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Sri Lanka Myanmar Relations

Historical Background

Theravada Buddhism was the link between Sri Lanka and Myanmar from the earliest times. There were frequent exchanges of pilgrims and scriptural knowledge with Ramanna (ancient name of the Burmese Kingdom ). These links became stronger after the tenth century A.D. The resuscitation of the Sinhalese Sangha after the destructive effects of the Chola conquest owned a great deal to Bhikkus from upper Burma sent over for this purpose by the Burmese King at the request of Vijayabahu I.

By the 11 th century these early religious times matured into diplomatic ties. Vijayabahu I (1055-1110 A.D.) who was engaged in a grim struggle against the Cholas received economic aid from King Anawarta of Burma . The alliance with the Burmese appears according to the chronicles to have continued after the expulsion of the Cholas and it was to Burma that Vijayabahu I turned for assistance in re-organizing the Sangha in Sri Lanka , thus underlining the connection between political ties and a common commitment to Buddhism.

The relations between Burma and Sri Lanka again reached its heights during Vijayabahu I. The influence of Burmes architecture on our religious building in Polonnaruwa is also evident. The Satmahalprasada, a setup with an unusual pyramid like form in several levels or storeys in Polonnnaruwa is the best example.

In 1865 the establishment of the Ramanna Nikaya is another enduring link. The Ramanna Nikaya lays greater stress on poverty and humility. This Nikaya aimed at returning to a purer form of Buddhism.

High Level Visits From Sri Lanka

Official visit of Hon. Madam Sirimavo Bandaranaike, Prime Minister in January (1976)
Visit of Hon. A.C.S. Hameed, Foreign Minister (1987)
Visit of Hon. Lakshman Kadirgamar, Foreign Minister (1999)
Visit of Hon. W.J.M. Loku Bandara, Minister of Buddha Sasana (2003)
Visit of Hon. Loku Bandara, Speaker of the Parliament (2005)
Visit of Hon Mahinda Rajapakse, Prime Minister (2004)
Visit of Hon. Loku Bandara, Speaker (2005)
Visit of Hon. Prime Minister (2006)
Visit of the Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs for First Joint Commission (2007)

High Level Visits From Myanmar

State Visit of H.E. Gen U Ne Win, President of Myanmar (1966)
Visit of H.E. U Win Aung, Foreign Minister of Myanmar in (1999)
Visit of H.E. Professor Kyaw Myint, Minister of Health (2005)
Visit of Acting Prime Minister, Lt. Gen. Thein Sein (2007)
Visit of the Foreign Minister of Myanmar (to participate at ECOSOC) (2009)

Ambassadors of Sri Lanka to the Union of Myanmar

Ambassador Name year
H.E. Sir Susantha de Fonseka 1948 - 1953
H.E. Sir V. Coormaraswani 1953 - 1954
H.E. Mr. A.E. Goonesinghe 1954 - 1956
H.E. Mr. Raja Hewavitharane 1956 - 1957
H.E. Mr. W.D. Gunaratne 1957 - 1960
H.E.Mr. G.S.Peiris 1962 - 1964
H.E. Mr.V.C.Jayasuriya 1964 - 1967
H.E. Dr.W.D.Wijesekera 1967 - 1970
H.E.Mr.H.O. Wijegoonawardene 1972 - 1973
H.E.Mr.H.R.Premaratna 1974 - 1976
H.E.Mr.A. Basnayake 1978 - 1982
H.E. Mr. D.P.Wijenarayana 1982 - 1986
H.E. Mr. Kalidasa M.de.Silva 1986 - 1989
H.E.Mr. S.W.Alawathuwala 1989 - 1993
H.E.Mr. K.B.Fernando 1995 - 1998
H.E.Mr. U.Mapa 1999 - 2003
H.E.Mr. D.M.M.Ranaraja 2003 - 2006
H.E.Mr. P.A.D.Samarasekera 2006 - 2008
H.E.Mr. Newton Gunaratna 2009 - 2010

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Embassy of Sri Lanka in Myanmar, No:34 Taw Win Road
Dagonownship, Myanmar
Tel : 00951 222812 , 00951 214325
Fax : 00951221509
E mail : slemb.yangon@mfa.gov.lk

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