Category Press Release

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


Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission in Chennai Celebrates Christmas

Deputy High Commission of Sri Lanka in Chennai, with the message of peace, celebrated Christmas on 21st December 2021 at the Chancery premises. The message of god and the prayers were delivered by Rev. Manova Santhosham, Pastor and Chairman, Egmore Wesley Church and Rev. R. L. Richardson, Pastor and Presbyter, St. Mary’s Church at St. George Fort. Mission has invited teachers & students of C.S.I. Higher Secondary School for the Deaf in Chennai to share the joy of Christmas. As Christmas gifts, essential materials and equipment were donated to C.S.I. Higher Secondary School, with the financial assistance of the Mission Staff. Christmas Carols, dancing items by invited student, Mission staff and their family members were performed at the event and was concluded with a delicious dinner hosted by the Mission.

Deputy High Commission of Sri Lanka

On behalf of Government & People of Sri Lanka, Deputy High Commission of Sri Lanka in Chennai expresses its condolence to the Government & People of India, on the tragic demise of General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Defence Staff in India, and other officials. Sri Lanka may recall that General Rawat contributed to strengthen the existing bonds of friendship and military cooperation based on mutual interests and understanding between Sri Lanka and India. Sri Lanka also takes in to account that he visited Sri Lanka in 2018 as the Chief of the Army Staff in India to participate the inauguration of the Communication Laboratory at School of Signals in Kandy to train the officials of Sri Lanka Army Signal Corps. Further, Deputy High Commission of Sri Lanka in Chennai shares its deepest sympathies with all the family members of those who suffered from the above accident.

The delegation of ‘South India Powerloom Federation’ successfully concludes the Business Visit to Sri Lanka

A delegation of ‘South India Powerloom Federation’, the confederation of weaving associations in Southern States, along with Dr. M. S. Mathivanan, the Chairman of the Federation, visited Sri Lanka on 22nd November, 2021, under the invitation of Dr. D. Venkateshwaran, the Deputy High Commissioner of Sri Lanka for Southern India. As South India has the historical and largest contribution to the Powerloom industry in India, the objective of this visit was to strengthen business links between South India and Sri Lanka as well as to seek the opportunities to ‘Invest in Sri Lanka’ in Textile Industry. In this visit, the Delegation headed by Dr. Venkateshwaran met Hon. Basil Rajapaksha, Minister of Finance, Hon. Dayasiri Jayasekara, State Minister of batik, handloom, and local apparel products, Hon. Nalaka Godahewa, State Minister of urban development, Mr. Ajith Nivad Cabral, Governor of the Central Bank, Admiral Professor Jayanath Colombage, Foreign Secretary and Mr. Sanjaya Mohottala, Chairman, Board of Investment to discuss new avenues on developing Powerloom industry in Sri Lanka. Further, the delegation visited National Chamber of Commerce and Colombo Business Association together with Urban Development Authority, to discuss about trade and investment opportunities available in Sri Lanka, specifically in recently established Eravur Fabric Park, which led for several possible investment opportunities in Textile and Apparel Industry as the outcome.

Deputy High Commission of Sri Lanka

The Deputy High Commissioner of Sri Lanka for Southern India, Dr. D. Venkateshwaran, paid a courtesy call on the Honorable Governor of Tamil Nadu, Mr. R. N. Ravi

The Deputy High Commissioner of Sri Lanka for Southern India, Dr. D. Venkateshwaran, paid a courtesy call on the Honorable Governor of Tamil Nadu, Mr. R. N. Ravi, at the Raj Bhavan on 16.11.2021. Matters related to enhancement of bilateral cooperation and developments were discussed. Further, the discussion was focused on building up goodwill and increased connectivity between Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu. In addition people centric programmes were an important highlight in the meeting agenda.

Deepavali Celebrations -2021

Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission celebrated Deepavali on 22nd October 2021 at the Chancery premises. Deepavali is widely celebrated all over Sri Lanka as well as India and is a festival that celebrates the triumph of good over evil. Deepavali is also known as the festival of lights. The entire Chancery premises were illuminated with colorful lights, glowing oil lamps, vibrant colours of rangoli and floral décor. Various cultural events depicting Sri Lankan as well as Indian arts forms were performed at the event by the Mission staff and their family members.

Deputy High Commission of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Felicitates at Innovative International Film Festival, Bangalore – 2021

Exploring opportunities for strengthening its film industry in the international arena, Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission in Chennai together with Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, first-ever time organized a Sri Lankan film professionals` delegation at the 4th Edition of the Innovative International Film Festival (IIFF) which was held at JW Marriot Hotel & Innovative Multiplex theater in Bangalore from 14th to 17th October 2021.

IIFF is one of the biggest and prestigious international film festivals in South India which is organized by the Innovative Film Academy in Bangalore for years which means to promote the film art and cultures of participating countries, creating a networking platform for the international film industry with co-production opportunities in different countries.

Commencing the Sri Lankan session at the event on 16th, Dr. Venkateshwaran, the Deputy High Commissioner, given the impetus to the distinguished gathering, highlighted why Sri Lanka should be selected as their favorite film destination country. Followed by his remarks, the five-member Sri Lankan delegation, including Chaminda Munasinghe, Assistant Director, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, Shyaman Premasundara, Film Director, Frames TV & Films, Yasas Rathnayake, Managing Director, Circle 360, Priyanga Kumarasiri, Producer, Crew for Shoots and Chathra Dias Weeraman, Film Director, made a comprehensive presentation elaborating the history of shooting international films in Sri Lanka, Island`s scenery destinations, availability of sophisticated infrastructure facilities and concessions/sops given for the international filmmakers.

Moving to the networking session, Mr. Sarvana Prasad, Founder, and Ms. Upasana Mittal, Creative Director of Innovative Film Academy introduced the Sri Lankan delegation to the conversant cine & entertainment industry professionals who had attended the session and worthwhile discussions were taken place alluring more opportunities to Sri Lanka. Joining the Sri Lankan session Mr. Allu Aravind an eminent & illustrious film producer in Telugu cinema had a cordial interaction and upon the Deputy High Commissioner`s invitation to visit Sri Lanka, he expressed his desire to explore Sri Lanka for his upcoming creations.

The four-day festival concluded with a fascinated closing ceremony with the participation of diplomats, government officials, industry professionals, and participant countries` representations. During the Ceremony, the newest Sinhala Movie called “ AYU” which was directed by Chathra Dias Weeraman was awarded as the Best Asian film. IIFF`s 4th Edition was turned out by leading filmmakers, celebrities, directors, producers, film associations & diplomats from 30 heterogeneous countries, and 75 international movies from participant countries were screened in 45 languages. The Sri Lankan delegation was coordinated and arranged by Dilanga Hettiarachchi, Third Secretary (Commercial) of the Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission, and Chaminda Munasinghe, Assistant Director, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau.

Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission, Chennai

Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission hosts two out bound tour operator delegations

Upon the resumption of Sri Lanka tourism for Indian travellers, Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission in Chennai hosted two outbound tour operator delegations from Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) and Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) at Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission on 23rd and 24th September 2021 respectively. The objectives of arranging these delegations were to brand Sri Lanka again as the favourite travel destination of Indian tourists after a long break due to the pandemic restrictions and to solicit their views on uplifting Sri Lankan tourism.  Addressing delegations, the Deputy High Commissioner, Dr. Venkateshwaran, made the delegates aware of the way forward for Sri Lankan tourism under the new normal situation and emphasized Sri Lanka’s readiness to promote “Ramayanaya Yathra”, “Murugan Trail” and “Panchalingam Trail” to allure more Indian travellers to the island.

A comprehensive presentation was made by Mr. Nilina Pathirana, Manager, Sales, Sri Lankan Air Lines, Chennai office, highlighting the air connectivity from Colombo to south Indian destinations including Chennai, Bangalore, Trichy, Madurai, Cochin, Trivandrum, and Hyderabad. Furthermore, he emphasized the national carrier’s buy one, get one free offer, which is available to passengers until December 31st, 2021. TAAI delegation head, Mr. Karunakaran, Hon Secretary of TAAI Southern Region, appreciated the initiatives taken by the Deputy High Commission to make travellers aware of the opening up of Sri Lankan tourism to India. Furthermore, he suggested a few factors to be taken into consideration, which include changes to Sri Lankan Airlines’ flight schedules and enhancing sops provided to travellers.  

President of TAFI Southern region, Mr. Arul Lazaran emphasized the importance of Sri Lanka as a travel destination for Indian travel and tour operators, specially elaborated the importance of waving off taxes/levies on MICE tourism and destination wedding travellers. During the Q&A session, numerous questions were raised by the participants regarding the steps to be followed by the travellers upon arrival in Sri Lanka, the ongoing visa procedure, and carrying out PCR tests etc. These questions were successfully addressed by the DHC and the team. Moreover, Sri Lankan Airlines and the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau were suggested with a few proposals to be executed which would be more pragmatic to bolster the Sri Lankan tourism industry under the new normal situation. Taking the facts raised by the delegates into his consideration, DHC agreed to convey their suggestions to Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau and other line agencies in order to assure and furnish a safe and comfortable travel experience to Indian travellers.

Rounding off each interaction, Mr. Dilanga Hettiarachchi, Third Secretary (commercial), Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission, admired the impetus given by both TAAI and TAFI throughout the years and sought their keen support to promote and project Sri Lanka as Indian travellers’ favourite travel destination.

Both TAAI and TAFI are preeminent travel and tour operator associations in India, which have a substantial amount of island wide membership and play a vital role in India`s tourism industry.


Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission- Chennai

27th September 2021

News Paper Article –…/SL-Deputy-High-Commission…/27-723742

High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka Gopal Baglay calls on Foreign Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris

The High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka Gopal Baglay called on the new Foreign Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris after his assumption of duties. Foreign Minister Peiris expressed appreciation and continuous support being provided by India for combatting the COVID-19 pandemic. Minister Peiris thanked the Government of India for supplying emergency consignments of liquid oxygen from east Indian ports, even by using Indian naval ships. The discussion also centred on enhancing religious tourism. Foreign Minister Peiris also appreciated the offer of US$ 15 million by the Government of India to preserve and promote Buddhist cultural sites in Sri Lanka and expressed interest in early implementation of the offer. Both sides also discussed on the possibility of the early convening of the Indo-Lanka Joint Commission, which was last convened in 2016. It was agreed that the six Working Groups under the Joint Commission, covering specific subject areas under education, science & technology, tourism, trade & investment, fisheries and the power sector, should meet at the earliest feasible opportunity. Matters relating to fisheries were also discussed and both sides agreed to search for a meaningful, pragmatic solution to the issues. Indian assistance to develop fisheries harbours in Sri Lanka was greatly appreciated.  The discussion also focused on the setting up of pharmaceutical manufacturing plants by India in Sri Lanka. Both parties highlighted the pivotal importance of relations between Sri Lanka and India which have stood the test of time as close neighbours and expressed satisfaction at the current level of cooperation and resolved to raise bilateral relations in multiple sectors to even higher levels.

 Foreign Ministry


 23 August, 2021

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Foreign Ministry Consular Affairs Division provides limited services during the lockdown period

Given the nationwide lockdown in effect from 10 p.m. today (20 August, 2021) until 4.00 a.m. on 30 August, 2021, the Consular Affairs Division of the Foreign Ministry limits its services to those in urgent/genuine need during this period.

Accordingly, the Consular Affairs Division situated at the Ceylinco Building in Colombo will remain closed for visitors during the lockdown period, and will only provide consular services, relating to cases of deaths of Sri Lankans overseas and attestation of export documents and relevant certificates strictly by appointment only.

The Regional consular offices will provide services related to cases of deaths of Sri Lankans overseas.

Please contact the Consular Affairs Division on Tel: 011 2335942, 011 2338812 or e-mail to make an appointment.

Foreign Ministry


20 August, 2021

Foreign Minister Prof. G.L Peiris assumes duties

The newly appointed Foreign Minister Prof. G.L Peiris assumed duties at the Ministry today (18 August, 2021) at a simple ceremony graced by outgoing Foreign Minister and the new Minister of Education Dinesh Gunawardena; State Minister of Regional Cooperation Tharaka Balasuriya; State Minister of Women and Child Development, Preschools & Primary Education, School Infrastructure & Education Services Piyal Nishantha De Silva;  Member of Parliament and General Secretary of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Sagara Kariyawasam; Foreign Secretary Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage and other officials. The Buddhist clergy led by the chief incumbent of the Bellanwila Rajamaha Viharaya Ven. Dr. Bellanwila Dhammaratana Nayaka Thero invoked blessings on the occasion.

Thereafter, both incoming Minister Prof. G.L Peiris and outgoing Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena met the senior staff of the Ministry. Addressing the occasion, Minister Prof. G.L Peiris stated that he was pleased to be back at the Ministry after six years. He commended the outgoing Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena for the leadership provided to the Foreign Ministry during the last two years and stated that in all activities of the Foreign Ministry, Minister Dinesh Gunawardena ensured that Sri Lanka’s inherent self-respect and dignity was not compromised.

State Minister of Regional Cooperation Tharaka Balasuriya and Foreign Secretary Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage welcomed the new Minister and stated that they looked forward to continue delivering on the mandate of the Foreign Ministry under his guidance. Both State Minister Balasuriya and Secretary Colombage thanked the outgoing Minister for his visionary leadership and guidance over the last two years.

Foreign Ministry


18 August, 2021

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