“Visit, make available expertise and invest in Sri Lanka” – Ambassador Aryasinha
Posted on February 8th, 2012

The embassy of the democratic socialist republic of sri lanka to belgium,  luxembourg  and the european union

Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the EU Ravinatha Aryasinha has called on expatriate Sri Lankans, to visit, make available expertise and invest in Sri Lanka. Addressing the celebrations to mark the 64th anniversary of independence of Sri Lanka in Brussels, he noted that, “Sri Lanka, having overcome long years of terrorism and its after effects, had an unprecedented opportunity of ensuring economic growth, social advancement and reconciliation. While the energies of the Government and the people of Sri Lanka was focussed on ensuring the attainment of these objectives, Sri Lankan expatriates living abroad and their friends should explore how best they could contribute from a far to this endeavour”. He said they “could do so by visiting the country, making available their expertise even for short periods, and by investing in it.” He also called upon Sri Lankan expatriates and expatriate organizations “to leverage the policy in their host states in ways that favour Sri Lanka”.

 The independence day celebrations in Brussels was attended by Sri Lankans living in Belgium and Luxembourg and friends of Sri Lanka who came together on 05 February 2012, at the “ƒ”¹…”La Fannel’ auditorium in Brussels.  The event organized by the Embassy and attended by over 200 persons showcased Sri Lanka’s religious & cultural diversity. 

   The proceedings commenced with the recital of the National Anthem. Two minutes silence was observed in honour of the heroes who sacrificed their lives to preserve and protect the unity and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka.

 Following the lighting of the traditional oil lamp, Ven. Nepalaye Nanda thero conducted the Buddhist religious observances, while Pundit Shukrananda Sahrma performed the Hindu prayers, Maulavi Abdul Samath performed the Islamic prayers and Rev. Fr. Claude Nonis conducted the Christian prayers.

 The Independence Day messages of H.E the President, Hon. Prime Minister and Hon. Minister of External Affairs were read in Sinhala, Tamil and English respectively by the Embassy officials, which was followed by the Ambassador’s address.

 A colourful cultural programme followed. Sri Lankan children living in Belgium performed traditional Sri Lankan dances, while Sri Lankans living in Luxembourg presented Sri Lankan songs. Two child musicians performed violin and piano recitals respectively. The  grand finale to the programme was the coming together of Sri Lankans to sing ‘Lowe Sema Ekamadeye’.

 The cultural programme was followed by a lunch hosted by the Embassy of Sri Lanka.

 Embassy of Sri Lanka



6 Responses to ““Visit, make available expertise and invest in Sri Lanka” – Ambassador Aryasinha”

  1. radha Says:

    The ambassador states, “Sri Lankan expatriates living abroad and their friends should explore how best they could contribute from a far to this endeavour”. He said they “could do so by visiting the country, making available their expertise even for short periods, and by investing in it.”

    Are these serious words, or rhetorics, or just a trap for unsuspecting expatriates? There must be others like me who are interested in this idea but scared to take the plunge because we hear of of bad experience of others. Therefore I would like to ask these questions.

    Could someone in the know explain please, What is the process set up for expatriates to offer their expertise? Is there an infrastructure that has been set up to channel any offered expertise for the betterment of the country? Existing local experts, are they ready to accept these government proposals and work with expatriate experts without harrassment?

    On investment, is it justifiable when we read that foreign investments are used up to import luxury vehicles for the use of MPs? Or used to prop up ailing airlines like Mihin Air? How do we know if foreign investments are going to be channelled into genuine development projects and not into the pockets of middle men with political connections who pocket large portions of the funding for their private use, say, in the pretext of arrangement fees and commissions? Basically what I am asking is are we being encouraged to invest in a nation that is mainly focussed on spending on consumer goods for the well shod, and encouraging local barons to open foreign accounts most likely using the foreign excahnge that we invest in Sri Lanka? Is this a good idea?

  2. Lorenzo Says:

    Or worse, money may well go to the north with nothing for the south.

    This is what happened to most of those who wanted to invest in SL. It is not an investment but a DONATION! Even donations are channeled to the north and nothing for the south.

    This won’t work.

    Unless expatriates invest in businesses of their family members/friends. That is a good investment opportunity.

  3. Sarath W Says:

    I was very fortunate to be in Sri Lanka on the 18th of May when the LTTE terrorist were defeated by our gallant forces. In his victory speech the excellency the president invited the expatriate Sri Lankan professionals to come back and work in Sri Lanka as their expertise is needed in the massive development projects planned for the future.

    I understand the concerns expressed by Radha and Lorenzo about investing in Sri Lanka. I know an expat friend of mine who had big plans to invest in a hotel in Sigiriya and have second thoughts now because of the president’s involvement in dictating minimum room rates for hotels. At the same time which decent professional is willing to work under a stupid minister like Mervyn Silva?
    In my recent visit to Sri Lanka I witnessed him so many times in the local TV. He not only showed what an idiot he is, but made me think why the president is still keeping him in the parliament.Some of those are ministers obviously because they are long time party members, or the crossed over from the UNP or simply because they are thugs or rich mudalalies.It is time the Hon president get rid of these useless ministers, prune the cabinet to about fifteen ministers and appoint some decent professionals as secretaries to the other eighty odd ministries is he is serious to get any expats to come back to the country.

  4. Fran Diaz Says:

    Sri Lanka is in a process of social transition in many ways, the most important being blurring/erasing of Caste (Tamil) & Class structures of both main communities. Satisfying both communities to this end is a monumental task. This appears to be a time of hazy unsureness.

    The 13-A & the TNA are the cause of a lot of uneasiness and creates a sense of insecurity. There seems to be a feeling of : when will the TNA do next, dragging all the Tamil people along a path of separatism & disunity ?
    Though President Rajapakse’s good intent is evident to us all, the legal & support structures with honest implementation of them are lacking for confidence to invest or come back and serve/live in, Lanka. There has to be sense of Security in every sense of the word before the professionals will come back. GoSL must also use the appropriate faces on media to advertise itself.

    Also, a question & answer program should be started by every SL Embassy abroad for anyone interested in investing in
    Lanka. May be this can be done via the internet and the Embassies.

    I may not be correct in my assumptions here. Please feel free to give correct version if I am wrong.

  5. radha Says:

    Thank you for thosse who offered their views. Pity that there were no takers who could answer my questions positively, suggesting that there is no government policy on the subject. Following Frank Diaz’ suggestion I did look into see if my local SLK HC has put any information on their website; there was nothing there, nor any helpful HTML links, and moreover my phone calls to the HC Office got unanswered. I came to the conclusion that the ambassador Ariyasinha’s words may be just loose talk without substance.

  6. radha Says:

    PS: I have noted Tiak Fernando’s article on this topic: Expatriates and their role Posted on Lankaweb August 23rd, 2010
    It is also a statement of wishful thinking but no positive guidelines to a process.

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