On January 16, 2019, the revived Russia-Sri Lanka Friendship Society (RSLFS), which was founded back in 1959, invited H. E. Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka and Madame Sanja Jayatilleka to a meeting, which was held in the office of the Russian Association for International Cooperation (RAIC) at the Federation Council of the Russian Federation. The meeting was attended by cosmonaut Valeriy Tokarev, the President of the Friendship Society with Sri Lanka; Mr. Vladimir Polozkov, Deputy Chairman of RSLFS Board and RAIC General Secretary; H. E. Dr. Mikhail Konarovsky, RSLFS Board member and former Russian Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Afghanistan; Ms. Marina Korosteleva, RSLFS Board member and Deputy Secretary General of RAIC; and Ms. Elizaveta Stupanskaya, Executive Secretary of RSLFS.

The President of RSLFS Valeriy Tokarev spoke in his opening word of the importance of friendly relations between Russia and Sri Lanka. "We, the cosmonauts, always advocate the world without borders, because while in the outer space we cross different borders all the time," said the renowned spaceman. Russia and Sri Lanka have a long history of friendship, stressed Vladimir Polozkov, and our Friendship Society is aimed at developing and strengthening our cooperation in various fields.
Dr. Mikhail Konarovsky noted that what many view as Russia's new turn to the East, mainly toward China, has actually been Russia's return to the East in a much broader sense. Russia is reviving its friendly relations with many countries of that region, including India and Sri Lanka, building upon what has been already there — traditionally warm ties between these nations and Russia.
The coming visit of RSLFS delegation to Sri Lanka was also discussed at the meeting. Ambassador Jayatilleka expressed his confidence in the success of this visit, stressing that their meeting with H. E. Maithripala Sirisena is of special importance, because in the person of the President of Sri Lanka Russia has a good and trustworthy friend and partner. Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka said the external policy of H. E. Maithripala Sirisena has been consistent and wise, showing his strong political will and views, that cannot be changed by any pressure coming from without.
Mr. Vladimir Polozkov pointed out that among the members of RSLFS board there are representatives of large Russian business. The overall goal of the Friendship society was to have "more of Sri Lanka in Russia, and more of Russia in Sri Lanka," said Mr. Polozkov. This is especially important in view of the need to develop that sector of Russia-Sri Lanka partnership. Ambassador Jayatilleka said that he was in the process of restructuring the Mission for that same purpose – to develop the economic and trade cooperation with Russia. Madame Sanja Jayatilleka also shared several proposals for consideration, such as broadcasting one of the Russian TV channels in Sri Lanka, developing the Russian market for Sri Lankan Ayurveda products.
The RSL Friendship Society has planned to hold a solemn event to celebrate the National Day of Sri Lanka on February 5, 2019, at its premises. Some of the top officials of the Russian Government, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and representatives of Russian business and academic circles have been invited. The invitation was also extended to Ambassador Jayatilleka, and Madame Jayatilleka. The Board members of the Friendship Society also presented a draft of planned activities for 2019 for further consideration and discussion with their Sri Lankan partners.

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