The Matara Regional Consular Office of the Foreign Ministry was declared open today jointly by Minister of Foreign Affairs Tilak Marapana and Minister of Finance and Mass Media Mangala Samaraweera.
Several members of the Southern Provincial Council, members of local government bodies of the Matara District and senior government officials including the District Secretary of Matara and Divisional Secretaries of the Southern Province attended the opening ceremony.
Following the ceremonial opening, documents attested by the Matara Regional Consular Office using the e-DAS system were handed over to their owners by the two Ministers, as the first consular service provided by the new office.
Addressing the gathering, Foreign Minister Marapana stated that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will take steps to open more regional offices in future particularly in the areas where a substantial number of families of migrant workers reside, enabling them to obtain consular services in their own districts, without travelling to Colombo.
He appreciated the contribution of Minister Mangala Samaraweera as his predecessor towards taking the services of the Foreign Ministry to the people by first opening a Regional Consular Office in Jaffna.
With the opening of the Regional Consular Office, the general public is able to obtain consular services including attestation of birth, marriage and death certificates and other legal documents for their use abroad, assistance to family members of Sri Lankans stranded abroad, facilitation of redress and compensation claims of families of migrant workers and repatriation of human remains from abroad, among a range of services.
Minister Samaraweera thanked Minister Marapana for choosing Matara to open the Ministry’s second Regional Consular Office.
Earlier on, Acting Foreign Secretary, Ahmed A. Jawad, welcomed the Ministers, representatives of government agencies and the general public and thanked them for their support and presence. The Vote of Thanks was delivered by Director General Administration of the Ministry, Aruna Fernando.