Sri Lanka Overseas Service (Foreign Service)

Laksiri's picture

The Sri Lanka Overseas Service (SLOS) which is most commonly referred to as the Sri Lanka Foreign Service is the foreign service of Sri Lanka. It is the body of career diplomats of Sri Lanka. The Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Foreign Affairs is also the head of the foreign service.

SLOS Established in 1st October 1949 after the independence of Ceylon in 1948 as the Ceylon Overseas Service with the recruitment of its first batch of cadets. The service was dealt with foreign affairs, as opposed to the older Ceylon Civil Service, which dealt with domestic affairs. Following Sri Lanka becoming a republic in 1972 the service changed its name to Sri Lanka Overseas Service.

Members to the foreign service are selected every few years after an exam carried out by the Department of Examinations. The select recruits under go training at the Bandaranaike International Diplomatic Training Institute and the Sri Lanka Institute of Development Administration.

Sri Lanka Overseas Service has three grades, such as:

  • Grade I officers
  • Grade II officers
  • Grade III officers

Based on their duty station they may hold one of the following positions;

At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,

  • Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Appointed by the President)
  • Additional Secretary (Appointed by the Public Service Commission)
  • Director General (Grade I)
  • Director (Grade II/Grade III)
  • Deputy Director (Grade III)
  • Assistant Secretary (Grade III - entry level)

At an Diplomatic mission,

  • Ambassador//High Commissioner /Permanent Representative in UN (PRUN) (Grade I)
  • Deputy Chief of Mission/Deputy High Commissioner (Grade II)
  • Minister (Grade II)
  • Minister-counselor (Grade II)
  • Counselor (Grade II)
  • First Secretary (Grade III)
  • Second Secretary (Grade III -conformation of service)
  • Third Secretary (Grade III - entry level, probation)

At an consulate,

  • Consul General (Grade II)
  • Consul (Grade III)
  • Vice Consul (Grade III)


Do they held the SLFS

Do they held the SLFS exam on May? Will it be on June? pls reply. Thanks

Tamil Pass Paper

Please could you tell me where can i get Tamil pass papers for SLFS exam?

SLFS past papers

Hi all, Pls tell me where can I find past papers OR any guide for this exam ?

News's picture

pl check here

Tamil Pass papers

Dear Admin
Please gile me that where i can get Tamil pass papers for SLOS and where the Tamil medium clasess are going on in Colombo?

I am a 26 year old graduate

I am a 26 year old graduate with a first class degree from a leading university in Sri Lanka. I have sat for every possible exam available in Sri Lanka for graduates. But to no avail. Last time I passed SLAS, but was not selected. I sat for SLFS as well and not selected. I am so depressed right now.

People here have presented irregularities that seemed to have happened when recruiting, I am not gonna say such a thing. Because who knows for sure what has happened. All I can say is either these exams are not formed in such a way to select the deserving candidates or we are extremely unlucky or simpley stupid.

it's your bad luck...some of

it's your bad luck...some of fellows has selected for foreign service and every exam u said without any influence. because i know some of them very well..

Ya Ya that's right

All the disqualified people have LUCK (political support)and unfortunately qualified people don't have LUCK. BAD LUCK OF MOTHER SRI LANKA


Stupid i think !


thanks a lot

sri lanka Foreeign service examination 2012: clarification

According to the gazette notification (10.2.2012) the following sectiion need some clarification:
Para 6- gives little confusions on the definition of government servant in the case of submission of an application who presently hold government permenant post under probationary period.

For instance, if a person who is presently working in a goverment organization/university etc under probationary period (less than 3 years) and still not not confirm in the relevant post, can make an application for this examination directly, without the recommendation of his or her head of organization, as indicated in the last paragraph of the application?

what i understand from the para 6 of the gazette is that, since the officer is in the probationary status of a permmenant pensionalble post of the government, can make the application with out the head of dept. recommendation.

However, i have some confusion in the way when i read the para 6. Therefore, I need to clarify it prior to make an application to vaoid problems in the future?
Please clarify.

Agriculture Service Exam

How can I get the past papers of the Agriculture Service Examinations.Can I down load them through Internet.

Are there any reference

Are there any reference materials for this exam? admin pls tell how we can practice for this exam?

Lanka's picture

try to find latest news

try to find latest news relating world affairs and general knowledge. Practise IQ well. Try to improve your writing abilities. Watch Rupawahini news specially World news. Read magazines like Desathiya.

Thank you

Thank you

Rookantha's picture

SLOS Classes

Hey friends, are there classes for these exams. please let us know?

Thank you


Nihal sir at borella Thilakarathnaramya sunday 8.30

No. on saturdays

No. on saturdays

Yes friend.Many class

Yes friend.Many class teachers who are conducting SLAS classes are doing classes.
They have given handbills to the bookshops.Pls ask from them & refer papers(Divaina/Silumina) for more details.
Gud luck

Application for the SLOS

Dear Admin,

I'm currently working as a Government teacher.Only 9 months completed for my Service.Do I apply on this exam as a Government worker or with out mentioning my post.I'm highly disappointed to get this advice to it.Please admin can you tell me Which is the best one & correct legal one?

Thank you.

Lanka's picture

If you are eligible you can.

If you are eligible you can apply as fresh graduate. no problem.

Dear Admin

ifan applicant is 32yrs 2 months, can he sit for the SLOS 2012 examination?

Lanka's picture

If you are eligible to apply

If you are eligible to apply as government servant you can.

if you apply as fresh graduate, you can sit for exam, but if you are selected after they will definitely Reject you.

SLOS Past papers

Could you attach some Tamil medium SLOS past papers

foreign service

can anybody tell me what happened to the foreign service exam held last year? were the results out?

News's picture

Please read previous

Please read previous comments. As I remember 15 applicants were selected from it.

Dear Admin If an applicant is

Dear Admin

If an applicant is less than 32 years of age and
he is currently servicing in government ,
Does he need a service record if he is in the probationary period of the service?

Lanka's picture

no need, Apply by yourself

no need, Apply by yourself without forwarding through office.

Sri Lanka Foregin Service Exam 2012

Dear All ,

Government gazette the foreign service exam 2012 now.It publish 2012.02.10 gazette now.I wish you all the best for the exam & try to pass all.


Link for Gazette :

News's picture

Thank You Very Much for

Thank You Very Much for Information.

Foregin Service Exam

Admin ,

Foregin Service exam eake thawa set 1 k gannawa kiyala me thiyapu exam eakenma kiyanawa.tikak hoyala balanawada? e kathawa aththada kiyala.please.

Sri Lanka Foreighn Services

Does anybody know when will be the next Foreighn Service Exams and number of times one candidate can sit for the exam?


Ron's picture

See the happening Foreign Top

See the happening

Foreign Top grade people = Big supporters of Mahinda

Thanks so much

Thanks so much for the information.
But I am not satisfy this results.
I have 100 % sure this is Political selection list.

" Well done for the Brute Politics " Sri Lanka will be wonder of Asia in very near future......

Lanka's picture

This is not a political

This is not a political selection list. It has names with exam index numbers. & these selection lists are taken through Public Service Commission with their approval. So minisry can't add edit names.

We can see that. There are 4

We can see that. There are 4 ppl selected from Pannipitiya itself. and 4 ppl from Nugegoda, 2 ppl from colombo 7 and 8.
Like wise 3 from down south. 2 from Mathale.
there are ppl from selected from strange places as well.

4 ppl from pannipitiya and 4 from nugegoda are little peculiar isn t it?

i have one of my friends who is a lecturer at University of Kelaniya has a Masters on International Relations .. who could not get through the exam.. strange ..!!!

I have two arguments on this results...

1. In any successful examination, when u plot a graph against scores and the number of candidates , it should come in a standard deviation curve. Ie.. number of applicants who scored very less marks should be a minimum number.. so do the highest marks. At the same time the average marks should be more. Where the average score of this exam should be 300 ( maximum mark is 600) Therefore when u say there were nearly 10000 applicants for SLOS this time at least 5000 candidates should have scored the mark 300. at least 1000 candidates should have easily scored the pass mark which is 330. (assuming SLOS 2011 was an successful examination) But as per the Department of examination there are only 26 candidates have come across the pass mark instead of 1000. So... assuming this statement is true and valid ... there must be something critically gone wrong in the exam papers. I argue that it is a FLOP EXAM..

2. My next argument is the 10000 candidates who wrote the exam were graduates. Assuming the results are valid and true ..... imagine when 10000 graduates write an exam in Sri Lanka only 26 ppl can go across the pass mark. If this is true.. the total education system of Sri Lanka must be pathetic. The leaders should leave this recruitment aside and work on to re-correct the education system in Sri Lanka to make the graduates more deserving and useful citizens to the land.

3.My 3rd argument .... ( i assume all of you know that)


I kindly request u all to visit the following links..

Only 3480 had sat for the exam, if u check the list of candidates who got selected for the interview, and compare it with the final list, u'l c its the same. And personally i was there on the interview day, and so that all the candidates were free of political pushes, and when we talk with each other only v came to know that all had done so many government exams..LOL.

hama district ekenma ekkena

hama district ekenma ekkena gane therenna ona kiyalada kiyanne LOL.
meke exam marks walata gaththa list eka.
kalinma amathi list walata aya aran ratath yawala inne.



U r absolutely correct

U r absolutely correct

Is there Any update regarding the list

Why they not publish the selected list.
Seems to be here is big cheated is happing same as others.

foreign service exam

hei friends,
See the Ministry of external affairs web site.then u can accesses to the results.




Guys...!!!! results are released.... They have short listed only 26 candidates saying there are no more suitable candidates Ie: who has scored more than 330 marks out of 600. There are only 26 ppl out of 10000 total candidates who could cross this 330 marks hurdle it seems. What a pathetic country... ppl should do something to boost the knowledge of graduates as this scenario project where the quality of the education stands.

we r nt abl 2 c da list..thy

we r nt abl 2 c da list..thy r going 2 select nly 15 candidates out of 26 ppl...

News's picture

thanks lot for info

thanks lot for info

Can we see the selected list.

Where we can see the selected list

I think they will put up the

I think they will put up the results on the internet... soon

Agriculture Service Examination.

How can I get the past papers of the Agriculture Service Examinations.Can I down load them through Internet.