High Commission of Sri Lanka in India

Sri Lanka President attends the Founding Conference of the International Solar Alliance in New Delhi on 11th March 2018 PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Monday, 12 March 2018 13:01

At the invitation of the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi and the President of France Emmanuel Macron, President, Maithripala Sirisena was in New Delhi, on a two day visit to participate at the Founding Conference of the International Solar Alliance, which was held on 11th March 2018.  
Addressing the Plenary Session of the Founding Conference on 11th March 2018 at the Rashtrapathy Bhavan, President Maithripala Sirisena expressed confidence that the International Solar Alliance (ISA) would showcase the desire of its member countries to bring about solutions to create a greener, cleaner and a healthy environment for the people globally. He further noted that the deliberations of the Conference will navigate the joint efforts of the countries in the Alliance towards practical cooperation and expressed the hope that the rest of the global community will join the Alliance.
He highlighted several initiatives taken by Sri Lanka such as a national commitment to reduce 4 per cent of greenhouse gases without any conditions and 16 per cent of greenhouse gases by 2030, development of an ambitious target to establish the use of 100 per cent renewable power by 2050.  The programme “Suriya Bala Sangramaya”, (a Battle of Solar Power) aims to produce 1000 Mega Watt by 2025 targeting low Income families and the development of 1 Mega Watt to 10 Mega Watt capacity solar power plants to assist Small and Medium Level entrepreneurs.
President Sirisena met with the Indian President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan on 10th March. Welcoming the Sri Lankan President, President Kovind said that President Sirisena has played a stellar role in Sri Lanka's active re-engagement with the world and his leadership has been reassuring for India and the region and beyond. Commending the environment-friendly measures initiated by Sri Lanka, he appreciated the Sri Lankan President's vision on ensuring economic development with environmental sustainability and praised Sri Lanka's 'Surya Bala Sangramaya' initiative in the solar energy sector. He further said, India and Sri Lanka must promote greater progress in trade, commerce, connectivity and development cooperation. India shares Sri Lanka's emphasis on areas such as power, renewable energy, ocean resources, organic agricultural practices, port and airport facilities, he added. At the meeting President of Sri Lanka invited President Kovind to visit Sri Lanka at a mutually convenient date.  
President Sirisena also held bilateral talks with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. President Sirisena thanked the Indian Government for extending a Line of Credit o USD $ 100 million for major solar power expansion projects.  USD 50 million will be allocated for roof top solar power projects for low income families, while the second, USD $ 50  million is for the establishment of roof top solar power projects in hospitals, schools, technical colleges and other government establishments to promote solar power in the country.  
During the meeting, Prime Minister Modi recalled that during the past few years the relations between the two countries was further strengthened and it is important that the future relations focus on economic relations between the two countries.  Prime Minister Modi stated that he appreciated the long term vision of President Sirisena. The two leaders discussed the Progress of the on going economic projects.  
On the sidelines of the Conference on 11th March, the President also met with Erik Solheim who was one-time Norway’s Minister of International Development, and acted as the main facilitator of the peace process in Sri Lanka, who is presently the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme. During this meeting, issues relating to the environmental conservation, weather and climate change and marine pollution were discussed.  The President apprised Minister Solheim regarding the specially designed programmes and steps that have been implemented to control the use of plastic and explained that this has negatively impacted on the coastal marine belt in Sri Lanka and also on the excavation of soil for construction activities, which was also an issue.  He invited Mr. Solheim to introduce technological alternatives and proposals to mitigate this situation in Sri Lanka.
The International Solar Alliance initiative was launched at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris on 30 November 2015 by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Francois Hollande. 121 countries between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn qualify to be members of the International Solar Alliance. The Founding Conference in New Delhi was attended by over 23 Heads of State and Heads of Government from countries who have signed and ratified the Agreement together with more than 500 participants dignitaries from the United Nations, Multilateral Development Banks, global funds / financial institutions, energy-related institutions, corporate sector, and civil society.  The main objective of the International Solar Alliance is to enable better harnessing of solar energy as an alternative energy source, and to address the specific solar technology deployment needs, of solar resource rich countries.  
The Minister of Transport & Civil Aviation, Nimal Siripala De Silva, Secretary Foreign Affairs, Prasad Kariyawasam, High Commissioner for Sri Lanka in India, Chitranganee Wagiswara and Senior Officials of the High Commission attended the meetings with the President during the visit. 

Sri Lanka High Commission

New Delhi
12th March 2018 

Grandeur 70th Independence Commemorations in New Delhi, India PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Thursday, 08 February 2018 09:57

The High Commission of Sri Lanka in New Delhi organized two events to celebrate the 70th anniversary of independence.

The official ceremony in the morning of 04th February commenced with the hoisting of the national flag in the backdrop of the sound of the ceremonial drums (Magul Bera).  Following the rendering of the National Anthem in both Sinhala and Tamil, religious dignitaries representing all four religions in Sri Lanka – Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Christianity – blessed the country, the leaders and the people of Sri Lanka.

The rest of the programme included two minute silence observed in respect of the national heroes of Sri Lanka, followed by the reading messages of President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana. The High Commissioner lit the tradition oil lamp together with members representing all three communities and several prominent members of the Sri Lankan community in New Delhi.  

In her address the High Commissioner Chitranganee Wagiswara stated that in terms of a life span of a human being it’s a long period, but for a nation it is not so, but noted that it is an important milestone.  While speaking on the Sri Lanka’s bilateral relations, she said that India is the closest neighbour and India and Sri Lanka’s relations span a multitude of areas and that Sri Lanka has resources and capacity to move towards further progress and economic prosperity.  The need to live together as one family to create new Sri Lanka was also stressed.

At the end of the formal event two brief Sri Lankan dance items were performed by the “Olaboduwa dance troupe” from Sri Lanka adding colour to the event.  The invitees numbering around 120 Sri Lankan expatriates and students who are in New Delhi were hosted to a traditional Sri Lankan breakfast.  An alms giving was held prior to the official ceremony at the official residence for the Buddhist clergy, representing the major Sri Lankan Buddhist temples and Institutes in India.

On 06 February 2018, a Reception for around 800 guests was hosted for political dignitaries, Senior Government Officials of India, members of the diplomatic corp, eminent business leaders, other special invitees and members of the Sri Lankan community at the residence of the High Commissioner.  The Chief Guest at the event was Hon. Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Law and Justice and Electronics and Information Technology.  Welcoming the Chief Guest, the High Commissioner said that the leaders of the two countries have exchanged several visits and that such interactions have brought about a “new momentum” to the “special relationship”.  The Olaboduwa dance troupe from Sri Lanka presented a human lamp formation which was lit by the Chief Guest and the High Commissioner symbolizing the human ability to light the world to bring peace and prosperity.  The Olaboduwa dance Troupe also performed pooja dance, mask dance, folk and fire dances which mesmerized the audience.        

The High Commission arranged for the guests to savour Indian as well as Sri Lankan cuisine, which was laid out by the Sri Lankan Chefs from the Hotel Blue Waters, Wadduwa, and the Executive Chef Nihal Somasiri and his Assistants were specially flown in from Sri Lanka.  Dilmah Tea set up a special tea kiosk for the visitors to taste Sri Lanka tea.  

The National Day reception was supported by sponsors by Brandix Lanka, which is a leading apparel company in Sri Lanka and the largest Sri Lankan investment in India which is located in a land of 100 acres in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, IRCON International Limited, Rites Limited, Nestle India, Damro Limited, MFJ Group (Dilmah Tea), Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd., Hotel Blue Waters, Wadduwa, Sri Lankan Airlines and Sri Lanka Tourist Board.

High Commission of Sri Lanka

New Delhi
07 February 2018

Sri Lanka Tourism at the SATTE 2018 PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Friday, 02 February 2018 14:28

Sri Lanka was one of the Partner Nations to the 25th South Asia Travel & Tourism Exchange (SATTE), South Asia's leading travel trade show held in New Delhi from 31st January to 02nd February 2018. This event is India’s biggest and the South Asia’s largest Travel and Tourism Extravaganza. 

The Sri Lanka Pavilion at the Exhibition was inaugurated by High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in India Chitranganee Wagiswara together with the Managing Director of the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, Manager Sri Lankan Airlines in New Delhi and other officials and media. This year Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey and UAE were country partners of the SATTE. Fifty six Sri Lankan companies participated at the SATTE 2018 this year with the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau and Sri Lankan Airlines.  Some of the companies Aitken Spence Travel Ltd., Hilton Colombo, Jetwing Travels Pvt. Ltd. Riu Hotels & Resorts, Tangerine Tours (Pvt) Ltd., NKAR Travels & Tours (Pvt) Ltd., Cinnamon Resorts Sri Lanka, Pegasus Hotels of Ceylon PLC, Amaya resorts and Spas and Hayleys Tours. 

Displayed at the Sri Lanka Pavilion were pictures of tourist attractions, illustrating the beauty and the rich cultural heritage of Sri Lanka. Tourist brochures were available for the visitors and the Sri Lanka pavilion highlighted the many aspects of the great potential Sri Lanka has to be a major tourist destination in the world. A significant highlight this year was that the participants who visited the Sri Lankan pavilion were able to see a video on Sri Lanka as a “Wonder of Asia” in 3D facility.  

Ceylon tea was served to the visitors with a view to promote "Pure Ceylon Tea" in India. Bringing in a glimpse of Sri Lankan traditional dancing to the exhibition ‘Karunadasa Olaboduwa’ Dance Troupe performed traditional Sri Lankan dances at the tourism exhibition both at the inauguration and at the Sri Lanka pavilion at given times, during the three days. 

SATTE provides a comprehensive platform to domestic and international buyers and professionals from across the travel, tourism and hospitality industry along with National and State Tourism Boards (NTOs and STOs) to congregate and conduct business, arrive at solution-driven innovations to counteract economic uncertainties, and promote inbound, outbound and domestic tourism. This most favoured industry platform is also well-supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.

A pre-exhibition Media Conference was held on 30 January, which helped Sri Lanka to generate interest on the tourism industry in Sri Lanka.

High Commission of Sri Lanka

New Delhi 

02nd February 2018

Sri Lanka signs the Framework Agreement on the International Solar Alliance in New Delhi PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Thursday, 01 February 2018 12:35

The High Commissioner for Sri Lanka in India, Chitranganee Wagiswara signed the Framework Agreement of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) on 31st January 2018 at the Ministry of External Affairs of India in New Delhi. The signed documents were handed over to Mr. Nagaraj Naidu, Joint Secretary (Investments, Technology Promotion and Energy Security Division) of the Ministry of External Affairs of India.  Once the Agreement is ratified, Sri Lanka will become a founding member of the International Solar Alliance. 

With a view to spearheading the UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/36/193 in 1981 which underlined the need for cooperation among developing countries and mobilization of financial resources for new and renewable resources of energy and subsequent to the 2002 UN World Summit on Sustainable Development, many advocacy organisations were set up, primarily to disseminate knowledge on Renewable Energy, making it a priority area in the future agenda of all the countries. The Paris Declaration on the International Solar Alliance of 30th November 2015 stressed on the shared ambition to undertake joint efforts required to reduce the cost of finance and the cost of technology and to mobilize more than USD $ 1000 billion investments required by 2030 for massive deployment of solar energy and pave the way for future technologies as well.

In this context, the ISA was conceived as a coalition of solar resource rich countries to address their special energy needs and to provide a platform to collaborate on addressing and identifying issues through an agreed common approach. 

The ISA will provide solar resources rich countries, lying fully or partially between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, with an unprecedented opportunity to bring prosperity, energy security and sustainable development to the people. The objective of the ISA is to cooperate closely with its members and strive towards establishing mutual beneficial relationships with relevant organizations, public and private stakeholders, and with non-member countries.   

High Commission of Sri Lanka

New Delhi 

01st February 2018

Special Lecture delivered by the Executive Director of the LKIIRS PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Tuesday, 30 January 2018 13:54

A special lecture on the “Role of Sri Lanka in South Asia and Beyond: Emerging new Contours” was delivered by Dr. Dinusha Panditaratne, Executive Director, Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of Sri Lanka on 19 January 2018 at the Habitat Centre, New Delhi.  The special lecture was organized by the Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) in New Delhi.

At the inception the welcome remarks were made by Prof. Sachin Chaturvedi, Director General of the RIS and the session was chaired by Ashok Sajjanhar, former Indian Diplomat.

Dr. Panditharatne reflected on four emerging contours and Sri Lanka’s role in South Asia and beyond.  She identified contours as;

-    Sri Lanka in the centre of the Indian Ocean gaining a south asian geographic identity

-    In the past focusing on political diplomacy, but now more towards economic diplomacy

-    Strategically non-aligned, but cautious and actively engaging with regional powers

-    Seeking to demonstrate that Sri Lanka follows regional and international norms.

The presentation encapsulated the discernible shifts in these characteristics. She noted that these four developments in Sri Lanka’s foreign relations are nascent, but generally positive. Pursued in combination, these developments will elevate Sri Lanka’s standing, while strengthening its neighbourhood relations. The experiences of successful small states like Singapore, the Netherlands and New Zealand, are instructive for Sri Lanka in this regard. 

Dr. Panditaratne also noted in her lecture that, Sri Lanka is being rebranded in the present context in order to aspire to be major trading hub in Asia.  Furthermore, she noted that Sri Lanka has been able to bring its Free Trade Agreements (FTA) into force which in turn impacts positively to the rebranding process.  She stated that economic diplomacy is given priority, adherence to the rule of law and good governance gave a new face to the rebranding process.  Sri Lanka has also pursued non-alignment in the current context and non-alignment according to Sri Lanka’s national interest.  This has shaped the international norms within Sri Lanka’s foreign policy and framing a South Asian geographic identity.

At the end of the special lecture, H. E. Mrs. Chitranganee Wagiswara, High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in India made special remarks referring to current developments in which she highlighted that Sri Lanka has to face many challenges.  She emphasized that Sri Lanka is a resilient country and that Sri Lanka is developing the economy in order to play an important role as a hub in the region while pursuing political stability and promoting links with the international community. The High Commissioner referred to India’s neighbourhood policy and Sri Lanka – India linkages which contributes to closer engagement between the two countries.


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