Sri Lankan delegation engages with Special Procedures mandate holders & working groups during HRC 20

Engaging with the relevant Interactive Dialogues with Special Procedures Mandate Holders and Working Groups since the commencement of the Human Rights Council on 18th June, the Sri Lanka delegation briefed the Council on its positions on the thematic issues of relevance.

In the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Counter-Terrorism, Sri Lanka supported a Joint statement presented by the People’s Republic of China on behalf of 13 likeminded countries comprising the Russian Federation, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, Cuba, Bangladesh, Iran, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sudan, and Venezuela, which condemned terrorism in all its manifestations.  Sri Lanka also had its own statement on counter-terrorism, which welcomed the Special Rapporteur’s recognition that some of the gravest violations of human rights are committed by or on behalf of non-state actors operating in conflict situations, including by domestic or international terrorist networks.  Sri Lanka also cautioned on the many-faceted dangers of these international networks operating in foreign jurisdictions, including in the form of front organisations, while continuing to receive overt and tacit support from host societies.  The delegation noted that tolerance and accommodation of these international networks could lead to the resurfacing and rejuvenation of terrorism in countries which have suffered from it and been effectively suppressed.  Sri Lanka observed that support from overseas, whether it be by fundraising or via other logistical support, or even via civic or political manifestations that espouse terrorist causes in victim countries, must be stringently guarded against. Sri Lanka upheld that all countries have a responsibility to ensure that terrorism does not jeopardize the rights of its citizens on their own soil, and equally have a duty to ensure that activities in its jurisdiction do not pose a threat to present and potential victims of terrorism in other nations.

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11th Shangri – La Dialogue

Sri Lanka focuses on the Pivotal Role the country could play in the Maritime Security Domain

On the margins of the Shangri-La Dialogue,  Sri Lanka’s delegation to the meetings led by the Minister of External Affairs and Secretary Defence  Mr Gotabhaya Rajapaksa met with General Martin Dempsey US – Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and A K Anthony the Defence Minister of India.  Prof Peiris gave an in depth account of implementing a locally chartered course of action for national reconciliation which also included elements of rehabilitation, reconstruction and the socio-economic development of the conflict affected Northern and Eastern parts of the country.  Both USA and India commended the incremental and steady progress being made in these areas and were keen to assist Sri Lanka in all aspects of their multifaceted bilateral partnership for attaining sustainable peace.  As a coastal nation, the meetings recognized the pivotal role that Sri Lanka navy could play in strengthening the security of sea lanes in the Indian Ocean and resolved to co-operate closely in drawing on their synergies in combating international terrorism.  As two key strategic partners of Sri Lanka, both the USA and India responded positively to a request made by Secretary of Defence for enhanced training opportunities for capacity building of defence personnel in their institutes of repute.  Prof Peiris  addressed a thematic Session on “South Asia’s Growing Security Threats” in the  Asian Security Summit, in Singapore.  Among his fellow panellists was  Dr Dipu Moni, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh.

Ministry of External Affairs

Colombo.

5 June 2012

Sri Lankans are ready to move forward – President at Doha Summit

Today, the people of Sri Lanka are ready to move forward and sustain peace and achieve economic prosperity, which will be possible, only if we stand together as one country, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said. 

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Visit of Mr. Wolfgang Waldner, State Secretary (Deputy Minister) of Foreign Affairs of Austria

The State Secretary (Deputy Minister) of Foreign Affairs of Austria, H.E. Mr. Wolfgang Waldner called on Hon. Neomal Perera, Deputy Minister of External Affairs today (30/04) at the Ministry of External Affairs. The Austrian State Secretary of Foreign Affairs is on a visit to Sri Lanka at present, leading a five-member delegation.

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President arrives in Seoul

Mahinda Rajapaksa and the First Lady Madam Shiranthi Rajapaksa arrived at Seoul Air Base in South Korea this morning on a four day official visit. The President and his delegation was received on arrival by the Vice Foreign Minister South Korea Kim Sung-han.

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“Seychelles wants Sri Lanka to be the Ship Building Hub”- Seychelles Foreign Affairs Minister

The Seychelles Foreign Minister H.E. Jean-Paul Adam visited Sri Lanka at the invitation of Prof. G.L. Peiris, Minister of External Affairs from 19th to 20th April 2012.  The Seychelles Foreign Affairs Minister called on Prof. G.L. Peiris today (19/04/2012) at the Ministry of External Affairs and had fruitful bilateral discussions.  

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Seychelles Foreign Minister Hon. Jean Paul Adam visits Sri Lanka

The Seychelles Foreign Minister Hon. Jean Paul Adam is to visit Sri Lanka from 19th-  20th April at the invitation of the External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris.  

During the visit, the Seychelles Foreign Minister is to hold bilateral talks with the External Affairs Minister to discuss issues of mutual interest with a view to further enhancing bilateral relations between the two countries. 

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Visit to Sri Lanka by His Excellency Mahmoud Abbas, President of the State of Palestine

The President of the State of Palestine His Excellency Mahmoud Abbas visited Sri Lanka from 15th to 17th April 2012.  He was accompanied by several senior Ministers and PLO Representatives including the Minister of Foreign Affairs His Excellency Riad Malki.

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Statement by GOSL on the alleged abductions

The Ministry of External Affairs wishes to inform the Diplomatic Missions, the United Nations and its Specialized Agencies and other International Organizations based in Colombo of several matters relating to the sequence of events involving Mr. Premkumar Gunaratnam and Ms. Dimuthu Attygalle.

These events have been the subject of extensive media attention during the last few days. Statements with regard to the matter have captured headlines in the media and have been the subject of vigorous comment by leaders of political parties, academics and civil society activists. All these persons have united in making a variety of grave allegations, the gist of which is to impute responsibility to the Government for an alleged abduction.

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Large investor presence, a valuable vote of confidence in Sri Lanka-President at Sri Lanka Expo 2012

You are a strong and valuable vote of confidence in Sri Lanka an expression of growing trust in the new opportunities for export trade in a country that was famous for international trade from ancient days, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said.

Addressing "Sri Lanka Expo 2012”, organized by the Export Development Board (EDB) at the BMICH this morning President said the presence of investors here today shows the failure of the efforts of those who still support the agenda of separatist terror that prevented development in Sri Lanka for more than three decades.

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Response of the Government of Sri Lanka to the Film broadcast on Channel 4 on 14th March 2012

The Government of Sri Lanka deeply regrets that, once again, Channel 4 chose not to share the video footage or any of the other material upon which it purports to have relied, prior to broadcast of its film ‘Sri Lanka Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished’ on 14th March 2012.  This denied the Government of Sri Lanka of the rightful opportunity to address any of the concerns raised.  This appears to be a continuation of the approach adopted by Channel 4 in its broadcast last year.  It may be recalled that last year’s broadcast was severely criticised by many including the Sunday Times UK, which described the commentary to the broadcast as “intemperate and partisan”, and rightly pointed out that most of the footage which was used was unattributed and uncorroborated. 

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Response to Amnesty International’s Report entitled “Locked away: Sri Lanka’s security detainees”

The Government of Sri Lanka has been observing a disturbing trend in the run-up to the 19th Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva. Many parties with vested interests have been carrying out anti-Sri Lanka propaganda in the form of discussions, reports and documentaries, with a view to exerting undue pressure on a small country which is undergoing a period of transition, following the restoration of peace, after a 30 year battle against terrorism.

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EXTERNAL INTERVENTION WILL GRAVELY HAMPER SRI LANKAN PROCESS

EXTERNAL INTERVENTION WILL GRAVELY HAMPER SRI LANKAN PROCESS    -   PROF.  PEIRIS TELLS LEADERS OF UGANDAN GOVERNMENT

intervention   at  this  time  is  singularly  unhelpful  and  will  indeed  inflict grave  damage  on  a  sensitive  internal  process  which  is  moving  forward,  Professor  G.L.Peiris,  Minister  of  External  Affairs,  said  in  Kampala,  Uganda,  on  Tuesday (28 February 2012) .

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Prof. G.L. Peiris, meets Mr. Ebrahim Ismail Ebrahim, Deputy Minister Foreign Affairs of South Africa

Following his meetings with President Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa and Ms. Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Foreign Minister of South Africa, Professor G.L. Peiris, Minister of  External Affairs, had further discussions at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Pretoria, South Africa. 

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Rural people should be given the results of giant development works – President

We have to give the rural people who comprises 80% of our population the results of giant development works we have initiated in the country. It is not only an expectation but also a challenge which we are ready to take up, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said.

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Sri Lanka donates US $ 50,000 to the Philippines for flood victims

Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the Philippines Nawalage Bennet Cooray handed over a donation of US $ 50,000 to that country’s Foreign Minister, Albert F. Del Rosario recently for relief operations in the wake of the enormous natural disaster suffered by the Philippines in recent weeks.  

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View the LLRC report as a catalyst in constructively engageing Sri Lanka - Ambassador Aryasinha

Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha has expressed the hope "that all those who wish Sri Lanka well, would view the LLRC report as a catalyst and continue to engage with Sri Lanka in a constructive manner, giving the Government the time and space needed to carry out what has been recommended by the LLRC". The Ambassador made this observation in the course of his response to interventions made at a ‘Sri Lanka Briefing’ convened by the ‘Friends of Sri Lanka’ of the European Parliament held on 25 January 2012 at the European Parliament.

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A Trilingual Sri Lanka

In a far-sighted, visionary move the state under the guidance and unwavering commitment of President Mahinda Rajapaksa has launched the Ten Year Programme for a Trilingual Sri Lanka; a much awaited initiative which could be easily described as historic. Accordingly, year 2012 has been proclaimed by the government as the Year for a Trilingual Sri Lanka and the hope and prayer of the well meaning and thoughtful of Sri Lanka is likely to be that this ground-breaking project would succeed fully and be a boon to the citizenry of this country.  

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India & Sri Lanka sign 5 agreements during the visit of Indian External Affairs Minister

Welcoming the Indian Minister of External Affairs S.M. Krishna to Sri Lanka, Minister of External Affairs G.L. Peiris emphasized the deep rooted friendship and historical ties which exist between the two countries, and elaborated that Sri Lanka and India are bound to each other geographically and in terms of their economies, which have stood the test of time.  Minister Krishna began a four day official visit to Sri Lanka on 16th January 2012, at the invitation of Minister Peiris and called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne.

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GL holds discussions with President of Burkina Faso

Minister  Peiris   with  the  President of Burkina  Faso

Continuing  his  visit  to  several  countries  in  West  Africa  as  the  Special  Envoy  of  President  Mahinda  Rajapaksa,  Professor  G.L.Peiris,  Minister  of  External  Affairs,  arrived  in  Burkina  Faso  at  the  conclusion  of  his  meetings  with  the  President  and  the  Foreign  Minister  of  Senegal.

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Visit of Canadian Parliamentary Delegation to Sri Lanka

To assess the Post- conflict Reconciliation and Developments in Sri Lanka 8th to 11th January, 2012

On the invitation of the Acting Minister of External Affairs Hon. Neomal Perera, a Parliamentary delegation from Canada comprising Hon. Chungen Leung (M.P.), Parliamentary Secretary for Immigration and Multiculturalism and Deputy Minister of the Government of Canada, Hon. Joe Daniel (M.P.), and Marlene Gallyot Special Assistant to Hon. Joe Daniel (for Sri Lanka) visited Sri Lanka from 8th to 11th January, 2012.  The delegation paid a courtesy call on the Acting Minister at the Ministry of External Affairs.

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Meaningful democracy requires closest interaction between govt and community

If democracy is to be meaningful and command their respect, it must have a direct impact on their everyday lives. This necessarily calls for the closest possible interaction between government and the community. The mechanisms of government must have effective application at the grassroots level, in order to address issues and to provide relief, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said addressing the Bali Democracy Forum IV in Bali, Indonesia this morning.

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Now is the time for action: President tells SAARC

The issues which call for our attention, particularly in the areas of social justice and climate change, require not further discussion but immediate action, stated President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his address to the 17th SAARC Summit, held in Addu City of the Maldives.  

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Sri Lanka awaits to welcome you - President tells CHOGM leaders

My country and my people who are experiencing economic revival, peace and tranquility throughout the country after many decades look forward to welcoming all of you to Colombo in 2013 President Mahinda Rajapaksa said. 

Addressing the concluding session of Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Perth today President Rajapaksa said that CHOGM comes to Asia after 22 years, last being in Malaysia. "I have no doubt that all my Asian colleagues will, in 2013, join me and the people of Sri Lanka in welcoming you to our region, which is home to over two thirds of the population of the Commonwealth, to deliberate on all issues in which we are collectively interested", he said. 

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The might of powerful nations cannot prevail against justice and fair play – President at UNGA

“Deeply mindful that the battle for peace I every bit as important and difficult as the struggle against terror” 

“Whilst clash of ideas, opinions and values continues we have clearly to recognize that dialogue, deliberation and consensus offer only viable means for resolving differences. The might of powerful nations cannot prevail against justice an fair play”’ said President Mahinda Rajapaksa addressing the 66th Session of the United Nations General Assembly at New York today (23). 

President Rajapaksa said “I am deeply mindful … that the battle for peace is every bit as important and difficult as the struggle against terror.   After the eradication of terrorism, my government has turned its undivided attention to building anew, the foundations of a unified and vibrant nation and drawing upon the inherent strengths of our country  and in particular, the unique caliber of our human potential.

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Statement made at the Parliament by His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa on 25th August 2011

Spanish Translation

As the President who has participated most in the affairs of Parliament since the Executive Presidency was established, I am in Parliament today to further demonstrate by determination that there should be closer links between Parliament and the Presidency. 

From the time I was elected President I have presented all budgets in Parliament. I was able to obtain the continuous support of Parliament for the economic and development programmes presented in these budgets. I participated at the conclusion of the last budget debate to further widen the cooperation between Parliament and the State.

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