UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to visit Sri Lanka

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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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Let us dedicate ourselves to provide a truly ethical, virtuous, wise & equitable service to all – President

president indepDay


As we commemorate independence, let us dedicate ourselves to provide a truly ethical, virtuous, wise and equitable service to all. Let us pledge to consolidate on peace and freedom achieved and build this future for our land and people, stated President Maithripala Sirisena in his Independence Day message.

As we celebrate the gaining of Independence, today, we recognize our bounden duty to give all honour and respect to the members of the Security Forces who made great sacrifices to protect our sovereignty and territorial integrity in the battle against terrorism, the President added.

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Let us strive to understand the challenges before us as a nation - PM

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Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe in his Independence Day message said. "On this Independence Day, let us strive to understand the challenges before us as a nation and determine to give of ourselves wholeheartedly to a noble vision of taking our country forward.

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Foreign Minister's Independence Day Message

hon mangala samaraweera

 

Independence Day Message


The 68th Anniversary of the Independence Day of Sri Lanka takes place at a time when our country is embarking on a new chapter in terms of strengthening democracy, good governance, rule of law, human rights and relations with the global community of nations.


This anniversary also coincides with the completion of the first year of the Government led by President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe that is committed to pursue the twin objectives of reconciliation and development aimed at taking our nation forward as a progressive, modern democratic nation, where its rich ethnic, cultural and linguistic diversity is respected, celebrated and valued.

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Sri Lanka destroys Blood Ivory worth millions

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Sri Lanka destroyed a haul of 359 illegal elephant tusks confiscated by the Sri Lanka Customs during a ceremony held at the Galle Face in Colombo yesterday (26).

 

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Sri Lanka has embarked on a great mission towards achieving reconciliation - PM

20jan2016 world economic forum pm

Over 2,000 world leaders and economic specialists, including Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe participated at the inaugural ceremony of the World Economic Forum at Davos in Switzerland on Wednesday (20).
 
It is the first time in history that a Sri Lankan leader attended the World Economic Forum on a special invitation.
 

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JOINT PRESS RELEASE FOLLOWING THE FIRST MEETING OF THE WORKING GROUP ON GOVERNANCE, RULE OF LAW AND HUMAN RIGHTS UNDER THE EUROPEAN UNION-SRI LANKA JOINT COMMISSION, HELD ON 21 JANUARY 2016

The Working Group on Governance, Rule of Law and Human Rights under the European Union-Sri Lanka Joint Commission concluded its first meeting in Colombo on 21 January 2016. The meeting was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Colombo with the participation of senior officials from Sri Lanka and the European Union. The delegation of the European Union was led by Ms. Paola Pampaloni, Head of Division, Asia and the Pacific Department of the European External Action Service. The Sri Lanka delegation was led by Mr. A.L.A. Azeez, Director-General for European Union, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka.


The meeting of the Working Group follows the 19th Session of the European Union-Sri Lanka Joint Commission held in April 2015 in Colombo. The Joint Commission provides the forum for regular and structured bilateral engagement under the EU-Sri Lanka Cooperation Agreement on Partnership and Development of 1995.

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Sri Lanka endorses the Declaration of Commitment to End Sexual Violence in Conflict

At an event held at the United Nations on 25th September 2013 in New York, 122 Member States of the United Nations endorsed the Declaration of Commitment to End Sexual Violence in Conflict.
 
Today, this Declaration is endorsed by 155 Member States.
 

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‘No foreign influences in drafting new constitution’ – President emphasized

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President Maithripala Sirisena says that there is no any foreign influence in formulating the new constitution and this will be done understanding the needs of the country, even though some extremists groups spread false rumours across the country that the Government is prepared to implement the new constitution under the foreign influences.
 
He made these remarks delivering a special statement on drafting a new constitution, at the Parliament, today (09).
 

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Statement to Media by Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera after official talks with Norway Foreign Minister Børge Brende

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Statement to the Media
by Hon. Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of Foreign Affairs
after the Official Talks with Hon. Børge Brende, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 7 January 2016


Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen, 
 
It has been an honour and a privilege to welcome the Norwegian Foreign Minister, the Hon. Børge Brende to Sri Lanka, this morning. An official visit by a Norwegian Foreign Minister takes place after nearly 11 years. I hope that the very productive meeting we have just concluded will set the tone for this new chapter in our relations. Your visit Minister Brende, comes at a very propitious moment, as Sri Lankans are preparing to celebrate the first anniversary of the Sirisena Presidency and the new political trajectory that Sri Lanka undrtook one year ago. As Sri Lanka embarks on this new path, we are encouraged that we have been able to gain the support and confidence of the international community after years of censure and isolation.
 
You are coming to Sri Lanka at a time when Sri Lanka is trying to come to terms with its past and to forge ahead. The domestic mechanisms through which we are trying to address this past, are in the process of being developed and the consultation process to design these mechanisms, will begin next week. Also on Saturday a special session of Parliament will form a constitutional council, a committee consisting of the whole Parliament, which will begin the serious business of consulting the people and drafting a new constitution for Sri Lanka that reflects the aspirations of all Sri Lankans.

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Pakistan Premier praises President Sirisena’s dedicated leadership to govt of good governance

President Sirisena meeting with Prime Minister of Pakistan

President Maithripala Sirisena can honorably be introduced as a leader with a genuine desire to take Sri Lanka forward as great country in the world, says Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif.
 
He commended the program by the President to bring about good governance by eliminating corruption and fraud.
 

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PM vows to continue development projects

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The government is endeavouring to obtain the support of its criticizers to make its 2016 social and economic development programme a success, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said today.


In a special statement during a New Year reception at Temple Trees, Mr. Wickremesinghe said “We don’t have to stop our social and economic development programme in the face of criticism but will continue our journey in a way these criticisers also join hands with us.
 

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Safeguard harmony through strength of unity & cooperation – President

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Our common determination in the New Year should be to safeguard the harmony through the strength of unity and cooperation, stated President MaithripalaSirisena in his New Year message.

I upheld the trust and confidence you placed on me and fulfilled the promise of making 2015 A Victorious Year, he said ,adding, “The coming year, 2016 too will also be a year without rest for you and us. We have to continue relentlessly on the path to build a prosperous future for our two million people”.

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May 2016 be a year of triumph and victory for all Sri Lankans - PM

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This New Year dawns with the refreshing promise of a new era – one that ushers in the dividends of democracy, fulfilling the long held aspirations of the people, Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe said in his New Year message.

The message further said, "It celebrates the emerging of a nation that understands and comprehends the true meaning of freedom from oppression.

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Philosophy of Jesus is both eternal and universal – President

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“Keeping in mind the spirit of Christmas and its embedded human values of giving, sharing, forgiving and taking care of others, let us reach out today to people who were affected during the 30 years of war in Sri Lanka and lend our hands to make their life better”, says President Maithripala Sirisena.

In his message for the Christmas, the President states that the philosophy of Jesus is both eternal and universal. “Irrespective of one’s faith, we all have a sense of duty to ourselves and to one another to make a difference in the world that is genuine and lasting”, he said.

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A blessed Christmas that brings peace and harmony to all - PM

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Prime minister Ranil Wickramasinghe sharing his Christmas message with the Sri lankan people says "The message of Christmas is also a message that the world today wants to hear – it transcends ethnic, religious and other man made limits, transforming lives and filling hearts with the joy of the Season. "

 

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Sri Lanka declared eligible for assistance under the Millennium Challenge Account

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At the meeting of the Board of Directors of the U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) held in Washington DC on 16 December, Sri Lanka was selected as an eligible country for assistance from fiscal year 2016.

This decision of the Board was conveyed by telephone on the same evening, 16 December, to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, by the Chief Executive Officer of the MCC, Dana J. Hyde.

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Celebrations in New York to mark the 60th anniversary of Sri Lanka-UN relations

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The Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka in New York celebrated today, December 14, 2015, the 60th anniversary of the admission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations with an archival photographic exhibition, which was followed by a breakfast reception.
 
Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) was admitted to the United Nations on 14th December 1955 along with Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Laos, Libya, Nepal, Portugal, Romania, and Spain, following its application to join the Organization in 1948.
 

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Remarks to Media by Foreign Minister following talks with US Under Secretary of State

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Remarks to Media by Hon. Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of Foreign Affairs 
 
Visit of Ambassador Thomas Shannon US Under Secretary of State (designate) for Political Affairs to Sri Lanka.  Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 14th December 2015
 
Good evening ladies and gentlemen
 
It has been an honour and a privilege to welcome Ambassador Thomas Shannon, US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs- designate, to Sri Lanka, this evening.   
 
As all of you may know, Ambassador Shannon is the senior-most career United States Foreign Service Officer, and just the 14th in history to rise to the role of Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. 
 

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President meets with Pope Francis

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President Maithripala Sirisena called on His Holiness Pope Francis at the Vatican today (14).
 
Pope Francis expressed his happiness over the warm welcome and hospitality extended to him when he visited Sri Lanka last January and said that Sri Lanka is a beautiful island nation with friendly people.
 
His Holiness commended the initiatives taken by the President towards peacebuilding and reconciliation in the country.
 

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Remarks to Media by Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera on Human Rights Day

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Remarks to Media by
 Hon. Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of Foreign Affairs
on Human Rights Day
Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 10th December 2015

Ladies & Gentleman,
 
Today is Human Rights Day, as you know. And as in the past, Sri Lanka will join the countries of the world in commemorating this important event. But this year, Sri Lanka’s commemorations will not only be symbolic – it will also be substantive. So I am very pleased to announce that Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, will today, this morning in New York, in fact, will be signing the International Convention on Enforced Disappearances.
 
As you are aware, Sixty-seven years ago, in 1948, as the world was recovering from the unspeakable horrors of the Second World War, delegates from around the world convened to adopt the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, affirming every person's right to liberty, equality, and justice under the law. 
 
In commemorating that event, 10th December, is celebrated internationally as ‘Human Rights Day’. 
 

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AMBASSADOR KARIYAWASAM SPEAKS AT THE UNITED STATES INSTITUTE OF PEACE

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The United States Institute of Peace (USIP) hosted Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam, US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Biswal and US Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labour Tom Malinowski for a discussion on Sri Lanka titled “Towards Sustainable Peace in Sri Lanka: The Opportunities Ahead” on December 1st. The discussion was moderated by President of USIP Nancy Lindborg. Participation was by invitation only.
 

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President says developed countries need very deep cuts in global emissions

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President Maithripala Sirisena emphasized the need to have deep cuts in global greenhouse gas emissions by the developed countries considering the historical responsibility.
 
He said that we need to embrace the principle of common but different responsibilities and respective capabilities in order to keep the temperature increase below two degrees Celsius in this century.
 
Addressing the United Nations Conference on Climate Change – 2015, in Paris, France today (Nov 30) , he further said that even though our per capita emission is low and insignificant in the global sense, we have contributed and will contribute to global mitigation efforts.
 

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Sri Lanka calls on the international community to stand united in combating terrorism

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Sri Lanka today (1st December 2015) urged the world community to stand firm and united in combating terrorism. This call was made when Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the Netherlands and Permanent Representative to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Adam M.J. Sadiq addressed   the 20th Session of the Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention in the Hague.
 
Speaking on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka during the General Debate of the Conference which opened yesterday, Ambassador Sadiq referring to the terrorist attacks in Paris, told the meeting, “While  unreservedly  condemning  the  recent  cold-blooded  terror  attacks  in  Paris  and  elsewhere in  the  world, Sri  Lanka  which  lost  thousands  of  innocent  lives  and  suffered  wanton  damage and  destruction  of  property,  due  to  terrorism,   calls  upon   the  international  community  to  stand  firm  and  united  in  combating  terrorism  in  all  its  forms  and  manifestations,  irrespective  of  the  source  or  target  of  this evil  menace”. 
 

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Common values we share bind us together, not the power or the wealth of the member States – President at CHOGM

President M Sirisena at CHOGM 201527nov2015 chogm-1


The common values we share bind us together, and, not the power or the wealth of the member States, says President Maithripala Sirisena.

“The influence of the Commonwealth has helped to guide the political and social behavior of all our members”, he said.

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