FOREIGN RELATIONS MINISTER DINESH GUNAWARDENA DISCUSSES SYSTEMATIC REPATRIATION PROCESS

Hon. Dinesh Gunawardena, Minister of Foreign Relations, Skills Development, Employment and Labour Relations in an interview held on Siyatha TV ‘Morning Show’ at 6.55 am today (25 May 2020) discussed the systematic repatriation process of Overseas Sri Lankans amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

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SPECIAL DISCUSSION ON REPATRIATION HELD AT THE DEPARTMENT OF GOVERNMENT INFORMATION

Special discussion chaired by Hon. Bandula Gunawardena, Minister of Information and Mass Media, Higher Education, Technology and Innovation and Co- Cabinet Spokesperson was held today (24 May) at the Department of Government Information. Officials of the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) and the Ministry of Foreign Relations participated at the discussion.

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CABINET APPROVAL GRANTED FOR THE SYSTEMATIC REPATRIATION OF SRI LANKAN MIGRANT WORKERS AND SHORT-TERM VISA HOLDERS

Co-Cabinet Spokesperson Hon. Dr. Ramesh Pathirana made the following statement at the Cabinet Briefing held on 21 May 2020 in regard to decisions on the Cabinet Paper presented by the Ministry of Foreign Relations:

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SRI LANKA ELECTED AS CHAIR OF THE SEVENTH ASIA PACIFIC FORUM ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (APFSD), IN BANGKOK

The Seventh Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD) held on 20th May in Bangkok-Thailand, was convened as a virtual meeting for the first time, complying with the ‘new normal’  in the COVID 19 context, and Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Economic and Social Council for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), H.E. (Mrs.) Samantha K. Jayasuriya, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Thailand, was elected by acclamation as the Chair of 7th APFSD and will serve for a period of one year.

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Sri Lanka is an island of no great size, yet it has an extraordinary number of facets. As Sir Arthur C Clarke remarked: "The Island of Sri Lanka is a small universe; it contains as many variations of culture, scenery, and climate as some countries a dozen times its size . . . I find it hard to believe that there is any country which scores so highly in all departments - which has so many advantages and so few disadvantages." Lovely beaches, beautiful landscapes, impressive ruins, a vibrant culture and charming people.

Official name: Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
Government type: Republic
Location: Latitude 5° 55. to 9° 50. north, longitude 79° 42. to 81° 52., 650km north of the equator
Dimensions: 430km north to south, 225km east to west
Coastline: 1,340km
Area: 65,525km2
Currency (code): Sri Lankan rupee (LKR)
Independence: 4 February 1948
Administrative capital: Sri Jayewardenepura
Commercial capital: Colombo
Administrative divisions: 9 provinces; Central, North Central, North Eastern, North Western, Sabaragamuwa, Southern, Uva, Western, Eastern Province.
Climate: Typically tropical, with a northeast monsoon (December to March) bringing rain and wet weather to the north and east, and a southwest monsoon (June to October) bringing rain and wet weather to the south and west
Terrain: Mostly low, flat to rolling plain; mountains in south-central interior
Highest mountain: Pidurutalagala, 2,524m
Highest waterfall: Bambarakanda, 263m
National Flower The Blue Water Lily (Nymphaea stellata).
National parks and nature reserves area: 8,000sq.km

Sri Lanka is an island of no great size, yet it has an extraordinary number of facets. As Sir Arthur C Clarke remarked: "The Island of Sri Lanka is a small universe; it contains as many variations of culture, scenery, and climate as some countries a dozen times its size . . . I find it hard to believe that there is any country which scores so highly in all departments - which has so many advantages and so few disadvantages." Lovely beaches, beautiful landscapes, impressive ruins, a vibrant culture and charming people.

Official name: Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
Government type: Republic
Location: Latitude 5° 55. to 9° 50. north, longitude 79° 42. to 81° 52., 650km north of the equator
Dimensions: 430km north to south, 225km east to west
Coastline: 1,340km
Area: 65,525km2
Currency (code): Sri Lankan rupee (LKR)
Independence: 4 February 1948
Administrative capital: Sri Jayewardenepura
Commercial capital: Colombo
Administrative divisions: 9 provinces; Central, North Central, North Eastern, North Western, Sabaragamuwa, Southern, Uva, Western, Eastern Province.
Climate: Typically tropical, with a northeast monsoon (December to March) bringing rain and wet weather to the north and east, and a southwest monsoon (June to October) bringing rain and wet weather to the south and west
Terrain: Mostly low, flat to rolling plain; mountains in south-central interior
Highest mountain: Pidurutalagala, 2,524m
Highest waterfall: Bambarakanda, 263m
National Flower The Sky Blue Water Lily (Nymphaea Nouchali).
National parks and nature reserves area: 8,000sq.km
Population: 21,128,773
Population growth rate: 1.3%
Population Density: 309 people per sq km
Life Expectancy at Birth 74 female, 64 male
Literacy rate : Female 87.9 Male 92.5
Ethnic groups: Sinhalese 74.9%, Sri Lankan Tamil 11.2%, Sri Lankan Moors 9.2%, Indian Tamil 4.2%, other 0.5%, (2011 census)
Languages: Sinhala (official and national language) 74%, Tamil (national language) 18%, other 8% Note: English (a link language commonly) is used in government and spoken competently by about 10% of the population
Religion: Buddhist 69.1%, Muslim 7.6%, Hindu 7.1%, Christian 6.2%, unspecified 10% (2001 census)
Time zone: Sri Lanka Standard Time is five and a half hours ahead of GMT. (Allowance should be made for summer-time changes in Europe.)
International dialing: +94
Electricity: 230 . 240 volts, 50 cycles AC. If you travel with a laptop computer bring a stabilizer
Economy: Sri Lanka.s most dynamic sectors are food processing, textiles and apparel, food and beverages, port construction, telecommunications, and insurance and banking. In 2006, plantation crops made up only 15% of exports (90% in 1970), while textiles and garments accounted for more than 60%. About 800,000 Sri Lankans work abroad, 90% of them in the Middle East. They send home more than US$1 billion a year.
Labour force 34.3% of the labour population is employed in agriculture, 25.3% in industry and 40.4% in services: 40.4% (30 June 2006 est.) The unemployment rate is 5.7% (2007 est.)
Agriculture & products Rice, sugarcane, grains, pulses, oilseed, spices, tea, rubber, coconutsm milk, eggs, hides, beef, fish
Industries: Processing of rubber, tea, coconuts, tobacco and other agricultural commodities; telecommunications, insurance, banking; clothing, textiles; cement, petroleum refining.
Exports: Textiles and apparel; tea and spices; diamonds, emeralds, rubies; coconut products, rubber manufactures, fish
Imports: Main import commodities are textile fabrics, mineral products, petroleum, foodstuffs, machinery and transportation equipment: $10.61 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.). Percentage of main commodities from main import partners: India 19.6%, China 10.5%, Singapore 8.8%, Iran 5.7%, Malaysia 5.1%, Hong Kong 4.2%, Japan 4.1% (2006)
Gross Domestic Product (GDP): Purchasing power parity: $81.29 billion (2007 est.). Official exchange rate: $30.01 billion (2007 est.) Real growth rate: 6.3% (2007 est.) Per capita: $4,100 (2007 est.) composition by sector: Agriculture: 16.5% Industry: 26.9%
Gross National Product (GNP): Sri Lanka is placed in 76th place in GNP figures of the world.s nationswith $22.8billion (2005)
Flag description: yellow with two panels; the smaller hoist-side panel has two equal vertical bands of green (hoist side) and orange; the other panel is a large dark red rectangle with a yellow lion holding a sword, and there is a yellow bo leaf in each corner; the yellow field appears as a border around the entire flag and extends between the two panels

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