4 February 2021
Sri Lanka celebrates the anniversary of its 73rd Independence Day and newly appointed High Commissioner to South Africa, HE S Amarasekara welcomed a few guests to the celebration amid Covid-19 protocols.
He read out His Excellency the President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s policy statement, which sets out the expectation for Sri Lanka to have an advanced and progressive economy in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, law abiding society with due consideration to the environment.
Sri Lanka is home to many ethnicities, religions, languages and cultures and for many centuries, all lived together in harmony.
The country’s resources for more than two decades were mostly allocated to fighting a war, which ended in 2009, to the detriment of its development.
The current government is supporting the younger generation by providing free education from kindergarten to university as well as providing technical education at no cost. Opportunities abound for this new generation to fully participate in this new, tech savvy, environmentally conscious world.
Sri Lanka developed diplomatic relations with South Africa immediately after establishing a democratic system of governance and expects to elevate the socio-economic and geo-political relationship between the two countries. South Africa is blessed with many natural resources and has developed an advanced legal system based on principles of good governance. Sri Lanka is committed to democracy and good governance and has human resources with various talents, skills and knowledge.
High Commissioner Amarasekara said that his country is ready for a rapid take-off of the economy and highlighted its educated and skilled human resources; a good physical infrastructure system; a free health service and free education; a good legal system; and safety of foreign investment guaranteed by the constitution.
Sri Lanka is a member of several regional cooperation bodies including IORA, BIMSTEC and SAARC.
The Indian Ocean has some of the world’s major shipping lanes and Sri Lanka is strategically positioned to play a pivotal role as a maritime hub for Asia as well as Africa.
In a webinar hosted earlier by The Diplomatic Society, High Commissioner Amarasekara spoke of Sri Lanka’s revitalised foreign policy that highlights the importance of strengthening diplomatic and trade relations with African nations.
During his tenure in South Africa, Amarasekara committed to strengthen relations between the two nations and on this 73rd anniversary of independence, “join hands with South Africa and march towards a prosperous future.”