The Ministry of Foreign Affairs opened its Regional Consular Office in Jaffna at the District Secretariat yesterday, Thursday 26 January 2017.
The opening was preceded by the lighting of the traditional oil lamp by dignitaries and invitees and the holding of religious observances. Following the ceremony, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera unveiled the plaque declaring the opening of the consular office, with the participation of the Leader of the Opposition R. Sampanthan, Chief Minister of the Northern Province C.V. Wigneswaran, Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen, Deputy Foreign Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva and State Minister of Women & Child Affairs Vijayakala Maheshwaran.
Speaking at the occasion, Foreign Minister Samaraweera reiterated the Government’s commitment to continue to release lands in the North. The Minister believed that real reconciliation would only be possible if all people had a better understanding of each other and the need for all to be treated with equality. He further stated that the one of the primary objectives of the Government is to build a sense of equity and justice in the society by eliminating doubt and suspicion among communities.
The Foreign Minister noted that steps would also be taken to open a Regional Consular Office in Matara, so that the public in the South can have access to consular services without coming to Colombo.
Following the ceremony, four members of the public were handed over attested educational certificates by the Leader of the Opposition, Chief Minister of the Northern Province, State Minister of Women & Child Affairs and Minister of Commerce and Industry. These certifications were the first consular services provided by the regional office in Jaffna to the public.
With the establishment of the Regional Consular Office, members of the general public are able to obtain a range of consular services from attestation of birth, marriage and death certificates as well as educational certificates for their use abroad; extending assistance to family members of Sri Lankans who may be stranded abroad; facilitation of redress and compensation claims of families of migrant workers; and repatriation of human remains from abroad.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
27 January 2017