The Policy Planning, Research and Human Resources Development Division of the Foreign Ministry, conducted a two-week long Orientation Programme for the newly appointed Ambassadors/High Commissioners-designate recently.

The Ambassadors/High Commissioners-designate to Afghanistan, China, France, India, Japan, Kenya, USA and Permanent Representative-designate to United Nations-New York attended the inaugural session.

Those who attended included former Chief Justice  Mohan Peiris  (New York), former Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha (Washington DC),  former Vice Chancellor of the University of Colombo Kshanika Hirimburegama ( France),  a former Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and onetime Sri Lanka’s  Permanent Representative to the UN   Palitha Kohona (China),  former Minister and businessman Milinda Moragoda (India)  Sanjiv Gunasekera ( Japan)  and former Navy Commander Admiral (redt) Piyal De Silva as Ambassador (Afghanistan).

The Programme was inaugurated in the presence of State Minister of Regional Cooperation Tharaka Balasuriya and Foreign Secretary Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage.

The Orientation Programme, which was mainly conducted on a virtual platform due to the pandemic situation, aimed to provide an outline of the Foreign Policy of the Government of Sri Lanka as per the vision of the President and the National Policy Framework (NPF) of the Government, ’Vistas of Prosperity and Splendor’, the Foreign Ministry said in a news release.

In keeping with the Government policy to lead a stronger economic drive, the programme had a greater focus on Economic Diplomacy while enhancing the knowledge and understanding on current status of Sri Lanka’s bilateral, multilateral engagements, Defence and Security Cooperation, Public Diplomacy, Overseas Sri Lankans, Protocol & Consular Affairs, COVID-19 related activities.

Further, the programme included briefings by key stakeholders related to Mission functions such as the Department of Immigration and Emigration, Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE), Sri Lanka Tea Board (SLTB), Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB), Board of Investment (BOI), Export Development Board (EDB), and Department of Commerce (DoC).

These Heads of Missions-designate are expected to assume duties in their respective Capitals soon.