Since you are appointed to represent your country, it is necessary that you first acquire a deep understanding of your own country its many assets, its short, medium and long term requirements and the problems and challenges it faces, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said.
“Your representation should be one that is complete in every aspect. You must have a readiness, a willingness and capability to persuade others about the needs of your country, and how your country can contribute to other countries, regions and to the world” President Rajapaksa said addressing a two-day workshop in Diyatalawa yesterday for Sri Lanka's ambassadors, high commissioners and consul generals.
President said the functions of diplomacy are fast changing today and it also leads to significant and far reaching changes to the Role of the Diplomat. “Those who study the new trends in diplomacy will realize that the role of a diplomat is not anymore one of ceremony alone. A diplomat who represents one’s county abroad does not do so as a piece of decoration or ceremonial ornament from the home country”, President said.
President asked the diplomats to see how much they represent Sri Lankan culture and tradition. “Face up to your challenges through knowledge of culture”, he said adding that this knowledge help you to take Sri Lanka on The Way Forward.
Despite the country having a concise foreign policy the threat of the pro-LTTE diaspora in the West remains to be a massive challenge, President added.
He noted that the diaspora interact with policy makers, media and non-governmental organizations in those countries to carry out their misinformation campaigns and asked the diplomats to launch suitable campaigns to effectively counter the adverse publicity created by the LTTE elements against Sri Lanka.
President Rajapaksa said the aim of the government was to fortify national security both domestically and internationally while also achieving the required financial goals.
He emphasized the need to forge strong bonds with neighboring countries while maintaining friendship with all countries. While adhering to a nonaligned foreign policy priority should be given to the basic requirements and aspirations of the country, he noted.
“Remember that you are not one who waves the Sri Lankan flag in a crowd of others. Consider yourself as The Flag of Sri Lanka, in every sense. You are the symbol and embodiment of our country. Live up to the standards this demands,” President Rajapaksa said.
The Ministry of External Affairs has arranged a special educational tour for the diplomats to visit Batticaloa and Trincomalee districts in a three day tour from July 09 to 11.