H.E. (Mrs.) Samantha K. Jayasuriya, Ambassador of Sri Lanka accredited to Lao People’s Democratic Republic with resident in Bangkok presented Credentials to H.E. Bounnhang Vorachith, President of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic at the President Palace ‘Hokham’ in Vientiane on 07 February 2020.
Ambassador Jayasuriya conveyed the greetings of H.E. the President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the Government of Sri Lanka to the President of Lao PDR and during the discussion the President of Lao expressed hope on further strengthening cooperation between the two countries, which is based on strong and common socio-cultural and religious traditions based on Theravada Buddhism.
Expressing similar sentiments and recalling that the year 2020 marks the 55th Anniversary of establishment of formal diplomatic relations between the two countries, Ambassador Jayasuriya also renewed the invitation of the Government of Sri Lanka to the President of Lao to undertake a high-Level visit to Sri Lanka, galvanizing the bilateral ties between the two countries.
The Ambassador also paid courtesy calls on the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Information, Culture and Tourism as well as the Vice Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, and the Senior Officials of the Foreign Ministry on Asia Pacific Affairs and ASEAN Divisions, where fruitful and candid discussions were held on a number of areas of mutual interest related to Initiating the First Joint Political Consultation, Sri Lanka’s membership of ASEAN Sectoral Dialouge Partnership , extending capacity building support to Lao on areas related to Agriculture, Health, English Language and Dhamma School Education, and also in the field of tourism and trade.
During the stay in Lao PDR Ambassador Jayasuriya also had a discussion with the Director, Lao National Front; the main authority to promote and protect Buddhism, which was followed by the visits to three main Buddhist temples; Pha That Luang; the national symbol of Lao, Wat Si Saket and Wat Ongtu, in the Vientiane capital and engaged in discussions with the Chief Abbots on improving Dhamma and English education training for Laotian monks, exchange of monks between two countries and cultural exchanges. She also invited them to undertake a visit to Sri Lanka to participate at the Wesak celebration in Kandy organized by Sri Lanka Tourism as part of its Buddhist circuit tourism.
Ambassador Jayasuriya also visited Vang Vieng Province and to a Forest Conservation and Afforestation Project, agricultural and tourism sites to explore the possibility of extending expert assistance of Sri Lanka to Lao PDR to develop activities in agro economic, eco tourism, research and technology in tea, in line with the proposed programmes by GoSL. She also engaged with the Sri Lankan community in Lao, the President of Lao Airlines, several investors in hospitality and travel industry. Ambassador Jayasuriya was accompanied by the Second Secretary Ms. Saritha Ranatunga and the Hony Consul of Sri Lanka in Vientiane, Mrs. Manilay Thiphalansy.
Ambassador Jayasuriya is a Sri Lanka Foreign Service Officer of the 1998 intake and a past pupil of Devi Balika Vidyalaya, and Alumnai of the Graduate School of International Relations of the International University of Japan (IUJ), and the Faculty of Agriculture of University of Peradeniy-Sri Lanka.
Embassy of Sri Lanka
11 February 2020