Menu

Milestones

Home // The Ministry // Milestones
Picture

Universal Franchise extended to all people

1931- DailyNewsClipping

At the first election to the State Council of Ceylon (the unicameral legislature) in June 1931, universal franchise was extended to all people, to elect 50 members to the legislature.

Ceylon is regarded as the oldest democracy in Asia, with Universal Adult Franchise (right to vote) being extended to both men and women, before it’s independence, and before being extended in many other countries.

1931
Picture

Free Education Policy in Sri Lanka

1945freeeducationpolicyinconsrlanka On 1 October 1945, the Free Education Policy came into effect;  stating that every child above the age of 5 and not more than 16 is entitled to free education.

This has benefited generations of students and has
enabled Sri Lanka to succeed in achieving the Millennium Development Goal of Universal Primary Education.

1945
Picture

Diplomatic Relations with Australia

255px-Flag_of_Australia.svg

Diplomatic Relations with Australia established in May 1947.

1947
Picture

Sri Lanka (Ceylon) gains Independence

IndDay

On February 4, 1948, Ceylon was granted independence as the Dominion of Ceylon. Dominion status within the British Commonwealth was retained for the next 24 years until May 22, 1972 when it became a republic and was renamed the Republic of Sri Lanka.

TimesofCeylon-Souv

 

1948
Picture

Diplomatic Relations with India

255px-Flag_of_India.svg

Diplomatic Relations with the Republic of India established in 1948.

1948
Picture

Opening of the first Overseas Mission: the High Commission of Sri Lanka in New Delhi, India.

india

The High Commission premises today.

1948
Picture

Diplomatic Relations with France

125px-Flag_of_France.svg

Diplomatic Relations with the French Republic established on 27 October 1948.

1948
Picture

Diplomatic Relations with USA

125px-Flag_of_the_United_States.svg

Diplomatic Relations with the United States of America was established on 29 October 1948, with the Embassy of Ceylon opening in Washington, D.C. with Sir Claude Corea as Ambassador.

1948
Picture

Diplomatic Relations with Turkey

125px-Flag_of_Turkey.svg

Diplomatic Relations with Republic of Turkey established.

1948
Picture

Opening of the High Commission of Sri Lanka in London, United Kingdom

1948
Picture

Opening of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Washington DC, USA.

1948
Picture

Opening of the High Commission of Sri Lanka in Canberra, Australia.

1949
Picture

Diplomatic Relations with Myanmar

125px-Flag_of_Myanmar.svg

Diplomatic Relations with the Republic of the Union of Myanmar established.

1949
Picture

Opening of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Rangoon, Myanmar.

1949
Picture

Diplomatic Relations with Sweden

125px-Flag_of_Sweden.svg

Diplomatic Relations with the Kingdom of Sweden established on 18 November 1949.

 

1949
Picture

Colombo Commonwealth Conference on Foreign Affairs

ColomboConference

The Colombo Commonwealth Conference on Foreign Affairs held in January 1950, conceives of  “The Colombo Plan” (The Colombo Plan for Cooperative Economic Development in South and Southeast Asia), as a forum to cooperate on socio-economic development.

1950
Picture

Diplomatic Relations with Indonesia

125px-Flag_of_Indonesia.svgDiplomatic Relations with the Republic of Indonesia established.

1950
Picture

Diplomatic Relations with Norway

125px-Flag_of_Norway.svg

Diplomatic Relations with the Kingdom of Norway established in October 1950.

1950
Picture

Opening of the High Commission of Sri Lanka in Islamabad, Pakistan.

IslamabadThe present day High Commission in Islamabad, opened on 22 February 1950.

 

1950
Picture

The Colombo Plan launched

ColomboPlan

 

The Colombo Plan launched on 1st July 1951.

In 1977, after adopted a new constitution, its name was changed to “The Colombo Plan for Cooperative Economic and Social Development in Asia and the Pacific” to reflect the expanded composition of its enhanced membership and the scope of its activities, from its original 7 members.

 

1951
Picture

Free Health Policy in Sri Lanka

 

1951--free-health-policy-in-sri-lanka_

The adoption of the Free Health Policy, comprising system of grass-root level workers including Public Health Midwives and Public Health Inspectors;  National and Base hospitals around the country has enabled Sri Lanka to achieve the highest social development indicators in the region and most parts of the world.

1951
Picture

Opening of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Jakarta, Indonesia.

1952
Picture

Diplomatic Relations with Japan

125px-Flag_of_Japan.svgDiplomatic Relations with Japan established.

1952
Picture

Diplomatic Relations with Italy

125px-Flag_of_Italy.svgDiplomatic Relations with the Italian Republic established.

1952
Picture

Opening of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Rome, Italy.

1952
Picture

Diplomatic Relations with Belgium

125px-Flag_of_Belgium.svgDiplomatic Relations with the Kingdom of Belgium established.

1953
Picture

Diplomatic Relations with Germany

255px-Flag_of_Germany.svg

Diplomatic Relations with the Federal Republic of Germany established on 9 December 1953.

1953
Picture

Opening of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Tokyo, Japan.

1953
Picture

Colombo Powers Conference

The Colombo Powers conference hosted by Ceylon in Kandy from 28 April to 2 May 1954, is regarded as having provided the momentum to discuss Asian- African solidarity and lead to the 1955 Bandung Conference.

1954
Picture

Bandung Conference

BandungConf

In April 1955, Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) with 29 countries from Africa and Asia, met in Bandung, Indonesia to discuss Afro-Asian solidarity and laid foundation for the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

1955
Picture

Sri Lanka joins the United Nations

125px-Flag_of_the_United_Nations.svgSri Lanka, then Ceylon, obtained membership of the United Nations on 14 December 1955, along with nine other countries.

SriLanka1955

Sir Senerat Gunawardena, Sri Lanka’s first Permanent Representative to the UN, hoists the national flag at the UN Headquarters in New York.

1955
Picture

Diplomatic Relations with Thailand

125px-Flag_of_Thailand.svg

Diplomatic Relations with the Kingdom of Thailand established in November 1955.

1955
Picture

Diplomatic Relations with Israel

125px-Flag_of_Israel.svgDiplomatic Relations with the State of Israel established on 1 June 1956.

1956
Picture

Ceylon’s Representative to the UN presents credentials

Sir Senerat Gunewardene was appointed Ambassador to the United States in 1953 and served as the Government’s observer to the 1955 session of the United Nations General Assembly.1956-1--ceylon’s-representative-to-the-un-presents-credentials

In 1956 he presented credentials as the first Representative to the United Nations.

1956
Picture

Opening of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Paris, France.

1956
Picture

First Statement made by Head of Government of Ceylon at UN

1956-2-first-statement-made-by-the-head-of-government-of-ceylon-300x239Prime Minister, S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike was the first Head of Government of Sri Lanka to address the United Nations General Assembly.

An excerpt from his speech at the 11th UN General Assembly:

“My country is a small one, a weak one and a poor one, but I venture to think that today, particularly in an organization such as this, the service that a country can render – that a member can render – is not to be measured alone by the size of that country, its population, its power or its strength. This is an organization which expresses itself most effectively by bringing to bear a certain moral force, the collective moral force and decency of human beings”.

1956
Picture

Diplomatic Relations with China

255px-Flag_of_the_People's_Republic_of_China.svg

Diplomatic Relations with the People’s Republic of China established on 7 February 1957.

1957
Picture

Opening of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Beijing, China

1957
Picture

Diplomatic Relations with Nepal

102px-Flag_of_Nepal.svg

Diplomatic Relations with the Kingdom of Nepal established on 1 July 1957. (In June 2017 Nepal became a Federal Democratic Republic).

 

1957
Picture

Opening of the Deputy High Commission of Sri Lanka in Chennai, India.

1957
Picture

Diplomatic Relations with Malaysia

125px-Flag_of_Malaysia.svg

Diplomatic Relations with Malaysia established

1957
Picture

Opening of the High Commission of Sri Lanka in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia.

1957
Picture

Establishment of Diplomatic Relations with Egypt

125px-Flag_of_Egypt.svg Establishment of Diplomatic Relations with Egypt

1957
Picture

Diplomatic Relations with the Soviet Union

250px-Flag_of_the_Soviet_Union.svg

Diplomatic Relations with the Soviet Union established on 19 February 1957.

1957
Picture

Opening of the Embassy Sri Lanka in Moscow, Russia.

1957
Picture

Establishment of Diplomatic Relations with Canada

Flag_of_Canada_(Pantone).svg

1958
Picture

Opening of the High Commission of Sri Lanka in Ottawa, Canada.

Ottawa

1958
Picture

Opening of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Cairo, Egypt.

1958
Picture

Opening of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Bonn, Germany.

1958
Picture

Establishment of Diplomatic Relations with Cuba

125px-Flag_of_Cuba.svgEstablishment of Diplomatic Relations with Cuba

1959
Picture

World’s First Female Prime Minister

1960-2--world’s-first-female-prime-minister

Sirimavo Bandaranaike was elected as the world’s first female Prime Minister on 21 July 1960. She addressed the 26th session of the United Nations General Assembly in 1971.

1960
Picture

Sri Lanka (Ceylon) becomes a Member of the UN Security Council

Ceylon was elected as a member of the United Nations Security Council in 1960.  Sir Claude Corea became the first ever President of the United Nations Security Council from Ceylon in May 1960.1960UNSC-SL

1960
Picture

Sri Lanka (Ceylon) first participated in a United Nations Peacekeeping mission

MONUC-SL

Sri Lanka first contribution to a United Nations Peacekeeping mission in 1960, by deploying Six peacekeepers to the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC).

1960
Picture

Establishment of Diplomatic Relations with Iran

125px-Flag_of_Iran.svg

Diplomatic Relations with Iran

1961
Picture

Establishment of Diplomatic Relations with the Philippines

125px-Flag_of_the_Philippines.svg

Diplomatic Relations with the Philippines

1961
Picture

Opening of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Manila, Philippines.

1961
Picture

Establishment of Diplomatic Relations with the European Commission

European_Commission.svg

Diplomatic Relations with the European Commission established.

1962
Picture

Establishment of Diplomatic Relations with the Maldives

125px-Flag_of_Maldives.svg

Diplomatic Relations with the Republic of Maldives established on 26 July 1956.

1965
Picture

Opening of the Permanent Mission to the UN in Geneva, Switzerland.

1965
Picture

Opening of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Bangkok, Thailand.

1966
Picture

Visit of UN Secretary General U Thant to Sri Lanka

1967-1--former-un-secretary-general-u-thant-visits-sri-lanka

The United Nations Compound in Colombo opened on 10 April 1967 by United Nations Secretary-General U Thant during his visit to Sri Lanka.

1967
Picture

Consulate opened in Sydney, Australia November 1968

1968
Picture

Establishment of Diplomatic Relations with Singapore

125px-Flag_of_Singapore.svg

Diplomatic Relations with the Republic of Singapore established on 27 July 1970.

1970
Picture

Opening of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Stockholm, Sweden.

1970
Picture

Establishment of Diplomatic Relations with Kenya

125px-Flag_of_Kenya.svg Diplomatic Relations with Kenya

1970
Picture

Establishment of the High Commission of Sri Lanka in Nairobi, Kenya.

1970
Picture

Establishment of Diplomatic Relations with Kuwait

125px-Flag_of_Kuwait.svg

Diplomatic Relations with Kuwait established on 19 February 1971.

1971
Picture

Opening of the High Commission of Sri Lanka in Singapore.

1971
Picture

Establishment of Diplomatic Relations with Bangladesh

255px-Flag_of_Bangladesh.svg

 

1972
Picture

Establishment of Diplomatic Relations with Ethiopia

125px-Flag_of_Ethiopia.svg

Diplomatic Relations with the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

1972
Picture

Opening of Sri Lanka Embassy in Brussels, July 1973

1973
Picture

1973
Picture

Sri Lanka presides over Law of the Sea Conference

Sri Lanka’s Hamilton Shirely Amerasinghe, was appointed as the President of the 3rd United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea. The  conference resulted in the Law of the Sea Convention, an important document that defines the rights and responsibilities of nations in using the world’s oceans.1974-1--law-of-the-sea-conference

1974
Picture

Establishment of Diplomatic Relations with Palestine

255px-Flag_of_Palestine.svg

Diplomatic Relations with Palestine

1975
Picture

Establishment of Diplomatic Relations with Qatar

125px-Flag_of_Qatar.svg

Diplomatic Relations with Qatar

1976
Picture

First Sri Lankan President of the United Nations General Assembly

06_-_Hamilton_Shirley_Amarasinghe

In 1976 H. Shirley Amerasinghe was appointed as the first Sri Lankan President of the 31st Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

1976
Picture

Sri Lanka hosts 5th NAM

5thNAMSummit

Picture

NAM Summit held

NAM-SummitHeads

1976
Picture

Establishment of Diplomatic Relations with Korea

125px-Flag_of_South_Korea.svg

Diplomatic Relations with the Republic of Korea established on 14 November 1977.

1977
Picture

Sri Lanka for Disarmament

1978-1--sri-lanka-for-disarmament Sri Lanka, proposed the first ever United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Disarmament, which was against nuclear weapons, small arms and the arms race in outer space.

1978
Picture

Establishment of Diplomatic Relations with UAE

Flag_of_the_United_Arab_Emirates.svg

Diplomatic Relations with the United Arab Emirates established in June 1979.

1979
Picture

Opening of the High Commission of Sri Lanka in Dhaka, Bangladesh, June

1979
Picture

Opening of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

1979
Picture

Opening of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Malé, Maldives.

1980
Picture

Establishment of Diplomatic Relations with Oman

125px-Flag_of_Oman.svg

Diplomatic Relations with Oman

1981
Picture

Opening of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

1981
Picture

First UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka

1982--first-unesco-world-heritage-sites-in-sri-lanka

3 Cultural sites in Sri Lanka are inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List: The Ancient City of Polonnaruwa, the Ancient City of Sigiriya, and the Sacred City of Anuradhapura.

Today, there are 6 cultural sites inscribed on the UNESCO Heritage List, including the Golden Temple of Dambulla (1991), the Old Town of Galle and its Fortifications (1988), and the Sacred City of Kandy (1988). UNESCO has also listed 2 natural sites on the World Heritage List: the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka (2010) and the Sinharaja Forest Reserve (1988).

1982
Picture

Opening of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Kuwait.

1982
Picture

Opening of the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Mumbai, India.

1983
Picture

South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) established

SAARC-LogoThe South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) established with the signing of the SAARC Charter in Dhaka on 8 December 1985 with 7 members. Sri Lanka is a founding member.

1985
Picture

Opening of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Havana, Cuba.

1987
Picture

Opening of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Seoul, Korea.

1987
Picture

Opening of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Muscat, Oman.

1987
Picture

Opening of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Tehran, Iran.

1990
Picture

Establishment of Diplomatic Relations with the Netherlands

125px-Flag_of_the_Netherlands.svg

Diplomatic Relations with the Netherlands established in November 1992.

1992
Picture

Opening of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Kathmandu, Nepal.

1993
Picture

Opening of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in The Hague, Netherlands.

1993
Picture

Opening of the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

1993
Picture

Opening of the Embassy of Sri Lanka and the Permanent Mission to the UN in Vienna, Austria.

1995
Picture

Establishment of Diplomatic Relations with South Africa

125px-Flag_of_South_Africa.svg

Diplomatic Relations with the Republic of South Africa established.

1996
Picture

Opening of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Amman, Jordan.

1996
Picture

Establishment of Diplomatic Relations with Lebanon

125px-Flag_of_Lebanon.svg

Diplomatic Relations with Lebanon established on 7 May 1997.

1997
Picture

Opening of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Beirut, Lebanon.

1997
Picture

Opening of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Doha, Qatar.

1997
Picture

Opening of the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

1997
Picture

Opening of the High Commission of Sri Lanka in Pretoria, South Africa.

1997
Picture

Opening of the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Sydney, Australia.

1999
Picture

Vesak Day marked as United Nations Observance Day

In 1999, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted Resolution 554/115, moved by SL Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar. Vesak Day is now internationally accorded as a United Nations Observance Day.

1999
Picture

Shifting of the Embassy of Sri Lanka from Bonn to Berlin, in Germany.

1999
Picture

Opening of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Tel Aviv, Israel.

2000
Picture

National Mine Action Programme

2002--un-and-mine-action-1-

2002
Picture

Establishment of Diplomatic Relations with Vietnam

125px-Flag_of_Vietnam.svgDiplomatic Relations with the Socialist Republic of Vietnam established on 16 January 2003.

2003
Picture

Establishment of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Hanoi, Vietnam.

2003
Picture

Opening of the Representative Office of Sri Lanka in Ramallah, Palestine.

2007
Picture

Opening of the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Guangzhou, China.

2012
Picture

Opening of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Ankara, Turkey.

2012
Picture

Re-opening of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Baghdad, Iraq.

2012
Picture

Opening of the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Melbourne, Australia.

2013
Picture

Diplomatic Relations with Bahrain

125px-Flag_of_Bahrain.svgDiplomatic Relations established with Bahrain on 8 February 2013

 

2013
Picture

Opening of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Manama, Bahrain.

2013
Picture

Establishment of Diplomatic Relations with Nigeria

125px-Flag_of_Nigeria.svgDiplomatic Relations with Federal Republic of Nigeria established on 1 July 2013.

2013
Picture

Opening of the High Commission of Sri Lanka in Abuja, Nigeria.

2013
Picture

Establishment of Diplomatic Relations with Seychelles

125px-Flag_of_Seychelles.svg

Diplomatic Relations with the Republic of Seychelles established on 11 December 2013.

2013
Picture

Opening of the High Commission of Sri Lanka in Victoria, Seychelles.

2013
Picture

Establishment of Diplomatic Relations with Afghanistan

125px-Flag_of_Afghanistan.svg

Diplomatic Relations with the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan established on 2 July 2014.

2014
Picture

Opening of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Kabul, Afghanistan.

2014
Picture

Sri Lanka and UN celebrate 60 year partnership

timeline-logo-img

2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations on 24 October 1945, and the 60th anniversary of Sri Lanka becoming a member-state of the UN on 14 December 1955.

2015
Picture

Opening of the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Milan, Italy.

2016
Picture

Opening of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

2016
Picture

Official opening of Sri Lanka Embassy in Ethiopia

The Sri Lanka Embassy in Ethiopia was officially opened on 7 February 2017 by the Foreign Minister of Ethiopia & Sri Lanka.

Ethiopiamission7

2017
Picture

Sri Lanka joins Mine Ban Treaty: December

On December 13, 2017, Sri Lanka acceded to The Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction, known informally as the Ottawa Treaty, the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, or often simply the Mine Ban Treaty.

Sri Lanka became the 163rd nation to accede to the treaty.

2017
Picture

Sri Lanka accedes to the Cluster Munitions Convention

On 1 March 2018, Sri Lanka deposited the Instrument of Accession to the Cluster Munitions Convention (Oslo Convention). The Convention is a humanitarian imperative-driven legal instrument which prohibits all use, production, transfer and stockpiling of cluster munitions.

2018
Picture