On January 17, 2019 Ambassador Jayatilleka paid a courtesy call on Ambassador of the Republic of South Africa, H.E. Ms. Nomasonto Maria Sibanda-Thusi, a senior diplomat who previously served as Ambassador in France and Guinea and as Permanent Representative to the UNESCO.
The Heads of Mission had a long conversation on the current political and economic situation in their respective countries and the world, and the strong relations among the BRICS.

The Ambassadors reminisced about Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo and Albertina Sisulu, South African anti-apartheid revolutionary activists, philanthropist and prominent liberators, and their great impact on the struggle for justice.
Ambassador Maria Sibanda-Thusi spoke warmly of the many decades' old relations between ANC and Sri Lanka disclosing that when she was an activist in her teens in an ANC camp in Angola in 1978, the political training involved learning about the countries that supported their struggle against apartheid and one of those nations was Sri Lanka. She said it added to her feeling of closeness with Sri Lanka that her colleague, the new Ambassador of Sri Lanka, was very clearly a like-minded diplomat with an activist background.

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