Bulgarian President aims for enhanced bilateral ties with Sri Lanka
Colombo (LNW): Ambassador Dhammika Kumari Semasinghe recently presented Letters of Credence, officially accrediting her as Sri Lanka’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Bulgaria, a statement by the Sri Lankan Embassy in Warsaw said.
Her residence is based in Warsaw, Poland. The presentation ceremony took place at the Presidential Palace in Sofia on November 22, 2023, where Ambassador Semasinghe met with President Rumen Radev of Bulgaria.
During the meeting, Ambassador Semasinghe conveyed greetings and best wishes from President Ranil Wickremesinghe to President Radev. She expressed Sri Lanka’s commitment to revitalising bilateral engagement and explored avenues for increased cooperation in various sectors, including ICT, agriculture, labor, education, tourism, and manufacturing.
Ambassador Semasinghe highlighted opportunities for Bulgarian investors and businesses, emphasising Sri Lanka’s emergence as a vital logistics hub in the Indian Ocean region.
President Radev welcomed the accreditation of Sri Lanka’s envoy, considering it a timely impetus to reactivate bilateral ties. He proposed enhancing engagement at political, institutional, people-to-people (tourism and education), and business-to-business levels.
President Radev recognised Sri Lanka’s strategic commercial importance in the emerging economic landscape of Asia and expressed Bulgaria’s interest in strengthening and expanding relations with Sri Lanka.
As part of the discussions, President Radev expressed interest in Sri Lankan niche products and cuisine, envisioning their availability to the Bulgarian people. Ambassador Semasinghe shared details about the established Sri Lankan health-food store “Ceylon Spice” and the Sri Lankan restaurant “rCurry – Sri Lankan Cuisine” in Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital.
The formal ceremony was attended by Foreign Policy Secretary to the President of Bulgaria, Mr. Roussi Ivanov, and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs (career diplomat), Mr. Tihomir Stoytchev. Prior to the ceremony, Ambassador Semasinghe presented copies of Letters of Credence and Recall to Deputy Foreign Minister Tihomir Stoytchev at the Foreign Ministry.
During her official visit to Bulgaria, Ambassador Semasinghe had meetings with Mr. Tsvetan Simeonov, President of the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Piyatissa Perera, proprietor of the Sri Lankan boutique “Ceylon Spice,” and the proprietor and team of the Sri Lankan restaurant “rCurry – Sri Lankan Cuisine.”
Ambassador Dhammika Kumari Semasinghe, currently serving as Sri Lanka’s envoy to Poland, boasts a 27-year diplomatic career, having served in various capacities in the political, economic, and multilateral sections of the Foreign Ministry. She has also held positions in Sri Lanka Missions in New York, Washington, DC, and New Delhi.
Ambassador Semasinghe holds a Master’s in International Public Policy from the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University, Washington DC, USA. She began her undergraduate studies at the University of Peradeniya and completed her BA degree in International Relations and Public Policy at Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania, USA. Ambassador Semasinghe hails from Thimbiriyawa in the Nikaweratiya Pradeshiya Sabha in Sri Lanka’s North Western Province.