Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha has called on Sri Lankans living abroad "to contribute towards moderating the negative narratives propagated against Sri Lanka – by clarifying genuine concerns and debunking the falsehoods".
The Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka in Geneva said in a statement that the Ambassador made these observations when he addressed the 35th Independence Day celebrations attended by Sri Lankans living in Geneva and surrounding cities, held last week at the ‘ILO Headquarters in Geneva'.
Ambassador Aryasinha who noted that "these continue to be challenging times for Sri Lanka, as some, particularly living abroad, either mis-guided or with vested interests, continue to seek to distort the image of Sri Lanka", emphasized the need to "evolve a consensus and desist from seeking to exploit domestic issues as foreign policy issues".
He said, "recognizing that there may be differences of opinion amongst Sri Lankans on some issues, it is important for us to identify and 'bracket' issues we disagree on, as ones where we need to work harder to reconcile our disagreements internally, but at the same time not allow them to adversely affect the image of our country abroad".
Reminding that "such bracketing is something we constantly do in our daily lives - within our homes, offices and communities, where we close ranks on issues, for a higher purpose", he noted that "great nations that have succeeded in forging ahead against many odds, are those that have been able to leave domestic issues at the water’s edge".