise and future cooperation with the Austrian Tea Institute and market players namely Teegarten and J. Hornig GmbH would help Sri Lanka to place its high quality products in the Austrian market. Austria consumes approximately 2 million kg of Tea annually. Sri Lanka remains the third largest Tea exporter to Austria while China and India remain ahead.


Embassy and Permanent Mission

Vienna, Austria


17 August 2020


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Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena assumes duties

Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena assumed duties at the Foreign Ministry on Monday 17 August 2020.

Minister Gunawardena was received by Foreign Secretary Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage and other senior officials upon his arrival at the Ministry. Following multi-religious observances, the Minister officially assumed duties.

Later, addressing the staff, the Foreign Minister remarked that the Government is ready to rise up to the new challenges with the mandate given by the people of Sri Lanka. The Minister stressed that with a strong government in office and its non-aligned and friendly foreign policy, it is envisioned to bring about a number of key changes beneficial to the country. He also called upon the Sri Lankans overseas to join hands with the government in this endeavour.

Outlining the Government’s efforts to address issues arising in the post-Covid-19 era, the Minister highlighted that Sri Lanka is geared to achieve its economic goals within the upcoming years. In this context, the Minister stated that the Department of Commerce has also been brought under the purview of the Foreign Ministry with a view to enhancing the exports, investments and entrepreneurship of Sri Lankans.

Welcoming the Minister, Foreign Secretary Admiral Prof. Colombage highlighted the successful role played by the Foreign Ministry towards curbing and containing the spread of Covid-19 in Sri Lanka. Speaking on the three pillars of the President’s vision: National Security, Economic Development and Foreign Relations, Secretary Colombage expressed confidence that the newly appointed Foreign Minister’s vision will definitely contribute to positively projecting Sri Lanka, internationally.

The Minister pledged his fullest support to strengthen the role played by the Foreign Service and the Foreign Ministry and thereby to fulfil the foreign policy objectives of the newly appointed government.


Foreign Ministry


17 August 2020


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New Foreign Secretary Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage assumes duties

Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage (PhD) assumed duties as the Secretary to the Foreign Ministry today (14 August) following the appointment to the position by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

The new Foreign Secretary Admiral Colombage was warmly received by the senior officials of the Foreign Ministry this morning, upon arrival at the Ministry.

Admiral Colombage was previously Additional Secretary to H.E the President for Foreign Relations since December 2019. In addition, he is presently serving as the Director General of the Institute of National Security Studies Sri Lanka.

Admiral Colombage has served the Sri Lanka Navy for a period of 36 years and retired as the Commander of the Navy on 01 July 2014. He is the 18th Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy and was decorated for gallantry and commended for exceptional service to the Navy.

Upon retirement from the Navy, Admiral Colombage served as the Director for Indo-Sri Lanka Initiatives and Law of the Sea Centers at the Pathfinder Foundation, which is a premier think-tank and research centre, based in Colombo. He has represented the Pathfinder Foundation and Sri Lanka in many bi-lateral, regional and international fora, presenting papers, participating in panel discussions and chairing sessions on international politics, strategic  and maritime security related fields.

Admiral Colombage has been a guest lecturer in universities and training institutes  in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, China, India, Japan and Pakistan. He has also been an editor and reviewer of a number of internationally renowned academic journals.

Foreign Secretary Admiral Colombage holds  a PhD from General Sir John Kotalawela University, Master of Science  in Defence and Strategic Studies from Madras University and Master of Arts in International Studies from Kings College, London.  His PhD thesis “Asymmetric Warfare at Sea;  the case of Sri Lanka” has been published by Lambert Academic Publishing in Germany.  He is also a fellow of Nautical Institute of London.

Foreign Ministry

14 August 2020


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Hon. Mahinda Rajapaksa sworn in as the 13th Prime Minister of Sri Lanka


The leader of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Mahinda Rajapaksa was sworn in as the 13th Prime Minister of Sri Lanka before President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.


The swearing in ceremony took place at the historic Kelani Raja Maha Viharaya this morning (9).


Elected to the post for the fourth time, Mr. Rajapaksa served two terms as the Executive President of the country from 2005 to 2015.


Completing five decades in active politics, Mr. Rajapaksa entered the Parliament in 1970 and he played a pivotal role as a Cabinet Minister during 1995-2004 period.


First elected as the Prime Minister in 2004, Mr. Rajapaksa was sworn in as the Prime Minister for the second time on October 26, 2018. The third time he was sworn in as the Prime Minister was on November 21, 2019.


During his 10-year tenure as the Executive President Mr. Rajapaksa was able to eradicate the 3-decade old terrorism from the country and to accelerate country’s economic development.


Contesting from Kurunegala district in the recently concluded Parliamentary Election Mr. Rajapaksa received a record-breaking 527,364 Preferential Votes, the highest number of votes a candidate ever received.


Mr. Rajapaksa will go down in history as the first ever Sri Lankan to become Prime Minister for four times after serving two terms as the Executive President.


Maha Sangha chanted Seth Pirith and invoked blessings on the new Premier.


Later, the President and Prime Minister engaged in religious observances at the Viharaya.


At the conclusion of the ceremony both President and Prime Minister greeted the public gathered at the venue.


Maha Sangha and other religious leaders, Governors, Secretary to the President, members of the diplomatic corps, newly elected members of Parliament of SLPP and other Parliamentarians who extend their support to the new government and family members were also present on the occasion.


8 August 2020


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