Category Mission Press Releases

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.

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.

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.


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.


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

Special Consular Camp 23.02.2022

Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission in Chennai has issued 208 Citizenship Certificates for Sri Lankans from Gummidipoondi and Puzhal in Tamil Nadu, at a special consular camps organized at the Chancery premises on 15th & 23rd February, 2022.

IMPA holds hands with Sri Lanka in Business & Investment Collaborations

International Mudaliar and Pillaimar Association (IMPA) is a non-profit, non-political organization based in Southern India which consists of more than 25000 members worldwide. IMPA constitutes of reputed business owners with a South Indian origin and highly involved in development of economy, education, health and agriculture in rural communities in Southern India. Under the invitation of Dr. D. Venkateshwaran, Deputy High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in Chennai, around 60 business owners including Chairman & senior officials of IMPA participated a seminar on ‘Investment and Business Opportunities in Sri Lanka’ held at the Chancery Premises on 18th February, 2022. In delivering the keynote speech, The Deputy High Commissioner emphasized the fact ‘why you should invest in Sri Lanka’. Presentation on ‘Avenues of investing Sri Lanka’ and ‘Sri Lanka – the way forward) were presented by Mr. Dilanga Hettiarachchi, Second Secretary (Commercial) and Mr. Supun Deshaprema, Second Secretary (Cultural & Political). The event was followed by a Q & A session and an interactive working lunch also, which earned several positive responses in investing and establishing new businesses in Sri Lanka, for sectors such as renewable energy, pharmaceutical products, handicrafts, textiles & IT/BPO etc.

Special Consular Camp-15.02.2022

A special consular camp was held at Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission in Chennai on 15th February, 2022. 83 birth certificates were issued in this camp and applications for 64 citizenship certificates were also accepted from Sri Lankans from Mandapam in Ramanathapuram and Puthupatty, Gopalpatty & Adiyanuthu in Dindigul.

Special Meeting between Tamil Nadu Fishermen & Hon. Douglas Devananda, Minister of Fisheries

As per the request of Hon. Douglas Devananda, Minister of Fisheries in Sri Lanka, a special virtual meeting with Tamil Nadu Fishermen was organized by the Deputy High Commission of Sri Lanka in Chennai. About 10 representatives from Fisheries Associations in several districts of Tamil Nadu participated in this meeting and expressed their concerns on disputes among the fishermen and the local authorities of both countries, prohibition of bottom trawling in the region, auctioning of Indian boats in Sri Lanka and limitation of number of pilgrims from Southern India for the Annual festival of St. Anthony’s Church at Katchatheevu. Replying them, Hon. Minister highlighted the importance of such a joint venture for a sustainable solution for the fisheries dispute between Sri Lanka & India. He stated that bottom trawling cannot be permitted to practice, as it is prohibited in Sri Lanka. While explaining about the auctioning of Indian Fishing Vessels in Sri Lanka he mentioned that in 2020, the Indian High Commission in Colombo has informed all Government Stakeholders and fisheries communities in Tamil Nadu to retrieve their boats. But due to lack of responses for that, Indian High Commission in Colombo has requested Sri Lankan Authorities organized the auction. Further he mentioned that number of Indian participants for Katchatheevu Festival is limited due to rising Covid-19 Pandemic situation and agreed to seek the possibility of increasing the number of participants. In his discussion Hon. Minister mentioned about the proposal that Sri Lanka has shared with Hon. Prime Minister and Hon. Foreign Minister of India on eliminating fisheries disputes between two Countries. But both parties were unable to pay a proper attention on that due to Covid-19 Pandemic situation which both parties got affected. Deputy High Commissioner Dr. D. Venkateshwaran and officials of the Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission in Chennai also participated the meeting.

Deputy High Commission of Sri Lanka



Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission in Chennai Celebrates the 74th Independence Day of Sri Lanka

Deputy High Commission of Sri Lanka in Chennai, celebrated 74th Independence day of Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka on 04th February, 2022 at the Chancery premises. Due to rising pandemic situation in Southern India, the Mission celebrated the Independence Day in a low key manner, only with the Mission staff and their family members. Prior to the official celebration, an almsgiving prepared by the Mission Staff was offered to Ven.  Buddawansalankara thero (Ven. Gauthama Mauriyar thero) of Rameshwaram. The official ceremony was inaugurated with the hoist of National flag at the Chancery premises by D. Venkateshwaran, the Deputy High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in Southern India. Hindu, Islamic and Catholic dignitaries from Tamil Nadu also participated the event along with their blessings. The felicitation messages from Hon. Prime Minister and Hon. Foreign Minister also conveyed to the audience at the event.

Deputy High Commission of Sri Lanka


Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission in Chennai Celebrates Thai Pongal

Pongal is a four days long festival, which celebrates to thank the Sun, Mother Nature and the various farm animals that help to contribute to a bountiful harvest. The festival falls every year in the month of January when crops such as rice, sugarcane, turmeric etc. are harvested. The second day of the celebration, known as ‘Thai Pongal’, is dedicated to the Hindu god ‘Surya’ (the Sun). It is widely celebrated in Southern India, thanking the ‘Surya’, and marking the prosperity, wealth & happiness. Marking the prosperity, wealth & happiness for Sri Lanka and all the staff of the Mission, the Deputy High Commission of Sri Lanka in Chennai, celebrated Thai Pongal in the morning of 12th January, 2022 at the Chancery premises. All the auspicious formalities were performed by Dr. D. Venkateshwaran, the Deputy High Commissioner and Mrs. Venkateshwaran, his Spouse, at this occasion. Mission staff and their family members were also participated at the event and was concluded with a reception with traditional South Indian delicacies.

Deputy High Commission of Sri Lanka


The Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission, Chennai conducted the commencement programme on 03.01.2022. Accordingly, the programme commenced at 9,00 a.m. with hoisting of the National Flag in the presence of all staff members followed by singing of the National Anthem of Sri Lanka. Two minutes silence was observed to commemorate the war heroes and all others who sacrificed their lives on behalf of our motherland. After that, all staff members jointly read the ‘Oath/Affirmation of Public Servants’ in Sinhala, Tamil and English languages. In his speech, Dr. D. Venkateshwaran, Deputy High Commissioner, emphasized the importance working together as a team with honesty and compassion for Sri Lanka and its people who are living in Southern India. He further highlighted that the Mission functioned very well in 2021amidst all the challenges and expects the same in 2022 also, All participants were served with Sri Lankan delicacies and tea.

Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission in Chennai successfully concludes a Special Consular Camp

Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission in Chennai has organized a special consular camp on 29th & 30th December, 2021 at the chancery premises. In this special camp, 47 birth certificates and 20 citizenship certificates were issued for Sri Lankans from Kottapattu in Trichy, Thottanuthu in Dindigul and Boganallur in Tirunelveli. Previously, special consular camps have been regularly organized by the Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission in Chennai. Due to the COVID pandemic situation, it has been temporarily suspended in March 2020. But considering the enormous service extended to the Sri Lankan expatriate community living in Southern India via such camps, Mission has again initiated to organize these camps since October, 2021, adhering to all health & safety guidelines.

Deputy High Commission of Sri Lanka