Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Marise Payne, today announced the appointment of David Holly as Australia’s next High Commissioner to Sri Lanka with non-resident accreditation to the Maldives.Senator Marise Payne said that Australia has a close and long-standing relationship with Sri Lanka, underpinned by extensive bilateral cooperation and people-to-people links. Australia’s Sri Lankan community of 170,000 people makes a significant contribution to Australian society. Te Foreign Minister also thanked outgoing High Commissioner Bryce Hutchesson for his contributions to advancing Australia’s interests in Colombo since 2016. (Colombo Gazette) Australia and the Maldives have a positive relationship, built around education, development assistance and combatting transnational crime. Holly is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and was most recently Chief Economist, Trade and Investment.He has previously served overseas as Consul General, Chennai; Deputy Head of Mission, New Delhi; and Counsellor, Singapore. In Canberra, he was a trade negotiator in the Office of Trade Negotiations; Assistant Secretary, South and West Asia Branch; and led Australia’s contribution to both the India and China free trade agreement feasibility studies. Holly holds a Bachelor of Economics from the Australian National University. “Our relationship encompasses development cooperation, education and close collaboration on countering people smuggling and transnational crime. Two-way trade reached a record $1.54 billion in 2017-18. We will continue to support Sri Lanka as it makes progress towards meaningful reconciliation. Australia and Sri Lanka work productively together to address shared challenges in the Indo-Pacific region, including through the Indian Ocean Rim Association,” the Foreign Minister said.