The Christian community of Sri Lanka, together with their brethren all over the world celebrates Easter, the commemoration day of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, with utmost devotion.
The intend of the devoted commemoration is to purify the mind and soul. The Christian devotees spend the lent period indulging in religious activities recalling the crucifixion, suffering, sacrifice, the death, and resurrection of Jesus. I believe that peace and harmony attained in the mind due to these pious activities help the Christian community to spread the message of love, peace, and harmony among the brethren in the country.
The devotees are shocked and saddened by the corona pandemic faced by the world community today. Their desire is to provide relief to the suffering people with the blessings of the divine Father and Son.
The Easter festivities in the past were full of joy and delight. However, last year it left a sorrowful memory of pain and loss. Even today the shock has not been fully erased. The commitment of the government is to ensure justice for the people who suffered. Furthermore, the government is determined to ensure complete eradication of such tragedies from the Motherland.
At this moment when the country is faced with a grave challenge to the health of the people, the government expects the Christian community to stay at homes in accordance with the advice of the Government and health officials and pay obeisance to Jesus Christ.
I wish you, your family and the entire society would be able to absolve yourselves from sins by faithfully recalling the message of Jesus.
April 9, 2020
Minister Dinesh Gunawardena explores possibilities to assist Sri Lankan Migrant workers
Minister of Foreign Relations, Skills Development, Employment and Labour Relations, Dinesh Gunawardena met with the Secretaries and senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Relations, the Ministry of Skills Development, Employment and Labour Relations and the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE), today (10 April 2020), at the Ministry of Foreign Relations, to discuss ramifications emanating from the present Coronavirus pandemic to Sri Lankan migrant workers abroad and to explore possible mechanisms to assist these Sri Lankans.
Minister Gunawardena referring to approximately over 1 million Sri Lankan migrant workers, who are employed largely in the Middle East, South East Asia, East Asia, Europe, and Africa regions stated that the interests of these Sri Lankans need to be looked into by the two Ministries. During the meeting, he specifically drew the attention of the senior officials to the needs of the migrant workers, who are employed in the Gulf region. Minister Gunawardena said that measures taken by the host countries in this region to curb the spread of the Coronavirus has adversely affected the migrant workers and instructed senior officials to explore solutions to these implications.
The issues of unregistered migrant workers under the SLBFE, those who have recently lost their jobs and issues relating to remittances, were discussed at the meeting, to explore practical solutions, so those migrant workers of Sri Lanka could be assisted well during this challenging time. The Foreign Minister also said that the Government of Sri Lanka would take every possible step to assist and safeguard the rights and wellbeing of Sri Lankan migrant workers all over the world.
Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha, Secretary to the Ministry of Skills Development, Employment and Labour Relations, D.M. Sarath Abayagunawardana and other Senior Officials who attended the meeting shared their views and insights on the current situation of migrant workers and emphasized that the two Ministries will work closely for the betterment of the migrant workers.
Ministry of Foreign Relations
10 April 2020
His Excellency the President of Sri Lanka has established on the 23rd March, 2020 a special fund - ‘COVID – 19 Healthcare and Social Security’ to strengthen the mitigation activities aimed at controlling the spread of COVID – 19 virus and related social welfare programmes in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lankan community and well-wishers living in Germany especially in the six Federal States of Hessen, North Rhein-Westphalia, Rhineland Palatinate, Saarland, Baden Wurttemberg and Bayern within the consular jurisdiction of the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Frankfurt am Main, are invited to make a financial contribution through the official bank account of the Consulate General:
Name of Account: Generalkonsulat von Sri Lanka
Name of Bank: Deutsche Bank AG
IBAN: DE26 3807 0059 0195 0377 00
The Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Frankfurt am Main will acknowledge receipt by Email and inform the management of the ‘COVID – 19’ Healthcare and Social Security Fund through the Ministry of Foreign Relations, Sri Lanka.
For further inquiries, you may please contact the Consulate General hotlines:
00 49 69 6605 3980, 00 49 151 5723 1741
00 49 177 6929 472, 0049 152 1432 2779
We thank you for your generosity.
Consulate General of Sri Lanka
Lyoner Str. 34, Tower 2 - 7th Floor
60528 Frankfurt am Main.
IS BLACK TEA AN IMMUNITY BOOSTER FOR COVID- 19?
Is there any silver lining in the dark cloud for ‘Ceylon Tea’? The Tea Research Institute of Sri Lanka (TRI) has released a scientific paper under the theme: ‘Anti-viral’ properties of tea - black tea may become the unique brew of choice with no side effects to fight against Corona Virus? ".
Low incidence of infected patients:
Sri Lankans habitually consume 03 to 04 cups of Ceylon Black Tea. Therefore, in addition to epidemic control measures and social distancing and hot local temperatures (between 26°C-32°C), the practice of drinking tea may also contribute to the low incidence of infected patients with coronavirus. The infected case and the cases per million people in Sri Lanka are comparatively low. It could be due to a combination of multiple reasons, which certainly requires in-depth investigation.
Power of Ceylon Black Tea as a potential booster:
Several studies are ongoing globally in search of therapeutic options to recognize ‘anti-viral’ agents which could treat patients affected by COVID 19. However, “prevention is better than cure”. TRI has made a genuine effort to investigate the "Power of Ceylon Black Tea" as a potential booster to aid one’s immune system to fight against the virus when confronted.
Several studies undertaken in different countries have demonstrated the potential benefits of Black & Green Tea consumption in controlling influenza and common cold generally caused by viral infections. Tea Catechins have the ability to bind onto the surface of the influenza virus and inhibit the spread. TRI has quoted a recently conducted research study from Taiwan where the chemical structure of 64 compounds had been bioinformatically modelled against SARS-CoV- 2.
Black tea has ‘theaflavins’:
It had been revealed that ‘Theaflavins’ could potentially inhibit a critical SARS-CoV- 2 enzyme, and thereby, theoretically inhibit COVID-19. Theaflavins are antioxidant polyphenols that are formed during enzymatic oxidation process (fermentation) in the manufacture of Black Tea. In contrast to Green Tea, Black Tea is rich in Theaflavins due to the manufacturing process. An alkaloid, found in tea is Theaflavins, a chemical shown to alleviate respiratory diseases such as asthma, chronic bronchitis and other lung diseases. It relaxes and opens air passages in the lungs making it easier to breathe.
Inhaling the fumes (steam) of hot black tea:
The TRI release has highlighted that, inhaling boiling water mixed with Black Tea can facilitate the clearing of the passages towards the lungs. As the COVID-19 epidemic is a similar illness where the patients find it difficult to breathe. The scientists at the Sri Lanka Tea Board Laboratory suggest that frequent consumption of hot black tea is capable of flushing viruses trapped in the throat area. This practice is believed to improve immune capacity and inhibit inflammation due to Catechins and Polyphenols contained in Black Tea. Further, inhaling the fumes (steam) of hot black tea at high temperatures facilitates the removal of viruses trapped around the nasal area and opens a pathway for the tea Theaflavins to reach the lungs and protect it from viruses.
Drink Black tea good for immune system:
It could be assumed in respect of the circumstantial evidence available that daily consumption of Black Tea (03 to 04 cups without sugar or milk) is very useful and linked to the boosting of the immune system of normal human beings against respiratory diseases. The COVID-19 is an influenza-like illness which could be perceived to be curtailed by Theaflavins, one of the most active ingredients in Black Tea as explained in this review.
Please note that Black Tea is neither a medically proven prophylaxis nor a treatment against COVID-19, but it is worth conducting further research to investigate the possible anti-viral benefits of Theaflavins in Black Tea against COVID-19. Clinical trials however, need to be initiated prior to claiming benefits against COVID-19 in humans. It is premature to make concrete claims until in-vivo experiments or Research & Development on living cells are undertaken as per WHO guidelines. Nevertheless, Sri Lankans strongly believe that Ceylon Tea, the miracle Black Tea beverage is certainly one of them.
The relevant scientific papers are available with the Sri Lanka Tea Board for any references.
(Courtesy of Sri Lanka Tea Board/ 03/04/20)
Foreign Minister, Dinesh Gunawardena met with senior officials of the Ministry
of Foreign Relations today at the Ministry to discuss about the welfare of the
Sri Lankan expatriate communities, difficulties currently being faced by
these communities and ways to explore practical solutions to assist
expatriate communities at this time of need.
Earlier this week, taking note of the growing concerns of the Overseas Sri
Lankans amidst the rapid spread of COVID- 19 and their inability to
immediately return to Sri Lanka, the Ministry had discussed with Sri Lanka
Missions abroad ongoing & further measures to ensure the well being and safety
of Overseas Sri Lankans.
In discussing issues of migrant workers, especially in the Middle Eastern countries, the Minister directed the senior officials of the Ministry to work closely with the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) to find appropriate solutions to such issues.
Foreign Minister Gunawardena also highlighted the importance of maintaining economic and trade relations between Sri Lanka and other countries during this period. He advised the officials to take necessary actions to explore new markets for Sri Lankan products, especially for Tea and to consolidate existing markets for Sri Lankan products such as apparel.
Foreign Minister Gunawardena appreciated the services of senior officials of the Ministry, including staff of Sri Lankan Overseas Missions, and their dedication during this difficult period. Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha, Additional Secretaries, Directors General and other senior officials attended the meeting.
Ministry of Foreign Relations
03 April 2020
The Federal Foreign Office of Germany has informed that the Immigration Authorities of the federal states will follow the simplified procedures in extending visas (Residence permit (D visa) and Schengen visa (C visa)) of the foreign nationals who could not leave Germany due to the current restrictions in international travel and the associated difficulties before the expiry of the validity of the visa or residence permit.
a) An application for an extension of the residence permit (D visa) or Schengen visas (C visas) should be submitted to the competent immigration office responsible for their place of residence before their expiry.
b) Due to the current situation, the application can be made by email. Please note that the general requirement of a personal interview for a Schengen visa extension has been exempted.
c) Complete personal details (surname, maiden name, first name, spelling of the names according to German law, date of birth, place and district of birth, gender, nationalities, passport number) to be submitted. For Residence visa the type of title and any file number of the immigration office must be specified.
d) It is advisable to keep a print out of the extension application or hold it in another form in addition to the expired title and your own passport / ID card. Until the decision of the immigration authority is made, the previous title is valid along with the application.
e) The immigration authorities have been asked to grant the extension of the departure period and to inform the applicant of Schengen visas (C visas) in writing. This written notification should be made available with the passport and visa when leaving the country.
f) The Federal Foreign Office has also informed that any third-country national who is temporarily in Germany should take every opportunity to return to their country of residence, even if this does not correspond to the original travel plans and the stay has to be shortened.
For further details, please contact the hotlines.
Embassy of Sri Lanka in Berlin
Monday to Friday (8.30 am – 4.30 pm) After Office hours and week-ends
Tel. +49 30 809 097 49 / +49 30 809 097 61 / +49 1 723 111 944 / +49 1 517 127 4166 / +49 1 609 733 7858 / +49 1 517 127 4166
Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Frankfurt (Monday to Friday and week-ends)
Tel. +49 69 660 539 80 / +49 1 515 723 1741 / +49 1 776 929 472 / +49 1 521 432 2779
Embassy of Sri Lanka - Berlin, Germany
FOREIGN MINISTRY LAUNCHES ‘CONTACT SRI LANKA’-ONLINE PORTAL FOR OVERSEAS SRI LANKANS IN COLLABORATION WITH ICTA
‘Contact Sri Lanka’ an online portal jointly created by the Ministry of Foreign Relations and Information & Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) for the benefit of Overseas Sri Lankans was launched today (26 March 2020) at the Ministry of Foreign Relations. The web link is hosted on the Ministry web page www.mfa.gov.lk and also can be accessed at www.contactsrilanka.mfa.gov.lk.
Establishment of the portal, is pursuant to the call made by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa for coordinated efforts by all Government stakeholders to fight the COVID-19 outbreak and to harness digital technology to prompt faster and more efficient service delivery.
All Sri Lankans living abroad are invited to register voluntarily on the platform’s basic functionalities allowing the Government of Sri Lanka to reach out and provide assistance during emergencies such as the COVID19 outbreak. This platform will allow the Ministry to access real time data for quick action. The open access platform would also facilitate Overseas Sri Lankans to interact between government stakeholders, promoting greater access to the Government services through a single centralized point at the Ministry of Foreign Relations. This Portal will also connect Overseas Sri Lankans with the network of Sri Lanka Missions abroad.
In the long term, the Portal will be expanded and is expected to serve as an official source of information and facilitate Overseas Sri Lankans in obtaining a wider range of digital services offered by the Government.
A dedicated team of officials have already been assigned by the Ministry of Foreign Relations to respond to queries of Overseas Sri Lankans and also to act as an online help desk, during emergencies in consultation with relevant stakeholders. Registration by country will also allow the Ministry to propose concrete policy decisions in critical response situations such as evacuation etc., depending on the number of emergency assistance requests generated.
For easy facilitation, the portal also includes a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) which will serve as a guideline for generic queries. This user friendly platform can be easily navigated via the internet, on any browser or interface and can be accessed by all registered users to direct a query or request assistance, even from a mobile phone.
The data provided through this portal is protected to ensure the privacy of Overseas Sri Lankans and will not be shared without the consent of the users.
The ICTA will be working closely with the Ministry of Foreign Relations in expanding the features of the portal in stages, to create a comprehensive online service platform for Overseas Sri Lankans, via the ‘Contact Sri Lanka’ Portal.
The Ministry of Foreign Relations, is hopeful that this integrated platform will elevate its existing service delivery for Overseas Sri Lankans to a higher level, particularly allowing rapid response in times of emergencies. All Sri Lankans living abroad are invited to benefit from this portal.
Ministry of Foreign Relations
26 March 2020