The Ministry

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Ministry of Foreign Affairs Overview

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible for conducting and managing Sri Lanka’s foreign relations through oversight of its missions and Diplomatic Staff abroad, as well as involved in formulating and drafting of the nation’s foreign policy.

The Ministry was formally established in 1948 following the independence of Ceylon as the Ministry of External Affairs and Defence, coming under the direct control of the Prime Minister of Ceylon. In 1977, the government divided the ministry in two, forming the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  A.C.S Hameed was appointed as the first Minister of Foreign  Affairs on 4 February 1978.

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Our Mission

“The promotion, projection and protection, internationally of Sri Lanka’s national interests, in accordance with the foreign policy of the Government and to advise the Government on international developments which affect Sri Lanka”.


Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sri Lanka

Tilak Janak Marapana, PC, MP is a Sri Lankan lawyer. He is the current Minister of  Foreign Affairs  and the Minister of  Development of Assignments.

He is a Member of Parliament Appointed from the national list and had served as Minister of Law and Order, Prison Reforms from September 2015 to November 2015. Earlier he was the Minister of Defence (2001 – 2003) and Minister of Transport, Highways and Aviation (2002 – 2004). He is the only non Presidential or Prime Ministerial holder of the portfolio of Defence.

A lawyer by profession and a President’s Counsel, he had served as a government prosecutor in the Attorney General’s Department for twenty six years, serving as Solicitor General and Attorney General.


Sri Lanka has the distinction of being one of the few modern States which has remained a distinct sovereign entity for over 2000 years. It can also justifiably claim to have distinguished itself in the realm of international affairs for much of that time.

Organizational Chart

The Organization Chart of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs indicates the assignment of responsibilities including the respective Divisions of the Ministry.