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‘I Carry Happiness to Sri Lanka’

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Santhush Woonjin JEONG

By Santhush Woonjin JEONG -Korean Ambassador

Ayubowan, Vanakkam, Annyonghasimnikka (Korean Greeting)

My heartiest congratulations on Sri Lanka’s Independence Day! As Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Sri Lanka, I am delighted to convey my warm felicitations to the friendly people of Sri Lanka on the occasion of the 74th Independence Day. As all Sri Lankans worldwide celebrate the independence of the ‘Prosperous Motherland that Overcomes Challenges,’ I am happy to say that the Republic of Korea celebrates together with you!

It is indeed a memorable year for the friendship between Korea and Sri Lanka as we commemorate the 45th year of our diplomatic relations between our countries this year. Since 1977, Korea and Sri Lanka have come a long way together to form a symbiotic bilateral partnership, strengthened by mutual goodwill and high level exchanges. I look forward to extending cooperation in a future-oriented way between the two countries, opening a new chapter of elevated bilateral relations for the next 45 years.

To mark this landmark anniversary, the Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka, Hon. Prof. G. L. Peiris visited Korea early this year. The official bilateral Foreign Ministers’ meeting was the first bilateral engagement at the level of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs in 2022 for Korea as well as Sri Lanka. In his meetings with many of high ranking Korean officials during his visit to Korea, Hon. Peiris strongly initiated and raised the necessity of increasing the quota provided for employment to Sri Lankans in Korea and enhancing more ODA support to Sri Lanka. An increase in the quota for employment provided for Sri Lankans will replenish the much needed foreign reserves in Sri Lanka and revive the economies of both countries. In 2019, Sri Lankan migrant workers remitted approximately 520 million US dollars for one year from Korea to Sri Lanka prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. There will be a favourable response from Korea to the requests of the Hon. Foreign Minister in the near future, considering the vital role Sri Lankan workers in Korea play to secure the economic situation of both countries.

Also following the Hon. Peiris’s visit to Korea, the Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea, Hon. Park Byeong-Seug paid an official visit to Sri Lanka at the official invitation of his counterpart, Hon. Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana last January and at the verbal invitation of Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka who paid a call on the Hon. Korean Speaker during his visit to Korea. Hon. Korean Speaker is the first Speaker of a foreign country who visited Sri Lanka at the official invitation by the Sri Lankan Speaker since the inauguration of the 9th Parliament in 2020. In the course of the official visit, Hon. Speaker had met with the President of Sri Lanka H.E. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka Hon. Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Speaker of Parliament in Sri Lanka, Hon. Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana, Foreign Minister Hon. Prof. G. L. Peiris, other Ministers and dignitaries, and held fruitful discussions to promote bilateral ties including economic and labour cooperation as well. Now the Parliament of Korea is making arrangements to increase the quota provided for Sri Lankan employees and increase ODA assistance at the request of the Sri Lankan Government. These high level exchanges continue to reaffirm the special relationship between our two countries and herald the dawn of a new era of strengthened relations between Korea and Sri Lanka.

Furthermore, the stability in the bilateral partnership between Korea and Sri Lanka is also a testimony to the historic, religious, cultural, social and economic exchanges which have evolved over time. The contours of this relationship extend to the commonalities in the historical experiences of Korea and Sri Lanka. While both countries faced many hardships in the past, the peoples of both nations struggled for freedom, security and prosperity. The celebration today is a tribute to the people of Sri Lanka who continued to struggle peacefully to achieve independence on 4th February 1948 and become a sovereign independent state among the international community.

The Pearl of the Indian Ocean is strategically valuable considering its geo-politically significant location, abundance of natural resources and skilled human resources. Korea’s capital and state-of-the-art technology will be complementary to create the perfect synergies for our two countries to advance bilateral economic cooperation. The trade volume between Korea and Sri Lanka has increased by 30-fold since its establishment of diplomatic ties in 1977, and a special investment zone for Korean entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka will attract more Korean investors to Sri Lanka.

Our two nations and people are examples of the resilience, steadfastness and hope even in the most difficult circumstances. Korea’s economic miracle, so called ‘The Miracle on Han River’ is a story of overcoming many hardships by the Korean people that led to the national development from poverty to prosperity. I believe that Sri Lanka will also be developed to “the Miracle on Kelani River” While we have come a long way together in the path of development, there is a lot more to be done. We should resolve to work towards realizing the dream of building back better for our future generations.

As Sri Lanka’s long-standing friend and partner, Korea has been committed to assist Sri Lanka to get over the coronavirus, a pandemic that gripped the entire world with fear, uncertainty and claimed thousands of lives. With a high vaccination rate of over 80 percent, it is commendable that Sri Lanka has worked hard together to overcome these difficult circumstances. Under the “stay strong” campaign, Korea has been a friend indeed in times of need, by donating around 3 million U.S. dollars’ worth of equipment to combat COVID-19 virus in Sri Lanka in the last two years. I assure you that Korea will continue to support Sri Lanka overcome the COVID-19 virus and resuscitate its economic activities.

Meanwhile, newly recruited Sri Lankan migrant employees are now welcome to enter Korea and assume their jobs. Recently, the Korean Government decided to resume the entry of new Sri Lankan workers and workers from other foreign countries to Korea. In January 2022, 169 Sri Lankans have arrived in Korea for employment purposes. Around 22,000 Sri Lankan employees are presently in Korea. In 2019, they remitted approximately 520 million US dollars for one year from Korea to Sri Lanka prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. As they are able to resume work in Korea I am sure that they will contribute to the economic growth and assist Sri Lanka enhance foreign reserves. At the same time, learning Korean language will be a valuable advantage to qualify as a skilled migrant worker in Korea. It is with great pleasure I appreciate the tireless efforts of the Sri Lankan government to adopt Korean as a foreign language in the advanced level classes from 2021. Sri Lankan students can now prepare to sit for the Korean language examination in the advanced level examination by 2023. Korea will continue to engage in developing vocational education and training to forge a more skilled and competitive labour force in Sri Lanka. Furthermore, Korea will take active measures to increase the quota provided for employment for Sri Lankans in Korea.

Korea-Sri Lanka relations have widened on multiple paradigms in which development cooperation is of utmost importance. Sri Lanka is one of Korea’s principle ODA cooperation partners. KOICA has continued to assist and fund commercial and infrastructure projects in various fields such as education, transportation, water resources, food and agricultural development, thus augmenting the development of Sri Lanka. As a reliable friend, Korea is a trustworthy partner of Sri Lanka to meet the current needs of national development. With these as a momentum, the bilateral ties are expected to widen and deepen further in coming years.

As the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea like the meaning of my Sri Lankan name “Santhush,” I would really like to carry happiness to Sri Lanka. I love Sri Lanka. I love Sri Lankan people. On this occasion of celebrating this important milestone of your country’s rich history, on behalf of the government and the people of the Republic of Korea, I take this opportunity to wish every success, peace and prosperity to the government and friendly people of Sri Lanka. I will closely work with all of you to achieve our common goals.

Once again, I wish all our Sri Lankan friends a very happy and memorable Independence Day!

Let’s stay strong together!



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Sri Lanka’s economic confidence index plummets

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‘No one has rated Sri Lanka’s economic condition as excellent. 1.8 % rated it as good and 1.3 % rated it as getting better. The resulting score was a (-) 96. This rating was (-) 83 in January 2022, a wide ranging Verite Research public opinion survey reveals.

Key findings of the survey:

Government approval rating drops from 10% to 3%

The second round of the Gallup Style “Mood of the Nation” poll was conducted in June by Verité Research. It assessed the approval, satisfaction, and confidence of the nation in relation to the government, the country, and the economy.

The poll was conducted as a part of the syndicated survey instrument by Verité Research. This instrument also provides other organisations the opportunity to survey the sentiments of Sri Lanka.

1. Government approval rating | 3% | To the question, “Do you approve or disapprove of the way the current government is working?” only 3% said they approve. In January 2022 this rating was at 10%.

2. Sri Lanka satisfaction | 2% | To the question, “In general, are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the way things are going in Sri Lanka?” only 2% said they were satisfied. This rating was at 6% in January 2022.

3. Economic confidence | negative (-) 96 | Multiple choice questions on the condition and trajectory of the economy are used to generate an economic confidence score. The score can range from negative (-) 100 to positive (+) 100. A score above zero means more people see the economic conditions positively rather than negatively. If everyone thinks the economy is in either excellent or good condition, and everyone also thinks it is getting better, the score will be (+) 10. If everyone thinks that the economy is in a poor condition, and everyone also thinks it is getting worse, the score will be a (-) 100. No one rated the economic condition as excellent. 1.8% rated it as good; and 1.3% rated it as getting better. The resulting score was a (-) 96. This rating was (-) 83 in January 2022.

Implementation of “Mood of

the Nation”

The poll is based on an island wide nationally representative sample of responses from 1,052 Sri Lankan adults, conducted in June 2022. The sample and methodology was designed to ensure a maximum error margin of under 3% at a 95% confidence interval. The polling partner was Vanguard Survey (Pvt) Ltd.

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Decline in share market in the wake of rate hike reports

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By Hiran H.Senewiratne

CSE trading activities began on a positive note yesterday but during the latter part of the day the market experienced a dip on account of the overall supply chain economy being subjected to a contraction, stemming from the fuel crisis. Consequently, CSE activities were relatively low keyed, market analysts said.

“We are reverting to the negative. There is uncertainty on all fronts, from the political to the economic. Therefore, we are expecting a rate hike on Thursday. This is creating a bit of a cloud and we may see this continuing further, a top market analyst said.

Even if top level decision- making is happening in Sri Lanka the impact is not felt at the grassroots level. This has resulted in unrest in the country, the analyst said.

Amid those developments, both indices moved downwards. The All- Share Price Index went down by 97.9 points and S and P SL20 declined by 34.3 points. Turnover stood at Rs 1.3 billion with one crossing. The crossing was reported in JKH, which crossed 600,000 shares to the tune of Rs 73.2 million, its shares traded at Rs 122.

In the retail market, the top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; Lanka IOC Rs 611 million (7.3 million shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs 173.9 million (one million shares traded). LOLC Holdings Rs 47.4 million (120,000 sha4es traded), Hayleys PLC Rs 46.5 million (697.000 shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 46.3 million (6.4 million shares traded), JKH Rs 21 million (173,000 shares traded) and Softlogic Holdings Rs 20.5 million (794,000 shares traded). During the day 109 million share volumes changed hands in 15000 transactions.

The International Monetary Fund said last Thursday its talks with crisis-hit Sri Lanka had been “constructive”, thereby raising hopes it would soon grant preliminary approval for a desperately needed financial support package, observers said.

Meanwhile, the Colombo Consumer Price index rose 54.6 per cent year-on-year in June against a 39.1 per cent rise in May, according to the Statistics Department.

Yesterday the US dollar rate was Rs 360.73, which is now being controlled due to the prudent fiscal and monetary policies of the Central Bank.

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Dialog Club vision members receive access to an exclusive screening of ‘Jurassic World Dominion’

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In a bold and breath-taking new global adventure, the epic conclusion to the Jurassic film franchise ‘Jurassic World Dominion’ hit theatres across the world on June 10. Just a day after its global premiere, Dialog Club Vision Red members and their loved ones received special access to an exclusive screening of the film at the Kandy City Centre Multiplex on June 11.

The explosive end to the Jurassic era sees two generations of the film’s franchise unite for the first time with Hollywood’s Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard joined by Oscar winner Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum and Sam Neill. Dialog Club Vision members were some of the first to witness the utopian world where Dinosaurs and humans co-exist.

With the best interests of its members and their loved ones at heart, Dialog Club Vision continues to deliver a world of exclusivity and privileges such as personalized care, exclusive discounts and offers, lifestyle and entertainment events and more. To explore more exciting offers available for Dialog Club Vision members, and to learn more about Sri Lanka’s premier loyalty programme, customers can visit the MyDialog App or visit dialog.lk/club-vision

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