Australia–Sri Lanka relations

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Australia–Sri Lanka relations
Map indicating locations of Sri Lanka and Australia

Sri Lanka


Australia–Sri Lanka relations are foreign relations between Australia and Sri Lanka. Australia has a High Commission in Colombo, likewise, Sri Lanka has a High Commission in Canberra.

Both Australia and Sri Lanka are members of the Commonwealth.


Monthly value of Australian merchandise exports to Sri Lanka (A$ millions) since 1988
Monthly value of Sri Lankan merchandise exports to Australia (A$ millions) since 1988

After gaining independence from the United Kingdom, Ceylon opened a High Commission in Canberra in 1949. In 1951 Ceylon’s Prime Minister D.S. Senanayake was the first high profile diplomatic visitor to Australia, which was followed by Prime Minister Sir John Kotelawala in 1954. President Junius Richard Jayewardene visited Australia in 1978. In 2011 President Mahinda Rajapaksa participated in the CHOGM summit in Perth, Australia. In 2017 Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and President Maithripala Sirisena made state visits to Australia. Prime Ministers Sir Robert Menzies, Gough Whitlam and Tony Abbott have visited Sri Lanka. In November 2017 PM Malcolm Turnbull visited to Sri Lanka.[1]

The Australian Government has expressed concern over the conflict between the Sri Lankan Government and the Tamil Tigers. In October 2008, Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith told his Sri Lankan counterpart that military action alone will not solve the dispute with the Tamil separatists.[2] In May 2009, Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said that Sri Lanka should seek a political solution with the Tamils to stop another generation turning to terrorism.[3]

During Prime Minister Tony Abbott's visit to Sri Lanka for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2013 meeting, he announced Australia would be donating two navy patrol boats to the Sri Lankan Navy to promote enhanced collaboration on people smuggling.[4]


In 2007 a two-way trade agreement was created between Australia and Sri Lanka valued at $232 million a year. The trade agreement includes exports from Australia such as vegetables and dairy products. Tea and other foods, textiles, clothing, rubber, iron and steel which are the main imports from Sri Lanka.


In 2008-09 the estimated budget for aid to Sri Lanka is $27 million.[5] In April 2009, the Australian Government announced a further A$4.5 million of humanitarian aid to assist the end of the civil war in Sri Lanka. $1.5 million will be given to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Organisation for Migration.[6]

70 Years of relationships[edit]

2017 marked the 70 Years of relationships between Australia and Sri Lanka, Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe paid a state visit to Australia to mark the event.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "THE STRATEGIC IMPORTANCE OF SRI LANKA TO AUSTRALIA". Asia Pacific Defence Reporter. Archived from the original on 7 August 2014. Retrieved 1 March 2013.
  2. ^ "Australia expresses concerns over violence in Sri Lanka". ABC Radio Australia. Retrieved 1 March 2013.
  3. ^ "Sri Lanka should end conflict: Smith". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 1 March 2013.
  4. ^ "Australia to donate navy boats to Sri Lanka in people smuggling deal - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". Retrieved 2016-10-22.
  5. ^ "Sri Lanka country brief". Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Retrieved 1 March 2013.
  6. ^ "Australia boosts Sri Lanka aid by $4.5m". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 1 March 2013.
  7. ^

External links[edit]