Sri Lankan Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya meets with guests at the Embassy of Sri Lanka, during the Passport DC embassy open house event in Washington, D.C.

The Embassy of Sri Lanka opened its doors to more than 1,000 visitors May 14 as part of the Passport DC 2011 cultural tourism program.

[image title="pr_passptdc_20may11" size="full" id="2904" align="none" linkto="http://slembassyusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/pr_passptdc_20may11.jpg" ] Sri Lankan Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya meets with guests at the Embassy of Sri Lanka, during the Passport DC embassy open house event in Washington, D.C. [image title="pr_passptdc_1_20may11" size="full" id="2906" align="none" linkto="http://slembassyusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/pr_passptdc_1_20may11.jpg" ] A young girl tries on a sari with help from an employee at the Embassy of Sri Lanka during Washington, D.C.'s Passport DC open house of foreign embassies. [image title="pr_passptdc_2_20may11" size="full" id="2909" align="none" linkto="http://slembassyusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/pr_passptdc_2_20may111.jpg" ] American visitors sample Ceylon tea during Passport DC, Washington, D.C.'s annual open house of foreign embassies. The Embassy of Sri Lanka opened its doors to more than 1,000 visitors May 14 as part of the Passport DC 2011 cultural tourism program. Visitors to the embassy tasted Sri Lankan cuisine and Ceylon tea, tried on saris and sarong and wrote their names in Tamil and Sinhalese. The embassy staff discussed current Sri Lankan developments and history with visitors, who also watched a Sri Lankan travel video. Sri Lanka’s embassy was festooned with lights, banners and flags to welcome its guests. Passport DC sponsors an annual “Around the World Embassy Tour” that functions as an open house for Washington DC’s foreign embassies. Participants in the popular program may stroll along the famed Embassy Row and visit dozens of embassies. Passport DC 2011 is an exploration through Washington, DC’s international culture during the entire month of May. Now in its fourth year, Passport DC invites participants to experience a global journey without leaving the city. Featuring street festivals, open houses, embassy events, special performances, and much more, Passport DC explores the international community that is a vital part of DC culture.

The chef of Sri Lanka’s official residence in Washington gave a cooking demonstration March 13 at the 2011 Washington Travel and Adventure Show, preparing lunu-miris and hoppers before an appreciative audience.[image title="pr_15mar11" size="full" id="2718" align="none" linkto="viewer" ] Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya chats with a guest following the Sri Lankan cooking demonstration at the Washington Travel and Adventure Show. [image title="pr_2_15mar11" size="full" id="2719" align="none" linkto="viewer" ] Sri Lankan cookbook Author S.H. Fernando (left) narrates as chef Tuan Buran prepares hoppers and lunu-miris, as author Mark DeCarlo looks on. [image title="pr_3_15mar11" size="full" id="2720" align="none" linkto="viewer" ] Chef Tuan Buran of the Sri Lankan residence in Washington, D.C. [image title="pr_1_15mar11" size="full" id="2721" align="none" linkto="viewer" ] Chef Tuan Buran prepares hoppers while Sri Lankan food expert SH Fernando describes the process and author Mrk DeCarlo observes. The chef of Sri Lanka’s official residence in Washington gave a cooking demonstration March 13 at the 2011 Washington Travel and Adventure Show, preparing lunu-miris and hoppers before an appreciative audience. Chef Tuan Buran mixed the spicey lunu-miris and then rice flour and cooked hoppers over a burner as S.H. Fernando, author of the book Rice and Curry, Sri Lankan Home Cooking, described each cooking step.  Mark DeCarlo, author of “A Fork on the Road” served as host. Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya also took part, explaining when Sri Lankans eat hoppers. The annual travel show at the Washington Convention Center draws hundreds of people who can sample foreign foods and meet with tour operators and adventure equipment merchants from throughout the world. Guests at the Sri Lankan cooking demonstration each received a sample pack of Ceylon tea, as well as information on the second annual  “Ambassador’s Signature Tour,” an August journey through Sri Lanka for Americans led by Ambassador Wickramasuriya. Travel to Sri Lanka is becoming increasingly popular. Tourist arrivals were up 50 percent in 2010 compared to 2009, and arrivals for February 2011 alone were 18 percent higher than for the same month in 2010. About 650,000 people visited Sri Lanka in 2010, and tourism authorities expect more than 2.5 million visitors annually by 2016.
French government modify travel advisory to permit visits to tourism areas in Sri Lanka The French Foreign Ministry updated its travel advisory on Sri Lanka today, advising their nationals that, apart from the Northern and Eastern parts of the country, travel to the rest of the island is relatively safe. While reminding their nationals that terrorism is a risk, the advisory notes that foreigners have never been targeted, though there remains the possibility of collateral damage. Tourists have been advised to exercise maximum vigilance and to follow security measures adopted by the local authorities. The advisory states that tourists should not use public transport in and between cities, as buses have been targeted by terrorists in the past. The modified travel advisory is now similar to the position adopted by other European governments such as the United Kingdom, Spain, Belgium and Switzerland. “We are pleased to note that the French government has taken this position on tourist visits to Sri Lanka and we hope to introduce immediate awareness promotion programs to get this message across to the travel agents and tour operators in France. We shall do our utmost to make sure that the French visitor arrivals will soon return to its potential given the circumstances we operate in” said Renton de Alwis, Chairman, Sri Lanka Tourist Board. For more information contact : Ruan de Alwis Director - Office du Tourisme de Sri Lanka 08 Rue de Choiseul 75002 Paris, France Telephone: 00 331 426 04999 E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Dharshan Hennedige Personal Assistant to Chairman Sri Lanka Tourist Board 80, Galle Road, Colombo 3, Sri Lanka Telephone: + 94 1 243 6613 / 6618 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Ambassador and staff meet with 2,000 Americans Americans, dressed and greeting in the Sri Lankan way About two thousand Americans visited the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Washington D.C. during an open house organized as part of Washington’s Passport DC annual festival. “This is unprecedented and we are so pleased to see this many Americans visiting the embassy and showing interest in Sri Lanka” remarked Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya. Ambassador Wickramasuriya in conversation with some guests The open house was part of a special program called “Passport DC”, which is a joint initiative by Cultural Tourism D. C. -- a Washington D.C. based non-governmental organization -- and more than 50 foreign missions, including the Embassy of Sri Lanka. The event also marked the embassy’s celebration of Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, which each May recognizes the contributions of the people of Asian and Pacific Island descent in the United States. American ladies trying saris Passport DC showcases Washington D.C.’s embassies and cultural organizations with a wide range of performances, talks, and exhibits.  It is very popular among the Americans in the Greater Washington area (Washington D.C. and the states of Maryland and Virginia), as it offers the public a rare chance to visit foreign embassies and enjoy many cultural and traditional events during a single day, at no cost. An American gentleman learning how to wear a sarong The activities organized by the Embassy of Sri Lanka staff and their families included a demonstration of sari and national dress wearing, which proved  popular among visitors. It was heartening to see so many American women queuing up to drape themselves in saris, while men were trying colorful sarongs and national shirts. In another corner, some Americans learned to write their names in Sinhala and Tamil languages. Guests signing up at the registration desk In keeping with traditional Sri Lankan hospitality, the embassy staff served visitors with a freshly brewed Ceylon tea. The embassy also distributed a large amount of promotional tourism materials. The event lasted from 10 am to 4 pm, and by its close more than 800 had signed up either to visit Sri Lanka or to receive more information. The embassy will pursue these contacts and explore the possibility of organizing special group tours in close collaboration with Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau and the national carrier, Sri Lankan Airlines. Embassy of Sri Lanka Washington DC USA 10 May 2010

Sri Lanka’s most celebrated Master Chef Publis Silva conducts culinary demonstrations to large number of Americans who participated at “The Embassy Chefs Series with Gail Scott”.

The Meridien ‘Embassy Chefs with Gail Scott’ was hosted by Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya and Mrs. Wickramasuriya at their historic Embassy Row Residence, on Thursday, December 11, 2008. The main feature of the event was the presence of the island’s most celebrated Chef - Dr. T. Publis Silva of Mount Lavinia Hotel to conduct culinary demonstrations.

Master Chef Publis Silva conducts culinary demonstrations to large number of Americans.

The event was widely acclaimed by the all-American gathering from the Greater Washington DC area, including representatives from the US Department of State and Department of Justice, who were treated to exotic gastronomical treats, refreshing beverages and soothing ambience tunes, complemented by the renowned Sri Lankan hospitality.

Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya and Mrs. Wickramasuriya, Gail Scott with Master Chef Publis Silva

The guests were treated to traditional Sri Lankan drinks upon arrival, following which they attended the demonstration and a sumptuous Sri Lankan dinner. While rice based ‘Komm Pittu’, Eggplant Pickle or ‘Moju’, Fish Cutlets, and Watalappan - a Sri Lankan dessert were demonstrated and variety of other exotic food items were served for dinner. In conclusion of the event, Ambassador Wickramasuriya demonstrated the correct way of brewing a perfect cup of ‘Ceylon Tea’, of which samples were gifted to all the guests together with Sri Lankan recipes as well as several other gifts in the Sri Lankan gift bag presented to each guest. At the end of the event, attendees signed up to receive information on a tour to Sri Lanka to be arranged by the Embassy in 2009.

Ambassador Wickramasuriya demonstrated the brewing a perfect cup of ‘Ceylon Tea’

In his opening remarks following a short video presentation on Sri Lanka, Ambassador Wickramasuriya, thanked Chef Publis for taking time off his busy schedule to visit the United States and attending this grand event, as well as Sri Lankan Airlines and Sri Lanka Tourism for sponsoring the event, and invited all the guests to visit Sri Lanka, to experience the wonders of the Resplendent Island. Ambassador H.M.G.S. Palihakkara - the Sri Lankan Permanent Representative to the UN, and Dillan Ariyawansa - Vice President, Sri Lankan Airlines (North America) and Sri Lanka Tourism representative in New York were also present at the event.

The Embassy Chefs Series with Gail Scott organized by Meridien, in close collaboration with diplomatic missions based in Washington DC, is a program primarily focused on culinary arts of different cultures and countries. Meridien International Center (MIC) is a Washington based forum, which promotes awareness and understanding of foreign cultures with the objective of fostering closer relations between the people of the United States and the rest of the world. Embassy of Sri Lanka Washington DC USA 16 December 2008 Click here for the event page on the Meridien website. Click here for Chef Publis Silva’s bio.

 

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