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Mahinda Samarasinghe assumes duties as Ambassador- designate of Sri Lanka to USA

Ambassador – designate of Sri Lanka to the United States of America Mahinda Samarasinghe assumed duties at the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Washington D.C. on 2 December, 2021. 

Upon arrival at the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Washington D.C., Ambassador – designate Samarasinghe was welcomed and greeted by the staff.  His assumption of duties was marked by a simple ceremony which commenced with the lighting of the ceremonial oil lamp by the Ambassador and the other staff.  Speaking on the occasion, Ambassador – designate Samarasinghe thanked the staff for the warm welcome and expressed his optimism that the relations between the two countries would be further strengthened and expanded encompassing all areas of interest during his tenure.  Mentioning that Sri Lanka’s relationship with the USA is significant in various aspects, Ambassador – designate Samarasinghe emphasized the importance of keeping the Sri Lankan community engaged at all times with promoting Sri Lanka’s image and interests in the USA.  He also requested all staff to increase their efforts and dedicate themselves to serving their motherland with commitment and dedication.

After obtaining a Bachelor of Economics (Honours) degree from La Trobe University, Melbourne, Ambassador – designate Samarasinghe served in the Sri Lanka Overseas Services, as the First Secretary in the High Commission of Sri Lanka in Canberra, Australia, and later as Counsellor to the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. 

Prior to his appointment, Ambassador – designate Samarasinghe was a former Member of Parliament of Sri Lanka under President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Government, and the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Chief Organiser for the Panadura Electorate in the Kalutara District.  Ambassador – designate Samarasinghe also held important offices in the national legislature including those of Chief Opposition Whip and Chief Government Whip.

On the international plane, Ambassador – designate Mahinda Samarasinghe has represented Sri Lanka at various international forums, institutions and organizations, including as the President of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians in the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the International Labour Organization (ILO), the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). Most significantly, he led Sri Lanka’s delegation to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva – to Special and Regular Sessions of the multilateral body (2006 to 2014), including to the successful adoption of the Universal Periodic Reviews of Sri Lanka in 2008 and 2012 before the Council. 

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