The newly appointed Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the Russian Federation, Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka assumed duties at the Mission on 03 September 2018.
Addressing the staff of the Embassy upon assumption of duties, Ambassador Jayatilleka spoke on the decades - old ties between Sri Lanka and Russia outlining the main political focus of his further work in Russia as the Ambassador of Sri Lanka and outlining the deep importance and continuous development of Sri Lanka’s bilateral relations with the Russian Federation.
Ambassador Jayatilleka highlighted that, for decades, since early 1950ies the USSR, then Russia provided important economic, industrial, technological and later, defence and security support to Sri Lanka, which was crucial for the country’s progress and economic development, as well as in defeating one of the world’s most developed terrorist organizations, putting an end to the civil conflict which affected the country for 30 years. In fact, one of Sri Lanka’s major infrastructural projects of the present time, the Moragahakanda irrigation project which will supply water to a large part of the country’s rural areas, including the North- this project, recently completed and inaugurated by H. E. the President Maithripala Sirisena, had its roots in the technological cooperation with Russia.
Russia has been supporting Sri Lanka in multilateral fora, including in UN as well as in other International Organizations – as the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to UN Organizations in Geneva, Dr. Jayatilleka recollects his fruitful exchanges with H.E. Valery Loschinin, the then Russian Ambassador for Disarmament and former Deputy Foreign Minister.
Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka considers it important to start his Ambassadorial duties in Russia now as Sri Lanka’s relations with Russia received a new momentum in a number of fields, as a result of the Official Visit of H. E. the President Maithripala Sirisena which strengthened the mutual communication between the Sri Lankan Leader with H. E. the President of the Russian Federation. On the first working day in Moscow, Dr. Jayatilleka will witness the signing of two important Sri Lanka-Russia agreements in defence sphere; in this context, the Ambassador noted the excellent rapport between Sri Lanka Ministry of Defence representatives with their Russian counterparts. Dr. Jayatilleka visited Russia several times, from 1960ies to 1985 when he participated in Sri Lankan delegation to the International Youth Festival in Moscow. Now, Dr. Jayatilleka as the new Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Russia, he is honoured to succeed to a pleiade of Sri Lankan Ambassadors of the past, such as Prof. Gunapala Malalasekara, T.B. Subasinghe, J. Kotalawala, N. Kanakaratne and others who, made a very important personal contribution to the progress of Sri Lanka-Russia bilateral relations.
The key political idea that the new Head of Sri Lanka’s Mission in Russia would like to project at the start of his duties is the following: “This is in the national interests of Sri Lanka, as a State and as a country, to strengthen, deepen and expand its relations with Russian with a view to the great strengths Russia has, which would be best to the further development of Sri Lanka”.