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News

High Commissioner Pillay seeks to influence the OHCHR investigation process

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.”

Read more: High Commissioner Pillay seeks to influence the OHCHR investigation process

 

GL underlines the need for diplomatic missions to respect local sensitivities

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.

Read more: GL underlines the need for diplomatic missions to respect local sensitivities

 

External Affairs Ministry Statement on the Meeting at CSR on 4th August

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.
While recognizing the fundamental right to freedom of assembly and expression, the Ministry wishes to point out that that, once again, a certain section of the diplomatic corps appears to be involved in a manner lacking in objectivity, in events organized for a particular region and community. This has led to the emergence of a pattern of such potentially volatile situations giving rise to the perpetuation of mistrust amongst communities at a sensitive juncture in the country’s history.
The Ministry wishes to urge the diplomatic community to be more conscious of local sensitivities when attending events of an emotive nature.
Ministry of External Affairs
Colombo
5th August 2014

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. 

Read more: External Affairs Ministry Statement on the Meeting at CSR on 4th August

 

PRESS RELEASE-conduct of legitimate activities by NGOs

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.

Read more: PRESS RELEASE-conduct of legitimate activities by NGOs

 

Sri Lanka National Day Celebrations in Ottawa

 

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.

Read more: Sri Lanka National Day Celebrations in Ottawa

 

66th National Day of Sri Lanka

invitation-2014

   

High Commissioner Chitranganee Wagiswara's interview with CTV's Power Play on 17th January 2014

 

   

Press Statement on Hon. Rathika Sitsabaiesan's Visit to Sri Lanka

The  media publicity in Sri Lanka  and Canada on the recent private visit  to Sri Lanka by the New Democratic Party (NDP) Member of Parliament Rathika Sitsabaiesan has created much controversy that needs to be clarified.

The  information reported in the media and in some of the websites that Ms. Sitsabaiesan was under house arrest was false and was confirmed by her and Canadian Government authorities. As Ms. Sitsabaiesan was on a tourist visa she had been advised not engage in political activities which would amount to flouting Sri Lanka’s immigration laws and regulations.

While Sri Lankan authorities handled this issue in a responsible manner, the statement made by Ms. Sitsabaiesan on 1st January 2014 posted in the NDP website  that she was subject to ‘political intimidation’ is erroneous and is an attempt to unfairly embarrass the Sri Lanka Government. Moreover this stated position could be indicative of her seeking to engage in political activity, and being unable to do so in the interest of abiding by Sri Lanka’s immigration laws and regulations, seems to have been interpreted by her as political intimidation.  The reference in the same statement on defending principles of human rights further  demonstrates  a self appointed role to pass judgment baselessly on a sovereign State.


After 30 long years of conflict waged by the most ruthless terrorist organization in the world, Sri Lanka is at a stage addressing the complex issues  to  bring about healing and reconciliation. Those who  genuinely wish to assist in this process should be  sensitive to the needs of  the country  and  all the people living in Sri Lanka


Sri Lanka High Commission
Ottawa
8th  January 2014
   

Ceylon Tea Promotion at the Ottawa Tea Festival

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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Read more: Ceylon Tea Promotion at the Ottawa Tea Festival

   

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