Political relations (Laos)
- While the Government of Lao PDR is a one-party communist state (the single party is the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party or LPR), Political relations between Sri Lanka and Laos have remained cordial and further strengthened through the Buddhist links.
- The President and Vice President are indirectly elected by the National Assembly for a 5-year term (no term limits); The Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers are appointed by the president with the approval of the National Assembly for a five-year term. The last election was held on 21 February 2021 (next election to be held in 2026).
- Formal Diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and Lao PDR was established on 20th July 1965 accredited to Bangkok, Thailand.
- Neither country maintains a resident Mission in each other’s capital. Sri Lanka is accredited through the Mission in Bangkok, while Laos is accredited to Sri Lanka through its Mission in New Delhi.
Presentation of Credentials by H.E the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Lao P.D.R, -10th November 2022
On 10th November 2022, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the Kingdom of Thailand and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific (UNESCAP), Her Excellency C.A. Chaminda I Colonne presented Letters of Credence to the President of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, His Excellency Thongloun Sisoulith, at the National Assembly, at Vientiane, as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Sri Lanka to Lao PDR.
Along with Ambassador Chaminda Colonne, fourteen newly appointed Ambassadors from the Mexico, Qatar, Italy, Algeria, Israel, Norway, Maldives, Spain, Iran, Luxembourg, Bahrain, Belgium, Venezuela, Austria who are concurrently accredited either from Bangkok or Hanoi also presented their Letters of Credence to President Sisoulith. After warmly welcoming and congratulating the newly appointed Ambassadors, President Sisoulith extended warm best wishes to all Heads of State, thanked for all support given to Lao PDR, outlined his country’s achievements in Sustainable Development Goals and conveyed hope that newly appointed Ambassadors would further strengthen relations, friendship and cooperation with Lao.
Ambassador Chaminda Colonne conveyed warm greetings from the President Ranil Wickramasinghe of Sri Lanka to the President Sisoulith and assured to consolidate relations with the Lao PDR, based on Buddhist religious values. Ambassador also extended an invitation to President Sisoulith to visit Sri Lanka. President Sisoulith extended sincere best wishes to the President Ranil Wickramesinghe and recalled his visit to Sri Lanka in the past.
Ambassador Chaminda Colonne had fruitful bilateral discussions with the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Phoxay Khaykhamphithoune, Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce Manothong Vongxay and the Deputy Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Phosy Keomanivong on promoting two countries relations and cooperation in the fields of political, socio-cultural, trade, economic, investment, tourism etc. and enhancing people to people contacts.
Ambassador also paid courtesy calls on Director General of Protocol Amphay Kindavong, and the Director General of Asia Pacific and Africa Department, Viroth Sundara, of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lao PDR, and had discussions with the President of Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Xaybandith Rasphone, Director General of Lao Front for National Development, Bounthavy Phonethasine, and the President of the Lao Association of Travel Agents Somphong Deviengxay. Sri Lanka Honorary Consul in Lao PDR Manilay Thiphalansy facilitated the Ambassador during her stay in Vientiane.
Ambassador Chaminda Colonne paid homage to President of Central Buddhist Fellowship Organization Most Venerable MahaBounma Simmaphome, Chief Monk of the Sisaket temple Venerable Mahavet Masenai, Vice President of Central Buddhist Fellowship Organization and Chief Monk of the Ongtu temple of Lao Most Venerable Phuangphaserd Phoumavong. They conveyed their highest blessings to the newly appointed Ambassador and assured their commitment for consolidating Sri Lanka-Lao Buddhist and religious relations. Ambassador also met Sri Lankan community live and work in Lao PDR at the Sri Lanka Honorary Consulate in Vientiane.
High level visits:
- Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe, then Prime Minister of Sri Lanka met the Prime Minister of Lao PDR on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum on ASEAN held from 11-13 September 2018 in Hanoi and extended an invitation to Laotian Prime Minister to visit Sri Lanka.
- Hon. Tilak Marapana, then Minister of Foreign Affairs met H.E. Saleumxay Kommasith, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lao PDR on the sidelines of the 25th ASEAN Regional Forum held in August 2018 in Singapore.
- A Parliamentary Friendship Association has been established between the Sri Lanka Parliament and Lao peoples’ Assembly and a 7-member delegation of Sri Lankan Parliamentarians undertook a visit to Laos in June 2017.
- Hon. Karu Jayasooriya, then Speaker of the Sri Lanka Parliament led a parliamentary delegation to Vientiane in April 2018. During the visit, Hon. Speaker met the Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and the President of the National Assembly of Lao PDR. Among the matters discussed included Buddhist tourism circuit between Sri Lanka and Lao PDR and granting of ‘On Arrival visa’ facility for ordinary Sri Lankan passport holders.