EU tells Sri Lanka to ensure transparency, end corruption and cut duties

The European Union's ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Tung Lai-Margue, told Sri Lanka to ensure transparency in the financial sector, end corruption and cut duties in order to make the country appeal to foreign investors. “The conflict had a major impact on Sri Lanka’s economy but almost eight years have passed and the time is opportune for Sri Lanka to catch up," Mr Lai-Margue was quoted by Economy Next as saying at an event organised by the European Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (ECCSL) and the European Union Delegation to Sri Lanka and Maldives. “Sri Lanka’s increase in duties...

UN Special Rapporteur violated Sri Lanka's sovereignty says NFF

The National Freedon Front (NFF) said it "vehemently" condemned the statement by the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism, Ben Emmerson on his visit to Sri Lanka this month, accusing him of violating sovereignty. The NFF's national organiser, Piyasiri Wijenayaka was quoted by Adaderana as saying the statement was “an interference to the internal affairs of a sovereign country and a hypocritical utterance of a representative of the neo-imperialists". "Turn your dirty, accusing fingers not toward us but towards your own countries, where the black people are beaten and...

Sri Lankan PM promises liberalisation of economy

Speaking at an event organised by the European Chamber of commerce, Sri Lanka's prime minister promised liberalisation of the economy prior to the next budget, expressing his support for breaking down barriers for competition. The event was entitled 'Sri Lanka-the next Asian Economic Miracle’. Stating that GSP+ was key to Sri Lanka's economic development, Mr Wickremesinghe was quoted by the Daily Mirror as saying: “We have the ability to develop our economy and strengthen our democracy. Open market leads to open societies and we are committed to both. Now this is a challenge for Sri Lankan...

Sri Lankan President signs Office of Missing Persons Gazette

The Sri Lankan President signed the gazette for the Office of Missing Persons today. Announcing on his official Twitter account that he had signed the gazette, President Sirisena said “this marks another step forward in Sri Lanka’s path to sustained peace.” “OMP being gazetted is a significant step forward for the people of Sri Lanka,” the UN resident coordinator, Una McCauley said on Twitter. The US Ambassador, Atul Keshap, said “I’m happy [the President] signed bill and gazetted Office of Missing Persons; families waiting for answers hope for swiftest operationalization.” The President had...

UN to vet Sri Lankan peacekeeping troops

The UN is to ensure soldiers from Sri Lanka are vetted prior to joining the UN Peacekeeping force. Spekaing at a press briefing in New York, the deputy spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General was quoted by the Daily Mirror as saying, “wherever we recruit soldiers from, in every country, we try to vet the incoming peacekeeping troops, to make sure that they're not involved in any such problems in their home country.” “And, of course, we will do that sort of vetting for Sri Lankan troops as we do for any other country,” he reportedly added. It remains unclear exactly what will be included in...

‘Jaffna holds special significance for Singapore’ – Foreign Minister

Singapore’s Foreign Minister said Jaffna “holds special significance” for his country, during a visit to the region today.

Senior UN official to hold talks with Sri Lankan government and TNA

The United Nations Under Secretary General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman arrived in Sri Lanka on Wednesday, undertaking a three-day visit to the island where he will discuss peacebuilding with government officials and members of the Tamil National Alliance. Mr Feltman, a former United States Ambassador, met with Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake in Colombo as part of his trip to “to take stock of progress in the country and engage national stakeholders on the peacebuilding process,” according to the UN. He also travelled to Trincomalee, where he met with the Governor of...

Sri Lanka's foreign ministry to answer to defence ministry after UN Spec Rapp visit

Rejecting the report by the UN Special Rapporteur for human rights and counter-terrorism, Ben Emmerson, Sri Lanka's cabinet spokesperson said on Wednesday that the foreign ministry would going forward answer to the country's defence ministry and the Prison Commissioner General before foreign officials undertook any future similar visits. The decision came after the members of the government and the president, Maithripala Sirisena questioned why Mr Emmerson was allowed to visit the island and speak to Tamils detainees who the security forces claim are associated with the LTTE. “The ministers...

5 NFF parliamentarians leave constitutional assembly

Five parliamentarians, led by Wimal Weerawansa, announced this week their decision to leave the constitutional assembly, Adaderana reported. From the National Freedom Front, the five parliamentarians - Mr Weerawansa, Jayantha Samaraweera, Weerakumara Dissanayake, Niroshan Premaratne and Padma Udhaya Shantha Gunasekera - gave the speaker a written notice of their decision to leave. The constitutional assembly was formed in March 2016 where all 225 members of parliament would meet with the intention of drafting a proposal for a new constitution. Their exit comes after senior members of the...

Unity govt essential to constitutional change says TNA leader

The TNA leader, R Sampanthan told the visiting foreign minister of Singapore, Vivian Balakrishnan that the unity government was essential to ensuring the success of the constitutional change process. Urging both the UNP and SLFP to "put their petty political agendas aside", Mr Sampanthan said, "this is an urgent need for the whole country and all its people." Meeting with Mr Balakrishnan on Monday in colombo, Mr Sampanthan also highlighted the slow progress made on the issue of missing persons as well as the repeal of the Prevention Terrorism Act, Adaderana reported.

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