Statement to Media by Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera after bilateral meeting with Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström. Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Colombo. 25 April 2016

25 apr 2016 hon mfa sweden bilateralmeeting

It has been an honour and a privilege to welcome Sweden’s Foreign Minister, the Hon. Margot Wallström, to Sri Lanka this morning. This visit follows-on from the meeting we had in Geneva just over a year ago and President Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickresinghe’s meetings with Prime Minister Stefan Lofven at the Boao Forum and World Economic Forum respectively.

Foreign Minister Wallström is no stranger to Sri Lanka, having lived and worked here in the late 1990s along with her family. I am delighted that we can welcome Minister Wallström to Sri Lanka again at such an exciting time of transition when Sri Lanka is on a new path towards democracy, reconciliation and development. 
 

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SRI LANKA SIGNS THE PARIS AGREEMENT ON CLIMATE CHANGE

22 apr 2016 paris agreement ny


Sri Lanka was among the 171 countries that signed the Paris Agreement today (22) at the High- Level Signature Ceremony of the Paris Agreement held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. This high-level signature ceremony is the culmination of negotiations held amongst member states who agreed on the landmark climate deal during the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) held in Paris in December, last year.

Hon. Susil Premajayantha, Minister of Science, Technology and Research signed the Agreement on behalf of Sri Lanka.

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Fighting illegal fishing: EU delists Sri Lanka

eu flag

European Commission yesterday (21st April) expands the global fight against illegal fishing by warning Kiribati, Sierra Leone and Trinidad and Tobago, while lifting the red card and associated trade measures off Sri Lanka, as it has significantly improved its national fisheries governance.
 
European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, said: “Today's decisions are yet another sign of the EU's determination to fight illegal fishing globally. It also shows that we can bring important players on board: Sri Lanka has now a robust legal and policy framework to fight illegal fishing activities. As the fight against IUU fishing is part of the EU's commitment towards sustainability and good ocean governance, each third country that comes on board is an asset.”
 

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Let’s determine to rise as One Country – One Nation in this New Year – President

president sirisena

“Let’s determine to rise as One Country – One Nation unhindered by divisions or disparities, but genuine peace and equality, and to build a drug-free, alcohol-free country in the New Year commencing today”, said President Maithripala Sirisena.
 
I see the New Year festival as a link that promotes and strengthens reconciliation among the communities, the President further stated in his message issued for Sinhala and Tamil New Year.
 

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Make economic, social transformation to herald in prosperity - PM

pm ranil wickremesinghe

This year, Sri Lankans come together to celebrate the Sinhala and Tamil New Year as a nation in which democracy reigns and human dignity is respected; where people of all ethnicities and religious backgrounds are free to rejoice during a season of fellowship, hope and unity, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said in a New Year message.
 

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Chinese Premier welcomes Sri Lankan PM, calls for 'pragmatic cooperation' with Sri Lanka

7 apr 2016 honpm visit china

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang yesterday (April 07) welcomed the visiting Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at a state ceremony in Beijing and called for expanding the pragmatic cooperation with Sri Lanka.
 
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe accompanied by a business delegation arrived in China Wednesday on a four-day official visit at the invitation of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.
 

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Address of Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera at Meeting with Australian Business Leaders and Parliamentarians

4 april 2016 business leaders parliamentarians
Address of Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera

at Lunch Meeting with Business Leaders and Parliamentarians
Melbourne, 4 April 2016


On the eight of January last year, in a historic election the Sri Lankan people voted for democracy, reconciliation and development, the three pillars on which the government is taking the country forward today. They chose robust democratic institutions over kleptocracy and authoritarianism, they chose healing and unity over hate and division and they chose a development strategy based on free competition and a level playing field over a system of crony capitalism.

As a result, Sri Lanka, the oldest democracy in Asia, which has faced two Marxist insurgencies, a civil war and nearly a decade of self-imposed international isolation, is now on the verge of a renaissance. The new government has a clear mandate and is putting in place the foundations for political and policy stability, growth and development, in addition to regaining Sri Lanka’s role at the centre stage of international affairs.

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Address of Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera at the Australian Institute for International Affairs Roundtable

4 april 2016 roundtable australian institute
Address of Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, MP
at the Australian Institute for International Affairs Roundtable
Victoria, 4th April 2016

On January 8th last year, in a historic election, the people of Sri Lanka cast their votes for democracy, reconciliation and development. They chose free and fair elections, good governance and the rule of law over authoritarianism and impunity; they chose stability, reconciliation and peace over the politics of fear and hate. And they eschewed isolationist crony capitalism for openness to the world and a competitive, transparent rules-based economy. Basically, the people of Sri Lanka were weary of politics and governance that just wasn’t cricket. They wanted the new Sri Lanka with an undoctored pitch, an untampered ball and genuine umpires.

The new government was left to clean the Augean stables – a debt-ridden economy, a divided country and gross corruption. While a great more needs to be done, in the last year there is no one who doubts that there has been a sea change in Sri Lanka. In fact, Samantha Power, the US Ambassador to the UN said, “I cannot think of a country in the world today where there has been this much change in such a short a period of time”. So, Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to begin my talk today by briefing you on Sri Lanka’s progress and plans and then moving on to touch on the Sri Lanka-Australia Partnership.

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Deputy Foreign Minister Meets Executive Director of the Green Climate Fund

22 march 2016 green climate fund


The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Harsha de Silva and the Deputy Minister of Mahaweli Development and Environment Anuradha Jayarathna met with the Executive Director of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Hela Cheikhrouhou at the GCF Secretariat in Songdo, Republic of Korea, on Friday 18th March 2016. A delegation of senior officials from the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment accompanied the two Deputy Ministers to Songdo to discuss projects to address climate change related issues in Sri Lanka. Created under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the mission of GCF is to expand collective human action to respond to climate change. The Fund aims to mobilise funding to invest in low-emission and climate-resilient development in the planet.

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Mano Tittawella appointed Secretary-General of Secretariat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms (2)

mr mano tittawella


Mano Tittawella has been appointed as the Secretary-General of the Secretariat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms.

The Secretariat will handle the design and implementation of Sri Lanka's reconciliation mechanisms. Tittawella, the Chairman of EAP Holdings, was the Director-General of the Public Enterprise Reform Commission, the Chairman of the Strategic Enterprise Management Agency, the Chairman of the Task Force to Rebuild the Nation, the Director-General of the President's Office and a Senior Presidential Advisor.

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Terror attack in Lahore is a dreadful act of cowardice – President

president sirisena“The terror attack in Lahore yesterday is a dreadful act of cowardice. I am saddened by the news and condemn all forms of terrorism targeting innocent civilians”, stated President Maithripala Sirisena in his message of condolences to the Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif on the terrorist attack in Lahore yesterday (27).
 

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Prime Minister calls for urgent dialogue on terrorism

pm ranil wickremesinghe


Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has called for urgent international dialogue on terrorism that must include steps in addressing it effectively.

The Prime Minister said this in a message sent to Charles Michel, the Prime Minister of Belgium in which he expressed shock over the recent terror attacks that took place in Brussels.

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Brussels attack must be condemned by the world – President

president sirisena

President Maithripala Sirisena expressed his deepest sympathy over the dastardly terrorist attack at the Brussels airport yesterday and said it must be condemned by the entire world. In a message to the King Phillippe of Belgium, he conveyed the sympathies of the people and the government of Sri Lanka to the victims of this attack.
 
“As a nation that suffered due to ruthless terrorism for nearly three decades, Sri Lanka is always willing to extend fullest cooperation to any action aimed at eliminating the menace of terrorism from the world”, he stated.
 

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Statement of Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera at the 37th Session of the SAARC Council of Ministers

17 march 2016 SAARC Foreign Ministers

Statement by Hon. Mangala Samaraweera, Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka. 
Thirty- Seven Session of the SAARC Council of Ministers
17th March, 2016, Pokhara, Nepal


Mr. Chairman, Hon. Ministers,
Secretary-General of SAARC, Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen
 
I am indeed happy to attend this important session of the SAARC Council of Ministers in this serene and beautiful city of Pokhara. 
 
Allow me to express my sincere thanks to the Government of Nepal for the warm hospitality extended to me and my delegation and for the excellent arrangements made for the meeting. Sri Lanka appreciates the active and visionary leadership role played by Nepal, as the current Chair, which has given a further momentum   to the SAARC process. 
 
I am confident that under the Chairmanship of His Excellency Kamal Thapa, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Nepal, our deliberations today will be productive to the processes and initiatives of SAARC. 
 

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EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Visits Sri Lanka

15 mar 2016 hon mfa eu delegation

The EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica arrived in Sri Lanka today, 15th March 2016, to re-affirm EU support for the Government of Sri Lanka, review ongoing development programmes and to discuss ways and means of further enhancing Sri Lanka – EU bilateral cooperation. This is the first visit of the EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development to Sri Lanka and is the first visit by a high-level EU representative since the current Government assumed office.

The EU Commissioner will meet Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe and other senior ministers during his visit.

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Address of Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera at the Sri Lanka Investment and Business Conclave 2016

8march2016 sl investment business conclave

SRI LANKA INVESTMENT AND BUSINESS CONCLAVE
Address by Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera MP, Minister of Foreign Affairs
8 March 2016


Mr. Samantha Ranatunga, Chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce,

Dr. Sarath Amunugama, Minister for Special Assignments,
Datuk Azzat Kamaludin, Chairman of Dialog Axiata and the Keynote Speaker today,
Captains of Industry, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to begin by commending and thanking the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce for organizing this Investment and Business Conclave bringing investors from 27 countries, including a number of Overseas Sri Lankans, to Sri Lanka at a time when the country is embarking on a new journey towards peace and prosperity. I would also like to thank the potential investors here today for placing your confidence in the possibilities that our country has to offer.

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Inaugural US – Sri Lanka Partnership Dialogue convened in Washington

25 feb 2016 honmfa us state secretary


The following statement was released by the Governments of Sri Lanka and the United States of America after the first annual U.S. – Sri Lanka Partnership Dialogue held on February 26, 2016 in Washington, D.C.

Sharing a commitment to democracy, rule of law, and shared prosperity, the United States and Sri Lanka convened the inaugural Partnership Dialogue on February 26, 2016 in Washington, DC. Both nations highlighted the growing bilateral cooperation between Sri Lanka and the United States and reaffirmed that the relationship is based on shared values and common goals of the two countries and their peoples.

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Address of Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera at the US Institute of Peace

25 feb 2016 honmfa peaceinstitute


Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera gave an Address on "Advancing Reconciliation and Democracy" at a leading think-tank, the US Institute of Peace in Washington DC, on 25 February 2016. The event was jointly hosted by the Heritage Foundation.

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Foreign Minister Samaraweera meets US Secretary of State John Kerry

25 feb 2016 honmfa us state secretary

Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera met US Secretary of State John Kerry today (25) at the State Department before the first Sri Lanka US Partnership Dialogue which will commence tomorrow, Friday 26 February 2016.
 

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Minister Mangala Samaraweera concludes successful visit to the United Nations

24 feb 2016 hon mfa visit newyork


Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Mangala Samaraweera concluded a three day visit to New York to attend the UNDP 50th Anniversary Ministerial meeting held at the UN Headquarters, from the 21st-24th of February.

The Minister’s visit commenced with a courtesy call on Ms. Helen Clark, Administrator of the UNDP, where he underscored the strong partnership between the organization and the Sri Lankan Government and its people that had existed since the 1960s. Discussions included ways and means of enhancing this cooperative relationship, to meet the development challenges in Sri Lanka’s current peacebuilding environment.

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Austria – Sri Lanka agree to enhance economic cooperation

19 feb 2016 Austrian President

President of Austria Mr. Heinz Fischer and President Maithripala Sirisena agreed to increase the cooperation in the economic development between the two countries as friendly nations.

The two leaders came into this agreement when they held an official disvussions today (Feb. 19) at the President’s Office of Austria.

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German Chancellor assures more assistance to Sri Lanka

17feb2016 pr germanvicechancellor

German Chancellor Dr. Anjela Merkel assures to send a high level business delegation including the Economic Affairs Minister of Germany to seek about the opportunities to improve economic investments and trade relations between Germany and Sri Lanka.

She made these remarks when she met President Maithripala Sirisena today (Feb. 17) at the Office of the German Chancellor.

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Address of Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera at Launch of Consultations on Reconciliation Mechanisms

honmfa launch consultations reconcilliationmechnisma

Launch of Consultations on Reconciliation Mechanisms
Address by Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera MP
Jaffna, 12th February 2016.

 On January 8th President Maithripala Sirisena was elected on mandate for true national unity, reconciliation and accountability. In fact, point 93 of President Sirisena’s 100 day work programme says,
  
“Since Sri Lanka is not a signatory to the Rome Statute regarding international jurisdiction with regard to war crimes, ensuring justice with regard to such matters will be the business of national independent judicial mechanisms.” 
 
Later, after the new Government was elected, on behalf of the new Government, I requested the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to defer the publication of the OISL Report as the government needed to deliberate on and design the framework for truth seeking, accountability, reparations and non-recurrence. 
 

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UN High Commissioner for Human Rights calls on President

9feb2016 president hc hr

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein called on President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat, today (9).
 
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the President held cordial discussions on the current developments in Sri Lanka.
 

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UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to visit Sri Lanka

crest-srilanka


Accepting an invitation extended by the Government in February 2015, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein will undertake a four-day official visit to Sri Lanka.

The High Commissioner will arrive in Sri Lanka on the morning of Saturday 6 February and depart on the morning of 10 February.

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Govt is determined to solve problems inherited in 1948 as well as unsolved post-conflict issues – President

04feb2016 president

President Maithripala Sirisena called on the people to extend fullest cooperation to the government to fulfill the task of building the Nation by solving the issues left behind by the Colonial rulers in 1948 and the post-conflict issues that were not resolved after May 2009.
 
Addressing the Nation on the occasion of the 68th anniversary of Independence Day at the Galle Face today (February 4), the President said that the cultural, social and religious values of the Sri Lankan society deteriorated during the over 400 years of foreign occupation and the independent nation inherited major issues when the Colonial rulers left in 1948. During the past 68 years, the country failed to solve those issues and furthermore the country failed to address the post conflict issues that should have been solved after elimination of terrorism in May 2009, he said.
 

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