The Sri Lanka high commission in London was opened on 22nd October 1948. It became the second operating mission overseas after Sri Lanka, which at the time was called Ceylon, gained independence. Here is a look at the rich history of the Sri Lanka embassy in London.
Sir Claude Corea
In 1946, 2 years before Sri Lanka (Ceylon) gained independence from Britain, Sir Claude held the role of its representative in the UK. His role as a diplomat also saw him become appointed in 1948 as the first ambassador of Ceylon to the United States. He was appointed again in 1954 as the Ceylonese High Commissioner in the UK. Sir Oliver Goonetilleke was appointed as the first High Commissioner in the UK in 1949 after Sir Claude.
Relations between the UK and Sri Lanka
Relations between the two countries are tight-knit. Sri Lanka considers the London mission as one of its most important missions abroad. Sri Lanka has hosted Queen Elizabeth II twice since independence. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was also invited to open the Victoria Dam officially. The UK also has commercial interests in Sri Lanka, ranging from industry to plantations. Some of the major Sri Lanka exports to the UK include bicycles, machinery, seafood and apparel.
It is evident that the Sri Lankan high commission in London is vital for strengthening relationships between the two countries and has a rich history.
By Sdrawkcab at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=48266341