The ambassador active in boosting Vietnam-Sri Lanka friendship

The traditional friendship and multifaceted cooperation between Vietnam and Sri Lanka have increasingly developed since the two countries established diplomatic ties in 1970. As a dynamic diplomat, Ambassador to Vietnam Hasanthi Urugodawatte Dissanayake has made great efforts to boost the friendship and cultural exchange between the two countries.


Receiving us at her home, Ambassador Dissanayake was glad to share with us the new achievements in bilateral relations between Vietnam and Sri Lanka. The ambassador said the two countries have great potential for economic, trade, tourism and investment cooperation. To fully tap this cooperation potential is one of the top missions of diplomats, especially ambassadors, according to the Sri Lankan ambassador.

By August 2018, Sri Lanka was ranked 63rd among 104 countries and territories investing in Vietnam. Bilateral trade has steadily risen in recent years, reaching 320 million US dollars in 2017. Sri Lanka has pledged to give Vietnam technological assistance in sea-cucumber, seaweed and aquatic culture and hopes that Vietnam will share its experience and experts in agriculture. The two countries have targeted a trade value of 1 billion US dollars by 2020.

Sri Lankan Ambassador to Vietnam Hasanthi Urugodawatte Dissanayake. Photo: Viet Cuong

Ambassador Dissanayake (third from right) escorts Sri Lankan Prime MinisterRanil Wickremesinghe during his visit
to Vietnam to attend the WEF ASEAN from September 11-13
. Photo: VNA

Ambassador Dissanayake, the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism and foreign guests
at the opening ceremony of the Sri Lanka Culture Festival Day in Vietnam. Photo: Files

The Sri Lankan ambassador with Vietnamese and foreign friends
at a photo exhibition about Sri Lanka in Vietnam. Photo: Files

Ambassador Dissanayake at a lamp lighting ceremony, a Sri Lankan tradition. Photo: Viet Cuong.

Ambassador Dissanayake is active in connecting Vietnamese investors
with Sri Lankan and foreign partners. Photo: Files

The space at the ambassador’s home for holding small parties and meetings. Photo: Files

During her term in office, Ambassador Dissanayake has organized over 100 cultural exchanges
and investment promotions in Vietnam. Photo: Files

The ambassador welcomes 30 Vietnamese travel firms to a meeting
with Sri Lanka partners held at her home. Photo: Viet Cuong

Ambassador Dissanayake said one of her priorities is boosting bilateral cooperation in culture and tourism. As a Buddhist country with beautiful scenery, Sri Lanka is growing into a popular tourist attraction, the ambassador said, hoping that her country will soon become a favorite destination for Vietnamese.

To achieve this, the Sri Lankan embassy in Vietnam and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) held a meeting with 30 Vietnamese travel companies and Sri Lankan partners at the ambassador’s home. At this meeting, Vietnamese and Sri Lankan firms agreed to jointly operate popular tourist routes in the two countries.

The Sri Lankan ambassador is also an enthusiastic tourist in Vietnam who has traveled to many places in the northwestern region such as Ha Giang, Lao Cai and Lai Chau. Impressed by the beautiful scenery and unique culture of Vietnam, she advised Sri Lankan travel businesses to tap this potential market and helped connect them with local partners.

Nilmina Nanayakkara, general director of KNAR in Sri Lanka, said Ambassador Dissanayake helped provide useful information about Vietnam’s market. His firm is working with Vietnamese partners to introduce suitable travel programs for Vietnamese visitors to explore beautiful beaches, architectural works and Buddhist-related experiences in Sri Lanka while creating opportunities for Sri Lankan visitors to discover beautiful Vietnam.

She connects Sri Lankan artists with Vietnam. Photo: Files

The ambassador helps connect Vietnamese travel firms withSri Lanka partners. Photo: Viet Cuong

At a photo exhibition about Sri Lanka in Vietnam. Photo: Files.

With Sri Lankan and foreign friends. Photo: Files

During her term in office, Ambassador Dissanayake has organized over 100 cultural exchanges and investment promotions in Vietnam one of which was the Sri Lanka Culture Festival Day held in Hanoi in late April. The three-day event, which attracted thousands of Vietnamese and foreign visitors, featured paintings and sketches of Sri Lankans and of Sri Lanka. There was an exhibition of photographs of Sri Lanka and Vietnam bilateral relations, an exhibition of photographs on Sri Lanka, and Sri Lankan movies, feature films, and documentaries. There were also Sri Lankan food and beverages, products made from handloom fabrics and batik, as well as tea, spices, handicrafts, and gems.

The Sri Lankan ambassador said Vietnam and Sri Lanka have similarities as they both underwent wars and share the oriental culture and Buddhist culture. The two countries now have common interests in developing tourism, aviation, and Buddhist culture.

Ambassador Dissanayake has made great contributions to promoting the image of Sri Lanka in Vietnam and creating a firm foundation for further developing Vietnam-Sri Lanka relations.

Story: Bich Van – Photos: Viet Cuong & Files