By Tina Edward Gunawardhana
Bringing a timely boost to Sri Lanka, Saroja Sirisena, the Sri Lankan High Commissioner to the UK was awarded the Diplomat of the Year from Asia & Oceania by the prestigious DIPLOMAT Magazine. The annual awards ceremony took place in the presence of a large number of UK based members of the diplomatic community and was held at the Royal Over-Seas League on Monday 24 April 2023.
Speaking to the Daily Mirror on the receipt of her award, High Commissioner Sirisena said “The award is a recognition of Sri Lanka’s efforts in the international arena, especially at a time we are faced with unprecedented challenges. For me personally, it is a recognition of the commitment I have made over a quarter of a century to represent my country”.
The Awards Ceremony which is in its 13th year recognises outstanding work and achievements of London’s diplomatic community who are trying to better their nations’ well-being.
The Diplomat magazine has 10 categories that recognise different levels of diplomacy, and winners are nominated by their fellow diplomats.
Referring to London as the global centre for diplomacy, with over 180 diplomatic missions.
The Diplomat’s Editor, Venetia de Blocq van Kuffeler stated that a posting in London remains one of the highlights of any diplomat’s career. She added that the winners are testimony to their hard work, dedication and professionalism.
Saroja Sirisena a career diplomat who previously served as Ambassador to Austria and Consul General in Mumbai as well as serving in Sri Lanka’s Missions in Paris, Brussels and Geneva.
Over 150 guests including Heads of Mission and diplomats from over 80 countries attended the Awards Ceremony.