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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka, the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies (LKI) in collaboration with the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia organized an opening ceremony and a hybrid seminar to raise awareness on seven decades of friendly and mutually beneficial relations. diplomatic relations between the two Asian countries, according to a press release from LKI.

The seminar was held at the LKI Auditorium on August 10 and the event brought together many scholars, practitioners, diplomats and other stakeholders who helped cement the strong ties between Sri Lanka and Indonesia, it said. -he declares. The seminar was launched by Dr. Dayantha Laksiri Mendis, Executive Director of LKI who welcomed the distinguished participants and guests.

Keynote speakers were Indonesian Foreign Minister His Excellency Retno LP Marsudi, Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Hon. MOM Ali Sabry. This was followed by statements by HE Dewi Gustina Tobing, Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives of the Republic of Indonesia and Mrs. Aruni Wijewardane, Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka. After the opening session, an interactive panel discussion moderated by LKI Executive Director Mendis followed. The webinar focused on the multidimensional relations between the two countries in a friendly manner.

The participants were HE Dewi Gustina Tobing, Ambassador of Indonesia to Sri Lanka, her counterpart, Her Excellency Yasoja Gunasekera, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Indonesia, Professor Kusnanto Anggoro, Executive Director of the Center for Geopolitical Risk Assessment at the University of Indonesia, Jakarta and Prof. Chaminda Padmakumara, Head of Department of International Relations, University of Colombo.Prof. Kusnanto Anggoro has played an active role in the reform of the Indonesian security system, advising the Indonesian government, communicating with the Indonesian parliament and civil society in this area.

This event was designed to commemorate the 70th anniversary of official diplomatic relations which were established on August 6, 1952. However, there have been relations between the two countries in pre-colonial times, especially between the Sinhalese Kingdom and the Empire. Srivijaya, both Buddhists. kingdoms. During the Dutch colonial period, both countries were ruled by the Dutch East India Company. A significant result was the arrival on the island of Indonesians, whose descendants today are part of the Sri Lankan Malay community.

Modern relations between the two Asian countries have been strengthened by the fact that both countries have played a major role as pioneers of the Non-Aligned Movement. The birth of the Non-Aligned Movement was a direct result of the Afro-Asian Solidarity Conference held in Bandung, Indonesia in April 1955.

Since the establishment of official diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and Indonesia, the two countries have cooperated extensively, concluding important Memoranda of Understanding aimed at combating international terrorism, fostering diplomatic education and training, to combat the illicit traffic in narcotics and other prohibited substances; and co-operation in education, research and technology.

Sri Lanka and Indonesia have also worked together and supported each other in the ratification of important treaties under the United Nations covering areas such as human rights, humanitarian law, ILO conventions and conventions relating to the environment, climate change, disarmament and the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.

In addition, the two countries have been active participants and have collaborated and indeed shaped policy in regional bodies including the Colombo Plan, Bali Democracy Forum, Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) and Forum ASEAN regional. On the economic front, several achievements have taken place. Currently, four Indonesian companies have invested in Sri Lanka under the BOI law and are mainly active in the garment and tourism sectors.

Indonesian companies operating in Sri Lanka are Master Wovenlanka (pvt) Ltd, Bronto (Pvt) Ltd, Cooper Enterprises (private) Limited and Club Tex Mark (Pvt) Ltd. The objective of the seminar is therefore to serve as an opportunity to reflect on the strong ties that have existed between Sri Lanka and Indonesia in good and difficult times and to consider ways in which stronger and more mutually beneficial can be forged in the future. (LKI press release)