- On 20 December, 2022
65th Anniversary of diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and Nepal celebrated in Kathmandu
A Dialogue titled "Nepal-Sri Lanka Friendship: From Ancient Links to the Present" was held in Kathmandu on 19th December 2022 to celebrate the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations, organized by the Embassy of Sri Lanka in collaboration with the Nepal Council of World Affairs (NCWA). Nepal's Foreign Minister Narayan Khadka graced the event as the Chief Guest. Minister Khadka spoke of recent high level political engagements including his own visit to Sri Lanka in March for the BIMST-EC Ministerial meeting. He also emphasized the importance of elevating trade relations with the participation of both public and private sectors.
Foreign Minister Ali Sabry of Sri Lanka issued a special message through video link and referred to the ancient links dating back to the time of Gauthama Buddha. He referred to Lumbini as the umbilical cord that binds Sri Lanka and Nepal. He noted that the core strength of Sri Lanka - Nepal friendship is the unwavering willingness of the two countries to help each other at times of distress.
Former foreign secretary of Nepal and Ambassador to Sri Lanka from 2005-2009 Durga Prasad Bhattarai, delivered the keynote speech from Nepal and highlighted the ancient links both recorded and unrecorded, and how they contributed to improving relations notably through Buddhism and the Ramayana. He also spoke about the legal foundations laid through bilateral legal instruments to promote economic cooperation, notably through a Joint Commission and air services agreement. The re-establishment of air connectivity in 2021 was welcomed as an important initiative to advance trade and tourism.
From Sri Lanka, former secretary general of BIMST-EC and Sri Lanka's Ambassador to Nepal from 2009-2012, Sumith Nakandala delivered the keynote address via video link. He highlighted the importance of building momentum on trade and investment and the role for Sri Lanka to support Lumbini's development as a centre of peace. He further stressed on potential opportunities to be explored collaboratively in the context of regional connectivity, focusing in particular on BIMST-EC as a useful platform that can help economic relations in a constructive manner.
President of NCWA Hemantha Kharel and Ambassador Himalee Arunatilaka of Sri Lanka also addressed the gathering.
The event was attended by members of the diplomatic corps, Government officials, former ambassadors, scholars, entrepreneurs, and Nepali dignitaries who have contributed to the enhancement of bilateral ties between the two countries.
Embassy of Sri Lanka
20 December 2022