( May 03, 2012, New York City, Sri Lanka Guardian) The Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations moved to a new location on Second Avenue today. The Permanent Mission was previously located on Third Avenue. The Government has been renting space for the mission for over 57 years. Last year, the Government of Sri Lanka made a decision to purchase premises and the acquisition was facilitated by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. The new premises which exceed 10,000 square feet will save the country foreign exchange in excess of LKrs. 30 million annually.
This auspicious occasion was marked with the lighting of the traditional oil lamp by the Most Venerable Kurunegoda Piyatissa Thero, Chief Incumbent of the New York Buddhist Vihara, followed by Ambassador Dr. Palitha T.B. Kohona, and Ambassador Major General Shavendra Silva. “Seth Pirith”, was chanted and monks were offered “Dana”.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Dr. Palitha Kohona said “Now Sri Lanka has its own house in New York for the first time since joining the United Nations in 1955, and it will remain Sri Lanka’s own”. Deputy Permanent Representative, Ambassador Major General Shavendra Silva said, “The colossal amount now paid in rent could be saved if we were to purchase even the residences that we occupy”
The new Chancery will also house the consulate to serve the needs of the large Sri Lankan community residing in the Tri State area.(New York, New Jersey and Connecticut).
The new Chancery of the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka was officially inaugurated in September 2011, by His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa, President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.