Following the statement of the Deputy Spokesman for the UN Secretary General yesterday (25 September 2019) that the UN Department of Peace Operations has decided to repatriate a Sri Lankan Army unit and individual officers currently serving with UN Peacekeeping due to concerns on the appointment of Lt. Gen. Shavendra Silva as the Commander of the Sri Lanka Army, the Government of Sri Lanka is in discussion on this issue with the UN. Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs who is leading the Sri Lanka delegation to the 74th General Assembly Session is scheduled to discuss this matter with the Under Secretary General of the UN Department of Peace Operations, on Friday, 27 September 2019.
Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in Geneva, Dayani Mendis, at the 42nd Session of the Human Rights Council – 11 September 2019
We would like to refer to the follow-up report of the Working Group on enforced or involuntary disappearances on the implementation of the recommendations made after its visit to Sri Lanka in 2015.
Statement by Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in Geneva, Ambassador A.L.A Azeez, at the 42nd Session of the Human Rights Council – 11 September 2019
Subsequent to the most abominable terrorist attacks over 4 months ago on Easter Sunday Sri Lanka was put to test. However, we witnessed the continued resilience of Sri Lanka’s security forces to protect the country and its people, while ensuring fundamental rights, consistent with the pledges it has made before this Council. These range from the speedy restoration of security which has minimized the impact on the country’s socio-economic fabric and upheld its international reputation, the lifting of the State of Emergency within 4 months, providing the ICRC full access to individuals detained, engaging in an informed debate on seeking to upgrade the new counter terrorism legislation, and in deference to the sensitivities of the Muslim community, adjustment of the regulation banning full facial cover attire. The Government remains committed to combating hate speech and all forms of crimes directed against ethnic and religious communities and is taking steps to counter religious radicalization and violent extremism.
The 9th Meeting of States Parties (MSP) to the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) concluded its deliberations in Geneva on 4 September 2019 under the Presidency of Sri Lanka. States parties, signatories, observer states and international and civil society organizations participated in the three-day meeting which convened its first session on 2 September 2019.
Sri Lanka High Commission in London conducts economic outreach programme on ‘Investment and Trade Opportunities in Sri Lanka’ targeting the British – Sri Lankan community
The Sri Lanka High Commission in London organized a roundtable presentation followed by a networking lunch on ‘Investment and Trade Opportunities in Sri Lanka’ for the British – Sri Lankan business community, on Monday 2 September 2019, at the Holiday Inn Kensington High Street in London. The roundtable was the first diaspora outreach event organised by the Sri Lanka High Commission under the Economic Diplomacy Programme (EDP) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka, and was supported by the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade and the Board of Investment (BOI) of Sri Lanka. Selected members of the British – Sri Lankan community representing all ethnicities, i.e., Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim, with investment or trade potential or already engaged in business, participated in the roundtable on the invitation of the High Commission. A unique feature of the roundtable was the opportunity it provided to tap into a significant portion of the diaspora hitherto not engaged by the High Commission.
Sri Lanka Gem and Jewellery Companies Participate in the International Jewellery London (IJL) 2019 at Olympia, London.
Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in the UK Manisha Gunasekera and Commercial Section staff headed by Minister Commercial Dr Lakmini Mendis visited the stalls of M/s. Ceylon Jewellery Manufacturers and M/s. MAM Gems from Sri Lanka which showcased their gem and jewellery products, designs and craftsmanship at the International Jewellery London (IJL) 2019 held in Olympia, London from 01 to 03 September 2019. Retail buyers from more than 70 countries participated in the IJL, which annually showcases the best of luxury products, design and craftsmanship as a pre-eminent destination for British jewellery and leading global brands.
British Ceylon Tea Companies Showcase their Products at Speciality & Fine Food Fair 2019 at Olympia, London
The High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in the United Kingdom Manisha Gunasekera and staff of the Commercial Section led by Minister Commercial Dr Lakmini Mendis visited the stalls of two British companies, M/s. Robert Wilson Family Teas and M/s. English Tea Shop (UK), which showcased their unique and speciality teas at the Speciality & Fine Food Fair 2019 held in Olympia, London from 1 to 3 September 2019. A highlight was M/s. Robert Wilson Family Teas with family links to Sri Lanka going back six generations, which had won 3 stars at the Great Taste Awards organised by the Guild of Fine Food for their Ceylon teas. Speciality & Fine Food Fair provides a unique platform for more than 700 producers of artisan food & drink to showcase their products, network and get up to speed with the latest trends in the business.
Sri Lanka has sought expertise in preventing violent extremism (PVE) from the Global Community Engagement & Resilience Fund (GCERF), in the post Easter Sunday scenario where violent extremism has become the biggest threat to national security. At the invitation of the Foreign Ministry, the Executive Director of GCERF, Dr. Khalid Koser was in Sri Lanka from 27 – 30 August, and met with political leaders, senior officials and other stakeholders with a view to ascertain possible programmes for GCERF assistance.
Foreign Secretary Aryasinha says Post 21/4 a ‘litmus test’ for Sri Lanka in protecting human rights while fighting terrorism
Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha said post 21/4 has been a ‘litmus test’ on Sri Lanka’s resolve to adhere to human rights standards, while fighting terrorism, and also to determine the robustness and shortcomings of the democratic institutions that have been strengthened in recent years.