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New ambassador to China to be sent soon – State Minister (Video)

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State Minister of Foreign Affairs – Tharaka Balasuriya says that the post of Sri Lankan ambassador in China, which had remained vacant for several months, will be filled soon.

Speaking exclusively to ”Sri Lanka Mirror’, he said, “We will certainly be sending an ambassador to China and we have already picked a very experienced officer from the Foreign Service.”

Emphasizing that “China no doubt is a very important country for Sri Lanka,” the State Minister added, “thus we have looked into one of the best officers that is available” to be sent in order “to further strengthen our relationship with China.”

The ambassador position at the Sri Lankan Diplomatic Mission in Beijing has remained vacant for nearly 07 months, ever since the previous ambassador – Dr. Palitha Kohona returned to Sri Lanka last August.

The President’s tour in 2023 October as well as the Prime Minister’s tour last month had taken place in the absence of an ambassador.

Speaking on the delay to appoint a new ambassador, the State Minister said that a time lapse between the exit of one ambassador and the appointment of another usually does take place. There are procedural delays and formalities which take place, he pointed out.

In addition to China, 07 more officers from the Foreign Service are to be appointed as new Heads of Mission in several other countries, Mr. Balasuriya added.

In a recent X message following an orientation programme for the newly appointed Heads of Mission for the year 2024, the State Minister had congratulated the newly appointed delegates.‍

According to reports, former ambassador to Austria – Majintha Jayesinghe is to be appointed as the new ambassador to China.

Ambassador Jayesinghe had joined the Sri Lanka Foreign Service in 1998 and was Ambassador in the United Arab Emirates, prior to the appointment in Austria. The diplomatic career entailed serving as Consul General in Shanghai, People’s Republic of China and Deputy High Commissioner in Malaysia.

The full interview of State Minister Tharaka Balasuriya with Sri Lanka Mirror Editor – Kelum Shivantha, is as follows :

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Five killed, 21 injured in accident at ‘Fox Hill SuperCross’ event

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Tragedy struck at the “Fox Hill Super Cross 2024” racing event in Diyatalawa, resulting in the death of five individuals and leaving 21 others injured, according to Police Media Spokesperson DIG Nihal Thalduwa.

The incident occurred when a race car veered off the track and collided with a group of spectators, DIG Thalduwa explained.

The 28th edition of the ‘Fox Hill SuperCross,’ organized by the Sri Lanka Military Academy Diyatalawa with the support of Sri Lanka Automobile Sports (SLAS), commenced in Diyatalawa on Sunday (21).

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Southern province governor Willy Gamage resigns

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The Governor of the Southern Province Willy Gamage has handed over his letter of resignation effective from 02 May, 2024, to the President’s Secretary.

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5 years marked since the Easter Sunday bombings

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Today (April 21) marks 05 years since the brutal Easter Sunday bombings in 2019.

All churches across Sri Lanka will observe 02 minutes of silence at 8:45 am today (21) to remember those lost in the attacks.

Several memorial events centering the St. Anthony’s church in Kochchikade and the St. Sebastian’s church in Katuwapitiya will be held.

Police spokesman DIG Nihal Thalduwa says that security has been beefed up to areas where memorial services are being held.

In 2019, a spate of bombings that took place across the country claimed 273 lives while injuring hundreds.

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