Deputy High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in Chennai hosts a dinner for Heads of the Mission in Chennai

Dr. D. Venkateshwaran, the Deputy High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in Chennai had organized a get-together at his official residences on 11th November, 2022 for all heads of Diplomatic Mission based in Chennai, with the intention to share the joy and happiness of Diwali among the Diplomatic Corps. Apart from the heads of Diplomatic Mission, the Head of the Branch Secretariat, Ministry of External Affairs, Chennai, Foreigners Regional Registration Officer, Chennai and Head of the Field office – Chennai, UNHCR were also invited for the event. Deputy High Commissioner welcomed all the guests with a special thank for participation, under the critical weather condition prevailing in Chennai these days. Further, he marked this as an opportunity for participants to have an idea on the Sri Lankan culture. A cocktail followed by a dinner comprised of Sri Lankan delicacies was also served at the event.

Deepavali Celebrations -2022

Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, is a festival celebrated throughout India and worldwide by Hindu communities as well as by Jain and Sikh communities. During this festival, homes, temples and work spaces are illuminated with oil lamps, candles and lanterns. Diwali is also marked with fireworks and the decoration of floors with Kolam designs. Food is a major focus with families partaking in feasts and sharing sweets (mithai). The festival is an annual bonding period not only for families, but also for communities and associations. Marking this, Deputy High Commission of Sri Lanka in Southern India had organized a Diwali Night on 28.10.2022 at the Chancery Premises. Staff and the family members of the Deputy High Commission, Bank of Ceylon, Srilankan Airlines in Chennai, Sri Lanka Friendship Association in Southern India, well-wishers, leading business figures and celibrities in Southern India participated this event. As this is the first public event organized by the Mission after the Covid-19 outbreak in Tamil Nadu, Dr. D. Venkateshwaran, the Deputy High Commissioner, delivered a brief account on the progress that Mission has achieved since 2021. Additionally, he accepted a donation of books from S. Ve. Shekher, a South Indian actor, director, screenwriter and politician. Cultural events were performed by the staff and family members of Deputy High Commission and Bank of Ceylon. Event concluded with a dinner which included Sri Lankan and South Indian delicacies.

Ayudha Pooja -2022

Ayudha Pooja is a Hindu festival that is traditionally celebrated in India. It may be translated to “worship of Instruments”. In this festival, various types of equipment and tools including vehicles are revered by the people. This Puja is considered a meaningful custom, which focuses specific attention to one’s profession and its related tools and connotes that a divine force is working behind it to perform well and for getting the proper reward. Saraswati (the Goddess of wisdom, arts and literature), Lakshmi (the goddess of wealth) and Parvati (the divine mother), are also being worshipped in this pooja. Marking a blend between Sri Lankan and Indian cultures, Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission in Chennai celebrated Ayudha Pooja on 07th October, 2022. In this Pooja, all vehicles and equipment used by the staff of the Deputy High Commission were revered.

Reopening of Mahabodhi Centre in Chennai

On the invitation of Ven. Nugagolle Chandraratne Thera, the Chief Incumbent of the Chennai Mahabodhi Centre, Dr. D. Venkateshwaran, the Deputy High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in Southern India and Mr. Arjuna Ranatunga, former Minister and the Chairman of Sri Lanka National Sports Council, participated the reopening of Mahabodhi Centre in Chennai on Saturday, 24th September. Mahabodhi Centre, the old Sanghavasa and the Buddha Mandiraya, which was closed for nearly three years due to Covid 19 pandemic situation, is now reopen for the convenience and services of the Sri Lankan pilgrims. Venerable mahasanga from Sanchi, Lumbini as well as from Southern India, Buddhist devotees and Sri Lankan community around Chennai also participated in this event.

 

Enrolment of foreign students and students with foreign qualifications as day scholars for degree programs at KDU

Common Eligibility Requirements 

  • Candidates with results at a foreign examination held outside Sri Lanka, deemed equivalent to G.C.E (Advanced Level) Examination of Sri Lanka or qualifications required for admission to a university in an applicant’s own country to follow an undergraduate course of study leading to a Bachelor’s Degree.
  • All Sri Lankan candidates should have studied abroad for a period of not less than three academic years immediately prior to sitting the qualifying examination.
  • A candidate should be between 17-30 years of age by the closing date of applications for degree programmes except the MBBS degree programme. Age limit for MBBS degree programme is 17-25 years of age by the closing date of applications. Candidate who have completed another related degree qualification are eligible to apply for the MBBS degree programme if the age is not more than 27 years at the closing date of applications

Closing date 31st October 2022

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Sri Lanka organizes its first ever ‘The Murugan Trail’ FAM tour from South India

A familiarization program for South Indian media, to promote ‘The Murugan Trail’ in Sri Lanka,  has been organized and facilitated by Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission in Chennai in collaboration with Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, from 03rd to 11th August 2022.

The utmost objective of this program is to promote and publicize mainly Katharagama Esala Festival among the south Indian tourists which is being held in this auspicious month. In parallel to this event other elegance cultural events such as Esala Perahera in Kandy and Nallur Festival in Jaffna, which is held in the same month, will also be promoted.

Kataragama Esala Festival is held annually in July or August at the Kataragama Ancient Temple, to pay homage to Lord Murugan. Kataragama Esala Perehera (Procession) held at the nights of the festive season with traditional dancers, kawadi dancers, drummers, fire walkers, elephants, and many other religious rituals, is known as one of the most elegant & spectacular historical-cultural pageants in Sri Lanka.

For the first time, six renowned media houses in south India, both print and electronic, including ‘The Hindu’, ‘Behindwoods’, ‘News 07 Tamil’, ‘Vikatan’, ‘News 18’, ‘TV 09’ and ‘Madhura Digital Media’ departed to Sri Lanka on 03rd August for a 09 days visit. During the visit, the delegation is travelling to cover historically and culturally important destinations and events in all around the country especially in Colombo, Jaffna, Anuradhapura, Dambulla, Kandy and Katharagama. Moreover, Kataharagama Esala festival is being scheduled to be broadcast live by a few of them.

Foreign Minister Ali Sabry assumes duties

Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Sabry assumed duties at the Ministry today (25 July, 2022) at a simple ceremony. Foreign Secretary Aruni Wijewardane and the senior officials were present.  Addressing the officials, Minister Ali Sabry stated that he looked forward to delivering on the mandate of the Ministry to steer forward Sri Lanka’s foreign relations, taking the domestic compulsions too into consideration. He commended the outgoing Minister Prof G L Peiris for his leadership provided to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Minister Sabry was appointed a Member of Parliament in 2020. Minister Ali Sabry served as the Minister of Justice since 12 August 2020, until he was appointed the Finance Minister on 4 April, 2022. As the Minister of Justice he launched many new initiatives including the wide-ranging reforms into the Sri Lankan justice sector with the justice sector reform programme to amend over hundred laws, some of which have not been changed in over a century. Minister Ali Sabry also initiated the digitization drive of the justice sector, the expansion of courthouses across the country and the introduction of specialized courthouses to address the issue of delays.

As the Finance Minister he led the Sri Lankan delegation for the recent negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank in Washington D.C. Prior to his entry into politics Minister Ali Sabry was a practicing lawyer with many of the cases he handled appearing in law reports and publications. He was appointed a President’s Counsel in 2012 and was awarded the Outstanding Young Person of The Year for Achievement in Law in 2009. He has also served as Sri Lanka’s Consul General in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in 1997.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Colombo

25 July, 2022

Full Media Release 

Deputy High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in Chennai meets Hon. Chief Minister and the Governor of Kerala

Dr. D. Venkateshwaran, the Deputy High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in Chennai met Mr. Pinarayi Vijayan, Hon. Chief Minister of Kerala and Mr. Arif Mohammad Khan, the Governor of Kerala on 30.06.2022 at Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. In the meeting with the Chief Minister, held at Kerala Legislative Assembly building, Deputy High Commissioner stressed the historical cultural bond, biogeographic similarity between Sri Lanka & Kerala, while highlighting the assistance given by the India to Sri Lanka in hard times. Further, Deputy High Commissioner requested the Chief Minister to ‘Support Sri Lanka’ in this critical juncture which the Chief Minister acknowledged and agreed to seek the possibility to assist Sri Lanka. The Meeting with the Governor was held at Raj Bhavan, Thiruvananthapuram. As the Governor is, by virtue, the Chancellor of all Universities in State of Kerala, discussions were focused on possible education, technical & scientific collaborations between Kerala and Sri Lankan Universities as well as scholarships for Sri Lankan Students in Kerala Universities.

Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission in Chennai accepts a medical donation

Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission accepted 1000 vials of IV Fluconazole on 13.06.2022, donated by a group of Sri Lankans living in Canada, United States and Australia. Funds for this donation has been raised through a private fundraiser event conducted in Canada. Considering the close proximity to Sri Lanka, funds have been transferred to Chennai, India, to buy the medicine and dispatch it to Sri Lanka. It is scheduled to be transported to Colombo via Srilankan Airlines and will be handed over to the Apeksha Hospital, Maharagama. In connection, Deputy High Commission expresses its gratitude for all the donors who contributed in this regard, Abans Facility Management India Pvt. Ltd, for assistance in coordination, Health Ministry – Sri Lanka for necessary clearances and Srilankan Airlines, Chennai Office, for undertaking the delivery of cargo to Colombo, free of charge.

Three Containers of essential items are shipped to Sri Lanka with the assistance of Rotary Club of Madras North & Amma Charitable Trust, Guntur

Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission (SLDHC) in Chennai, coordinated to load three shipping containers of essential food items from Chennai to Sri Lanka as a humanitarian assistance on 07.06.2022. In the event ‘Support Sri Lanka’ held at the Chancery Premises on 27.05.2022, Dr. D. Venkaeshwaran, the Deputy High Commissioner, requested Sri Lankan well-wishers to assist Sri Lanka in this critical juncture.

Accordingly, Amma Charitable Trust of Guntur, a non- profit organization, stepped forward to donate 100 MT of rice and Rotary Club of Madras North to donate four shipping containers of other essential items such as rice, dhal, wheat flour, sugar and milk powder. Today, three containers, including 50 MT of rice, were loaded and is scheduled to ship to Sri Lanka before next Monday while the rest of the consignment will be delivered within next two weeks. At Colombo, it will be handed over to the Food Commissioner, to distribute above items for suitable families throughout Sri Lanka.

In this regard, Deputy High Commission would like to thank Amma Charitable Trust of Guntur, members and affiliated entities of Rotary Club of Madras North for the kind donations as well as Triway Container Freight Station Pvt. Ltd, SAR Transport Systems Pvt. Ltd. and Smart Marine Services Pvt. Ltd. for handling the shipment to Colombo free-of-charge.

 

Special Consular Camp 23.05.2022

’10th Special Consular Camp organized by Deputy High Commission of Sri Lanka in Chennai, was held at the Chancery Premises on 23.05.2022. 178 Citizenship Certificates, 26 Birth Certificates and 9 RRP (Refugee Repatriation Program) Passports were issued for Sri Lankans living at Paramathy in Namakkal District, Pooluvapatty in Coimbatore District, Virupachi in Dindigul District, Valavanthankottai in Trichy District, Perumanallur, Kangeyam, Paruvai & Avinasi in Tiruppur district’

 

Support Sri Lanka

The Deputy High Commission of Sri Lanka in Chennai had organized a programme ‘Support Sri Lanka’ at the Chancery Premises on 27th May 2022 with the objective of securing the food and health safety of Sri Lanka thorough financial support and ensuring supply of essential commodities such as food medicines to Sri Lanka.

The programme, which was hosted for business dignitaries, social workers & Sri Lankan well-wishers, was chaired by Dr. D. Venkateshwaran, the Deputy High Commissioner. In his key note address, Deputy High Commissioner highlighted that, the present crisis faced by Sri Lanka is temporary and similar to the past we will overcome these setbacks and bounce back to normalcy. With the assistance of good neighbourhood in SAARC, and other friendly nations in the world, Sri Lanka will assure a speedy recovery. Deputy High Commissioner further mentioned the assurance given by Hon. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, on rendering all necessary support and aid to Sri Lanka.  He also thanked the Indian Government, the TN Government and the people of TN for extending humanitarian aid and support.

Several dignitaries participated the event, including Mr. Parasuraman of M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, Mr. Olivannan, the ex-Rotary Governor,  M. S. Madhivaanan, Industrialist, Mr. V. G. Santhosham, Industrialist, Mr. Veeramani Pharmaceutical company owner, Mr. Sudhakar Jayaraj, a Hotelier from Kodaikanal, Mr. Sriharan Balan, Chairman of Adventure tour operators Association of India, Dr. Muthukumar, Director of a Fertility clinic, and members of Vallalar Sabhai (Arutperunjothy, Vadalur) assured of extending all possible support and relief aid to Sri Lanka.

Further, the Deputy High Commissioner, while thanking the participants, expressed to the audience the nature of assistance that Sri Lanka expected under this current juncture, such as initiating new export oriented industries in Sri Lanka.  The country’s revenue depended on Tourism and Overseas employment. The Easter attacks and the subsequent Covid-19 pandemic dealt a huge blow to our economy. Many Sri Lankans lost their overseas jobs due to the pandemic. But Lanka is always referred to as ‘Kubera Bhumi’ (the land of wealth) in puranas and Sri Lanka’s economy is expected to roll back to normalcy soon.

Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission in Chennai Celebrates Vesak

Remarking the birth, the enlightenment, and the passing away of Lord Buddha, Vesak (Buddha Punima) is widely celebrated in South and South East Asia, among the followers of Buddhism. Accordingly, Deputy High Commission of Sri Lanka in Chennai, celebrated Vesak festival on 15th May, 2022 at the Chancery premises, with the participation of the Mission staff. Under the invitation of Dr. D. Venkateshwaran, the Deputy High Commissioner, Ven. Buddawansalankara thero (Ven. Gauthama Mauriyar thero) of Rameshwaram, also participated the Celebration and preformed a special Bodhi pooja, well-wishing Sri Lanka and people.

Dr. Venkateshwaran meets Dr. A. K. Padhee, IAS, Director, Country Relations, ICRISAT

International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) is an international organization which conducts agricultural research for rural development, headquartered in Patancheru (Hyderabad, Telangana,) with several regional centers and research stations in African Continent. It was founded in 1972 by a consortium of organizations convened by the Ford and the Rockefeller foundations and charter was signed by the FAO and the UNDP. Deputy High Commissioner met Dr. A. K. Padhee, IAS, Director, Country Relations of ICRISAT and discussed on possible collaborations on agriculture between Sri Lankan Stakeholders and ICRISAT.

https://www.icrisat.org/

 

DHC meets Mr. Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson and Joint Secretary [XP] of Ministry of External Affairs

Dr. D. Venkateshwaran, the Deputy High Commissioner, paid a visit to New Delhi from 29th March to 1st April, and met several Government officials and Business delegates. In this visit, Deputy High Commissioner met Mr. Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson and Joint Secretary [XP] of Ministry of External Affairs at the Spokesperson’s Office, MEA and discussions were focused on the cordial bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and India

Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission in Chennai steps forward to promote Palmyrah based Products

In the Northern part of Sri Lanka, palmyrah palm is referred as “Katpahatharu (celestial tree)” or “the tree of life” for its multifarious uses. It is identified that almost each part of the palm, right from the top to bottom (root), has an economic value (nearly 800) being immensely useful to the life of the local population, contributing in numerous ways not only to food and nutrition, shelter and fuel but also to income generating activities.
The Government of Sri Lanka has established The Palmyrah Development Board to diversify, promote, develop & conduct research related to Palmyrah products. It has been identified that the value added palmyrah products has a developing market in European and South East Asian Countries.
On 18th February, 2022, Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission in Chennai had organized a small tea ceremony at the chancery premises to introduce diversified and value-added Palmyra based Products to the business community in Southern India. Under the invitation of Deputy High Commissioner, Mr. Krishantha Pathiraja, Chairman, Palmyrah Development Board also participated the event.
Several diversified and value added palmyrah based products were introduced to the participants, whom expressed their interest to promote as well as to open few retail outlets palmyrah based products in Southern India. The event was concluded with a cup of delicious ‘Ceylon Tea’ served to the participants.

Discussion with UNHCR

Dr. D. Venkateshwaran, Deputy High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in Chennai and Ms. Prashanthi Krishnamoorthy, First Secretary met Mr. Oscar Mundiya, Chief of Mission, UNHCR – India and Mr. Satchithananda Valan Michael, Head of Field Office, UNHCR – Chennai, today at Chancery Premises, to discuss the updated situation of Sri Lankan Refugees in Southern India. Mr. Kiri Atri, Asst. External Relations Officer, UNHCR – New Delhi and Ms. Srividhya Mahesh, Senior. Admin Assistant, UNHCR – Chennai also presented at the meeting