The year 2022 marks the 26th anniversary of the official establishment of bilateral relations between the Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and the Republic of Lithuania, according to a press release.
Lithuania is a former Soviet republic (also known as Soviet Lithuania or Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic, one of the USSR’s constituent republics between 1940-1941 and 1944-1990) that seceded from the Soviet Union on 11 March 1990 and became an independent democratic state. Since then, Lithuania has sought to build friendly and independent foreign relations with many countries worldwide. Lithuania established official foreign relations with Sri Lanka on 20 August in 1996 while establishing itself as an independent state, having served as a friendly member government of the European Union.
Since the commencement of diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and Lithuania, the Ministry of External Affairs of Sri Lanka appointed the excellent diplomat Alfred Kulendran of Sri Lanka to establish diplomatic relations with Lithuania as the Ambassador to represent Sri Lanka. He was the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Sweden from 1996 to 1999, whilst he served as the Associate Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Lithuania. Mohhamad Anzar Jabir was appointed by the Lithuanian government as the first Lithuanian Consul in Sri Lanka from 1996 to 2014. Following his untimely demise, the Lithuanian Embassy in Sri Lanka temporarily closed its office in Sri Lanka.
With the prior recommendation and approval of the Government of Lithuania, in a short time period, the Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs re-established the Lithuanian Consulate by appointing R.M. Mannivannan in the year 2015. He is the Chairman of Supreme Global Group, a reputed and leading commercial company in Sri Lanka. H.E. Limonas Talat Kelpsa was the first Lithuanian Ambassador to Sri Lanka, appointed by the Government of Lithuania.
H.E. Julius Pranevičius is currently the concurrent Ambassador of the Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to Sri Lanka. Over the past 26 years, foreign relations between Sri Lanka and Lithuania have been developing in a strong manner. The two countries have made significant strides in the fields of tourism, commerce, higher education, and technology. They have been contributing very positively with a friendly approach to the decisions taken by the association for the betterment and the prosperity of Sri Lanka.
The Republic of Lithuania, which is closely monitoring the economic crisis Sri Lanka is currently facing, is working with the European Union to provide relief to the people of Sri Lanka. Also, in the coming period, the Lithuanian consulates and the Lithuanian embassy in Sri Lanka are making arrangements with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka to attract more Lithuanian tourists by introducing Sri Lanka as their long-term holiday destination among Lithuanian tourists. Also, Lithuania has already become a popular destination for Sri Lankan entrepreneurs, Sri Lankan students seeking higher education, and Sri Lankans seeking employment abroad.
Through 26 years of successful diplomatic relations, space will be created to further strengthen the diplomatic relations between the two countries by building stronger relations in the economic, entrepreneurial, science and technology, innovation, and cultural, political, and economic sectors.