66th National Day of Sri Lanka
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The Ministry of External Affairs regrets the comments made to the media by the outgoing UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Navanethem Pillay, relating to the investigation on Sri Lanka that has been undertaken by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) following the adoption by a vote of Resolution 25/1 in March 2014. In an e-mail interview to the Thomson Reuters Foundation, High Commissioner Pillay states that “the United Nations can conduct an effective investigation into reports of war crimes in Sri Lanka without visiting the country.”
In a comprehensive briefing for Ambassadors and High Commissioners accredited to Sri Lanka at the Ministry of External Affairs, last Thursday (7th August) Professor G.L. Peiris dealt with several current developments.
The attention of the External Affairs Ministry has been drawn to an incident that occurred at the Centre for Society and Religion in Colombo on 4th August. According to reports, a meeting had been organized by the NGO “Right to Life Human Rights Centre” involving families of disappeared persons from the North. However, another NGO, “Parents’ Collective of Disappeared Persons”, had sought access to the meeting, demanding that their grievances be heard too. An ensuing argument had led to a tense situation which had subsequently been brought under control by law enforcement authorities. Several diplomatic representatives from western Missions based in Colombo had also been present at the event.
The attention of this Ministry has been drawn to several media reports and expressions of concern relating to recent instructions issued by the Director/Registrar of the National Secretariat for Non Governmental Organizations on the conduct of legitimate activities by NGOs.
The snow covered freezing temperature in Ottawa, did not deter the large expatriate Sri Lankan community and other special guests who attended the 66th Anniversary of Sri Lanka's National Day celebrations held on 9th February organized by the Sri Lanka High Commission in Ottawa at the prestigious National Library & Archives Auditorium.
Following the hoisting of the National flag and other items in the official programme, Ms. Deborah Chatsis, Director, South Asia Relations, Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada conveyed greetings of the Government of Canada to the Sri Lanka National Day. Dr Peter Meincke, President of the Ottawa Branch of the Royal Commonwealth Society of Canada spoke of the importance of the Commonwealth links and congratulated Sri Lanka on assuming the Chairmanship of the Commonwealth in November 2013.
The Sri Lanka High Commission in Ottawa, in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Tea Board, for the third consecutive year organized the "Sri Lankan Pavilion" at the Ottawa Tea Festival held on 23rd November 2013 at the Ottawa Convention Centre .The High Commission's participation at the festival was another item in the continuous campaign to promote Ceylon Tea in the Canadian Market.
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