The President
of Sri Lanka
His Excellency Maithripala Sirisena

Prime Minister
of Sri Lanka
Hon. Ranil Wickramasinghe

Minister of Foreign Affairs
Hon. Tilak Marapana

Ravinatha Aryasinha
Secretary, Foreign Affairs

GRACE ASIRWATHAM
State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Tourism Video

Welcome to High Commission of Sri Lanka in Pakistan

On arrival visa facility for Pakistani National has been suspended until further notice. Please apply visa through High Commission or through online. However, on arrival facility still can be utilized by the Pakistani officials and diplomatic passports holders. The processing time is of two weeks. There are some other countries as well for which, on line arrival visa facility has been suspended. Please visit the Immigration Department website for further details.

Collection of Biometrics from Passport Applicants applying through Sri Lanka Diplomatic Missions

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Sri Lankan Delegation Meets Imran Khan

Sri Lankan Delegation Meets Imran Khan

Prime Minister Imran Khan today said that Pakistan deeply valued its close and friendly relations with Sri Lanka which had been nurtured over decades through a continuous interaction at bilateral, regional and international levels. 

PM office media wing in a press release said that Prime Minister was talking to a Sri Lankan delegation that called on him to gift eye corneas to visually impaired people in Pakistan.

The initiative was taken by the Sri Lankan High Commission in Islamabad, in collaboration with the Sri Lankan eye donation society. 

The Prime Minister while appreciating this gesture said that it was a great initiative to provide corneas on a humanitarian basis which would enable people to regain their eyesight. 

The Sri Lankan delegation thanked the prime minister for receiving them.

 

Sri Lanka High Commission Celebrates First-ever Poson festival in Pakistan

A Buddhist historical and religious event known as Poson or Poson Full-Moon Poya Day was observed in Taxila Museum on Saturday. This is the first-ever Poson Festival celebrated in Pakistan. The event was organized by the Sri Lanka High Commission in collaboration with Taxila Museaum. The event was well attended by men, women, and students who visited Taxila Museaum which showcases several hundreds of Buddhist Artifacts and statues.

With back to back rhymes of Poson devotional songs; free food, juices and Ceylon tea were provided as complementary to the visitors to mark the day which is observed to celebrate the arrival of Buddhism in Sri Lanka in the 3rd  century BC.

Sri Lankan High Commissioner Noordeen Mohamed Shaheid, who was the chief guest, told the participants that the day was a festival of great historical and religious significance celebrated in Sri Lanka every year and being observed for the first time in Pakistan. Many dignitaries who visited the stall (Dansala) requested the High Commission to continue with such events to promote Buddhist Religious and cultural practices in the future.

The High Commissioner further stated that the said Poson held on the full moon day of June commemorated the occasion over 2,000 years ago when Arahat Mahinda, son of Emperor Asoka of India, converted King Devanampiyatissa to Buddhism.

Sri Lanka High Commisson in Islamabad Hosts an Iftar

The High Commission, in the series of its activities in promoting religious harmony organized an “Iftar” (breaking fast) cum Dinner to the members of the staff and their families at the High Commission premises on 28 May, 2019.  Staff and family members of the High Commission around 40 attended the event.

The event was organized by a team of Home based staff led by Defence Advisor, Brigadier Hemantha Bandara and Mr. Sujeewa Elagoda, Attaché of the High Commisson under the guidance and supervision of the High Commissioner.  

The event that was attended by members of Muslim, Buddhist and Christian faith of the High Commission had a wonderful evening and appreciated the efforts of the High Commission.

  

STATE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS VASANTHA SENANAYAKE ASSUMES DUTIES

Media Releases | Wed, 29 May 2019

The newly appointed State Minister of Foreign Affairs Vasantha Senanayake assumed duties at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, today, 29 May 2019.

He was sworn in as the State Minister of Foreign Affairs this morning before President Maithripala Sirisena.

State Minister Senanayake was received by Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha, Additional Secretaries and other senior officials upon arrival at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Prior to assuming duties, the newly appointed State Minister of Foreign Affairs met with Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana at his office.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Colombo

29 May 2019

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විදේශ කටයුතු රාජ්‍ය අමාත්‍ය වසන්ත සේනානායක මහතා සිය ධුරයේ වැඩ භාර ගනියි

විදේශ කටයුතු රාජ්‍ය අමාත්‍ය ධුරයට අභිනවයෙන් පත් කරනු ලැබූ වසන්ත සේනානායක මහතා අද දින (2019 මැයි 29 වැනි දා) විදේශ කටයුතු අමාත්‍යාංශයේදී සිය ධුරයේ වැඩ භාර ගත්තේ ය.

විදේශ කටයුතු රාජ්‍ය අමාත්‍යවරයා ලෙස ඒ මහතා අද පෙරවරුවේ  ජනාධිපති මෛත්‍රීපාල සිරිසේන මහතා ඉදිරියේ දිවුරුම් දුන්නේ ය.

විදේශ කටයුතු අමාත්‍යාංශයේ ලේකම් රවිනාථ ආර්යසිංහ මහතා, අතිරේක ලේකම්වරුන් සහ ජ්‍යෙෂ්ඨ නිලධාරීන් විසින් අමාත්‍යාංශයට පැමිණි රාජ්‍ය අමාත්‍ය සේනානායක මහතා පිළි ගනු ලැබිණි.

සිය ධුරයේ වැඩ භාරගැනීමට පෙර, රාජ්‍ය අමාත්‍යවරයා විදේශ කටයුතු අමාත්‍ය තිලක් මාරපන මහතා ඒ මහතාගේ කාර්යාලයේදී හමු විය.

විදේශ කටයුතු අමාත්‍යාංශය
කොළඹ

2019 මැයි 29 වැනිදා

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வெளிநாட்டு அலுவல்கள் இராஜாங்க அமைச்சர் வசந்த சேனாநாயக்க தனதுகடமைகளை பொறுப்பேற்றார்

2019 மே 29ஆந் திகதியாகிய இன்று புதிதாக நியமனம் செய்யப்பட்ட வெளிநாட்டு அலுவல்கள் இராஜாங்க அமைச்சர் வசந்த சேனாநாயக்க அவர்கள் தனது கடமைகளை வெளிநாட்டு அலுவல்கள் அமைச்சில் பொறுப்பேற்றுக் கொண்டார்.

அவர் இன்று காலை ஜனாதிபதி மைத்திரிபால சிறிசேன அவர்களின் முன்னிலையில் வெளிநாட்டு அலுவல்கள் இராஜாங்க அமைச்சராக சத்தியப் பிரமானம் செய்துகொண்டார்.

வெளிநாட்டு அலுவல்கள் அமைச்சிற்கு வருகை தந்த போது, இராஜாங்க அமைச்சர் சேனாநாயக்க அவர்கள் வெளிநாட்டு செயலாளர் ரவிநாத ஆரியசிங்க, மேலதிக செயலாளர்கள் மற்றும் ஏனைய சிரேஷ்ட உத்தியோகத்தர்களினால் வரவேற்கப்பட்டார்.

கடமைகளை பொறுப்பேற்பதற்கு முன்னர், புதிதாக நியமனம் செய்யப்பட்ட வெளிநாட்டு அலுவல்கள் இராஜாங்க அமைச்சர் வெளிநாட்டு அலுவல்கள் அமைச்சர் திலக் மாரபன அவர்களை அவரது அலுவலகத்தில் சந்தித்தார்.

வெளிநாட்டு அலுவல்கள் அமைச்சு

கொழும்பு

 

29 மே 2019

“The significance of Gandhara in Buddhism”

In collaboration With the High Commission of Sri Lanka in Islamabad, Center for Culture and Development (C2D), and International Council of Museums (ICOM)-Pakistan, arranged a lecture “The significance of Gandhara in Buddhism” on 23rd May, 2019 at the High Commission premises.

The Lecture was conducted by Rev. Dr. Sumana Siri D,Th(Oxford),D.Hom(Med.) (U.K.),D.H.M.,N.M.D,(USA),FBIH(U.K.),B.A(Hons)(Sri Lanka)(focused in Applied Theology, Homoeopathy, Naturopathy, Buddhist & Western Philosophy, Languages from University of Oxford,University of London, Hahnemann Medical College, British Institute of Homoeopathy.). and he was invited by H.E. Mr.Noordeen Mohamed Shaheid, The High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to Pakistan, H.E. was also participated at the event.

 

 

FAKE NEWS ITEM PUBLISHED IN “THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE” OF PAKISTAN

Media Releases , Mission News | Thu, 23 May 2019

 The news item titled “Pakistan’s trade with Sri Lanka Comes to a halt” which appeared in The Express Tribune of Pakistan on 20 May 2019 is fake news.

Having seen the said disturbing News Item, which is absolutely untrue and incorrect, the High Commission made an attempt to ascertain it’s veracity from the newspaper concerned and the Office of the Consul General of Sri Lanka in Karachi, which mainly deals with corporate and commercial matters. The Consulate, thereupon made inquiries swiftly and informed the High commission that it contacted the person who was purported to have given a statement to the said newspaper. Mr. Aslam Pakhali, to whom the statement in the said news item was attributed had been contacted by the Consulate and it transpired that Mr. Pakhali had not made such statement or provided any such information to the newspaper as reported. Further, he confirmed that he had neither met the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka nor did he lead a delegation as was reported.

The High Commissioner thereupon wrote to the editor of The Express Tribune and expressed his dismay and dissatisfaction over the fake news and demanded a correction thereof.

The High Commission emphatically states that no person by the name of Aslam Pakhali referred to in the said news item, met the High Commissioner or the Consulate General as reported. The said fake news item has been published without proper verification of the facts contained therein.

 

High Commission of Sri Lanka
Islamabad
22 May 2019

 

 

 Vesak Day celebrated at Taxila’s Dharmarajika Stupa

May 21, 2019

Participants perform rituals at the 3rd century BC Dharmarajika Stupa near Taxila in connection with Vesak Day. — Dawn

TAXILA: Vesak Day, a Buddhist religious occasion that marks the birth, enlightenment and passing of Buddha, was celebrated at the Dharmarajika Stupa near Taxila on Monday.

The day is observed by Buddhists around the world, and is also known as Buddha Purnima and Buddha Day.

It is traditionally celebrated on different days in various Buddhist countries and other parts of the world.

According to Buddhists, 2019 marks the 2,563rd year of Lord Buddha’s attainment of enlightenment.Monday’s event was organised by the Centre for Culture and Development (C2D), with Sri Lankan High Commissioner Noordeen Mohamed Shaheid invited as the chief guest and Chief Monk of Singapore Rev Dato Sumana Siri presiding over the rituals.

A large number of Buddhists, Christians, Hindus and Muslims participated.

Addressing guests, Korean scholar Dr Park Kyo Soon said Pakistan is the custodian of the Gandhara civilisation. She said it is a moral responsibility to work individually and collectively to preserve and promote the civilisation and its sites of religious significance.

Dr Soon said Pakistan and Taxila specifically could be made a hub for Buddhist tourism. Rajkumari Trivani, the daughter of Raja Tridev Roy, said that Buddha spread a message of peace, love and tolerance, which there is dire need for in today’s world. She said such events can held spread such a message across the world, adding that it was time to join hands for a Gandhara renaissance and restore past glory.

Syed Zulfikar Bukhari, special assistant to the prime minister on overseas Pakistanis, also attended the ceremony.

He said that according to the vision of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, everyone can practice their religions freely. He said religious minorities enjoy religious freedom and Prime Minister Imran Khan is a strong proponent of making Pakistan a welfare state on the pattern of the state of Madina.

Mr Bukhari, who is also the chairman of National Tourism Coordination, praised the initiative of organising a Vesak celebration and urged Buddhists to visit Pakistan and help the government preserve their heritage as well as give proposals regarding religious tourism and religious festivals.

He said the government would fully support every stakeholder in the commemoration of minorities’ religious events.

Speaking to the press later at the Taxila Museum rest house, Mr Bukhari said the government is planning to develop a Buddhist trail by exploring various religious sites from Taxila to Swabi.

He said the government would launch an aggressive tourism initiative with a particular focus on religious tourism.

“Pakistan is uniquely placed for tourism, as people from diverse religious backgrounds including Buddhists, Hindus and Sikhs have their holy places in Pakistan. Pakistan also has some of the most beautiful landscapes, mountain peaks, meadows and lakes in the world,” he said.

In response to a question, he said encroachments on national heritage sites would not be tolerated, and no one would be allowed to utilise the land of ancient sites for personal use.

He said religious tourism was neglected by previous governments, and its potential has gone untapped for decades.

The government will make strategies to promote the sacred sites of religions such as Sikhism and Hinduism, and efforts will be made to provide facilities that attract followers from within the country and abroad, he said, adding that this would also project a soft, pluralistic image of Pakistan internationally.

Published in Dawn, May 21st, 2019

 

 

May 21, 2019

All out efforts to be made to tap religious tourism potential: Bukhari

Pakistan is blessed with sacred places of major religions of the World and by promoting and facilitating religious Tourism, foreign tourist influx could be increased.

This was stated by Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resources, Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari while addressing the participants of Vesak Festival at Taxila on Monday.

The Vesak Day ceremony was organized by Centre for Culture and Development in collaboration with Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) at Dharmarajika Stupa at Taxila.

He said that remains of Gandhara Civilization in Taxila and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, are the most sacred for the Buddhist community. However, it has not been properly taken care of, developed and projected internationally to attract religious tourists.

He said that Prime Minister’s vision is to promote tolerance, bring inter-faith harmony and facilitate community of all religions to practice their rituals with comfort. Kartarpur is a positive step toward facilitating Sikh community, he said.

The government led by visionary PM Imran Khan has a special focus on developing Pakistan’s Tourism and every effort would be made to tap the religious tourism potential.

The Managing Director PTDC Syed Intikhab Alam on the occasion said that PTDC would facilitate the tourists visiting the sacred places and would work with provincial governments to upgrade the facilities.

He said that PTDC would soon launch a publicity campaign to promote and develop tourism to contribute towards economic development through generation of income, employment and foreign exchange.

Chief Buddhist Monk of Singapore Rev. Dato Dr Sumana Siri paid special homage at the shrine of Dharmarajika Stupa, Taxila, alongwith the Ambassador of Sri Lanka. The people of various faiths including Buddhist, Christian and Muslims fully participated in the ceremony to show solidarity with Buddhist friends.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2019

 

Vesak Celebration program 2019Vesak Celebration program 2019
The High Commissioner , H.E. Noordeen Mohamed Shahied and the staff of the High Commission of Sri Lanka in Islamabad, Pakistan, organised a Vesak Celebration program 2019, at the International Buddhist Center in Islamabad, on Saturday 18th May, with the support and the participation of the Diplomatic Corps in islamabad.
At the invitation of the High Commission of Sri Lanka in Islamabad, Venerable Dr. Sumana Siri Thero attended the occasion and conducted the religious ceremony, including the Buddha Pooja and Dhamma sermon.
 The Ambassadors of Myanmar, Nepal, Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, The High Commissioner of India, Malaysia, also graced this event. 
The Buddhist Center was decorated with colorful Vesak lanterns, Buddhist flags and organized a refreshments to the participants by the staff of the High Commission with the other Embassies.

 

     

Global tourism boss calls on world community to visit Sri Lanka as unwavering support

Thursday, 16 May 2019

                                                                   

                                                                 UNWTO Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili

The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili has called on the global community to offer its unwavering support to Sri Lanka through Tourism at this critical moment noting that hotels, beaches and other sites of interests are open as usual.

In a video message published at Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority Official Facebook page, the UNWTO boss states the following:

“I have had the privilege of seeing Sri Lanka emerge as one of the world´s great tourism success stories, the country offers a warm welcome to visitors from all over the world, regardless of nationality or creed.

In return, tourism has provided many Sri Lankans with secure jobs, helping whole communities grow and develop. Tourism has also been a major factor in the past decade of national reconciliation, and contributed to bringing the people of Sri Lanka closer together.

“Sri Lanka´s tourism sector is a beacon of hope and unity. That´s why those who seek to divide us, target hotels and other places where people come together. I offer my sincere condolences to those affected by the recent attacks, especially the families of the many victims.

“I also call on the global community to offer its unwavering support to Sri Lanka at this critical moment. The country´s hotels, beaches and sites of interest are open as usual and ready to welcome you and by continuing to offer our support through tourism, we can help Sri Lanka recover and continue on its path towards peace and prosperity.”

UNWTO has also extended its immediate support for the recovery of the tourism industry in Sri Lanka, and a series of discussions have taken place between UNWTO Asia and the Pacific top officials and the Sri Lanka Tourism Communications Team at the UNWTO Headquarters in Madrid, Spain, following the Easter Sunday Attacks, a communiqué of SLTDA stated.

 

Ban on Three Islamic Terrorist Organizations (NTJ, JMI & WAS) Gazetted

Proscription on National Thowheed Jama’ath (NTJ), Jama ‘athe Milla’ athe Ibrahim (JMI) and Willayath As Seylani (WAS) under the Public Security Ordinance (Chapter 40) has been gazetted on Monday (13 May 2019) through Extraordinary Gazette of Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka No 2123/2

The proscription has been imposed by virtue of the powers vested in HE the President by regulation 75 (1) of the Emergency Regulations No 1 of 2019 made under Section 5 of the Public Security Ordinance.

Accordingly, anyone associated with those proscribed organizations or proving leadership to or joining or wearing/displaying/hoisting or possessing uniforms, dresses, symbols, flags, emblems or organizing any activity or receiving membership or procuring material or contributing money or material to or engaging in any transaction or propagating their literature or encouraging anyone for membership or assembling for the same purpose is liable for prosecution. Likewise, movable or immovable property or any assets or finances owned by those organizations are liable to be confiscated under the provisions of the Prevention of Terrorism Act.

Sri Lanka hosts social media influencers to boost battered tourism

Social media influencers team with Tourism Development, Wildlife and Christian Religious Affairs Minister John Amaratunga

Social media influencers team with Sri Lanka Tourism Chief Kishu Gomes

 

The Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) said it is hosting a group of famed international social media influences, who arrived in the country on May 7, to promote the country’s battered tourism sector by the Easter Sunday attacks. 

“Their intention is to continue to promote Sri Lanka as a key destination for the global travel community, particularly in markets like the USA, UK, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, Australia, India, France and Ukraine,” the SLTPB said. 

The SLTPB said “a steady stream of tourists who are trickling in” shows renewed confidence in the country’s security situation assured by the tri-forces and political leadership. 

The group will be in Sri Lanka till May 19 travelling to various parts of the country. 

The influencers and writers will tour Jaffna, Dambulla, Kandy and Nuwara Eliya before arriving in Colombo and departing thereafter. The itinerary has been meticulously planned and mapped out so that lesser known attractions of the country are featured.

The group includes Diana Bancale from Italy, Ayumi Amemiya from Japan, Steven Yalowitz, Pema Chinyam and Jerre Stead from the USA and Kateryna Birska and Glib Pyatin from Ukraine. 

The SLTPB estimates that the total reach would amass over 1,600,000, as each of them is expected to post daily updates, photographs, posts and articles in multiple platforms such as popular networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest and Instagram. 

 




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