The newly appointed Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Nepal, Himalee Arunatilaka presented credentials to President Bidya Devi Bhandari of Nepal at “Sheetal Niwas”, Office of the President in Kathmandu.
Ambassador Arunatilaka conveyed to the Nepali President, warm greetings from the President of Sri Lanka.
Recalling the willingness expressed by President Maithripala Sirisena during his visit to Nepal in 2018, to support the implementation of the Lumbini Master Plan, Ambassador Arunatilaka said that she looked forward to consolidating the Buddhist links between the two countries.
Based on the solid foundation of these cultural ties, she underlined the need to enhance the economic relations, which she hoped to focus on as a priority during her tenure.
Ambassador Arunatilaka emphasized the necessity to put in more efforts to invigorate and enhance bilateral trade relations, and said there was much potential for increasing tourism between the two countries.
Congratulating the Ambassador on her appointment, President Bhandari warmly recalled the visit of President Sirisena to Nepal in 2018 and her own visit to Sri Lanka as the Chief Guest at the closing ceremony of the UN Vesak Day Celebrations in 2017.
Ambassador Arunatilaka joined the Sri Lanka Foreign Service in 1998. Immediately prior to her appointment as Ambassador to Nepal, she served as Director General, Africa Affairs, and the International Security & Counter Terrorism Divisions in the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry.
Her overseas assignments include Canberra, Australia – where she served as the Deputy High Commissioner, with concurrent accreditation to New Zealand, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Samoa – Sri Lanka Embassy in Paris, France and the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the UN in Geneva.
In Colombo, Ambassador Arunatilaka was seconded to the Presidential Secretariat as Director/Foreign Affairs, and has also served in the Foreign Ministry as the Actg. Director General of the Political Affairs/Europe, CIS and Americas Division, the Counter Terrorism Unit, and the Public Communications Division.
Ambassador Arunatilaka holds a Master of Arts Degree from the Middlebury College-School in France, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of the South, Sewanee, in Tennessee, USA.
She was accompanied to the credentials ceremony by her spouse Nayana Serasinghe, First Secretary Dinesha Samarasinghe and Attaché Irosha Udayangani.
Ambassador Arunatilaka is a past pupil of Devi Balika Vidyalaya, Colombo.