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MEDIA STATEMENT

The Ministry of External Affairs is surprised at some of the recent statements on the outcome of the case filed by the LTTE in 2011 at the General Court of the European Union in which the Council of the European Union was the defendant supported by the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the European Commission as interveners. These statements by interested parties are based on an inaccurate premise. 

 The Ministry of External Affairs wishes to state that from the outset of the case being filed, legal advice and expert opinion were sought from within the European Union system and specialist European lawyers. Accordingly, the Government of Sri Lanka took action in the most effective manner available, by providing material of a substantive nature to the defendant and the interveners on a regular basis. This was in accordance with Sri Lanka being a non-member state of the European Union and having therefore to meet special conditions, contrary to the national interest of Sri Lanka, in order to be allowed to intervene itself in cases before the General Court of the European Union.

Read more: MEDIA STATEMENT

 

“Sri Lanka – Emerging Economic Miracle in Asia”

  World Economic Forum Side Event

January 22, 2015 

Davos – Klosters, Switzerland 

Side  Event  Sri  Lanka  will  be  held  at  the  Steigenberger  Grandhotel  Belvédère, Promenade  89,  Davos,  Switzerland  on  Thursday  (January  22,  2015)  as  a  luncheon session at the room “Lounge East” from 12.30 to 14.00 hrs. 

The   Sri   Lankan   economy   has   achieved   substantial   progress   in   almost   all macroeconomic  fundamentals  in  recent  years.  The  economy  recorded  an  average growth of 7.5 per cent during 2010-2013 period. Inflation remains in single digits for well over 5 years. In 2014, the economy is projected to grow by 7.8 per cent, defying a regional slowdown as the Sri Lanka remains one of Asia’s best performing economies. 

Sri Lanka by 2020 would have a GDP of around US $ 150 billion, a US $ 7,000+ per capita income and sound macroeconomic fundamentals. Economic growth is targeted to average around 8 per cent from 2015 onwards. Inflation would continue at the lower end of mid-single digits and the current account at surplus with foreign reserves growing faster. 

The programme, luncheon session for 1 ½ hours,  will cover the presentation on “Sri Lanka – Emerging Economic Miracle in Asia” by the Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) followed by Q & A session and walk-around discussion. The Sri Lankan  delegation  consist  of  representation  from  the  Central  Bank,  government agencies including Diplomatic Missions, members of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) representing large scale conglomerates operating in Sri Lanka and Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka.

 The presentation/ discussion will elaborate, in detail, the strategies envisaged for the 

  • macro-economic environment that need to be maintained, even in an uncertain global economic environment,
  • the continuation of the economic diversification programme, based on the ‘5 Hubs ++’ concept, 
  • country-wide infrastructure development programme to provide the necessary impetus for investments,
  • improvement in doing business environment, 
  • an investment grade sovereign rating, 
  • deeper and more liquid financial sector, 
  • productive labour force, and 
  • facilitation to the private sector to become even vibrant and global players. 

The CBSL look forward to seeing you all at the Steigenberger Grandhotel Belvédère, World Economic Forum Sri Lanka - Side Event on 22 January, 2015.

WEF Side Event in PDF....

 

Monetary Policy Review – October 2014

Continuing the sustained low inflation environment for the 68th  consecutive month, headline inflation on a year-on-year (Y-o-Y) basis remained unchanged at 3.5 per cent in September 2014 while declining on an annual average basis to 4.2 per cent from 4.5 per cent in the previous month. Core inflation (Y-o-Y) meanwhile, decelerated to 3.7 per cent in September 2014 from 3.9 per cent in August 2014. The significant reduction of international energy prices and the improvements in the domestic electricity infrastructure have enabled the government to reduce domestic energy prices, and the benefits of these adjustments have now begun to reflect favourably on inflation. This development, along with the continued deceleration of the prices of other key commodities in the international market, is likely to result in inflation remaining at a lower rate than the previously projected range of 4-5 per cent in the period ahead.

Read more: Monetary Policy Review – October 2014

 

Fijian Prime Minister expresses gratitude to Sri Lanka in maiden speech

Rear Admiral J.V. Bainimarama, the newly elected Prime Minister of Fiji has acknowledged the immense debt Fiji owes to Sri Lanka, in his inaugural speech on 13th October 2014 at the Parliament House in Suva, following the convincing victory of his Fiji First Party at the general elections held last month, in which it secured 59.2% of the popular vote. 

In his address to the Parliament, Prime Minister Bainimarama, while thanking the members of the Fijian Judiciary, judges and magistrates paid special tribute to Sri Lanka for providing an invaluable service by sending judges and magistrates at Fiji’s time of need. The Prime Minister stated: 

“I especially want to thank those individuals who head our institutions of State for the sacrifices they were prepared to make in the face of criticism, abuse and sanctions. Some of those whom we counted as our friends set out to degrade our standards of governance by targeting and punishing these individuals who accepted positions in the Judiciary, as Ministers and on the Boards of our State-Owned Enterprises. To those of you who withstood vilification and in some cases even death threats, I also extend my warmest thanks. I will never forget your loyalty to our nation, and our cause of building a better Fiji. 

I particularly thank the members of our Judiciary – the Judges and Magistrates headed by honourable Chief Justice, Anthony Gates, for being willing to stand up to international condemnation, so that the Fijian people could continue to access to justice. I especially thank those who came from Sri Lanka to join other Judges and Magistrates who stood by our nation when we needed them. Because of these heroes, the genuine rule of law in Fiji prevailed even during the most challenging times, and we owe you all an immense depth of gratitude. We owe an immense debt to the Government and President of Sri Lanka for facilitating their service to Fiji.” 

Note

Two Sri Lankans have taken leadership positions to serve on boards appointed by the Government, during the challenging times referred to in the Prime Minister’s speech, namely Mr. Ajith Kodagoda, the Honorary Consul for Sri Lanka in Fiji, who was appointed in 2009 as the Chairman of the Fiji National Provident Fund, Fiji Inland Revenue and Customs Authority and the Amalgamated Telcome Holdings and Mr. P.L. Munasinghe as the Chairman of the Water Authority.

 

Ministry of External Affairs

Colombo 

17th October 2014

 

Media Statement issued by the GOSL on the ECJ judgment

The Government of Sri Lanka has noted with concern the decision of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on 16th October, to annul the EU regulations proscribing the LTTE. The defendants of this case have been the Council and Commission of the European Union, together with two member states, the Netherlands and the UK. 

Expectedly, the ECJ judgment requires in-depth study by all the defendant parties. It is noteworthy that the Court has stressed the annulments to be “on fundamentally procedural grounds” and “do not imply any substantive assessment of the question of the classification of the LTTE as a terrorist group.” Further it is observed from the decision of the ECJ that “the effects of the annulled measures are maintained temporarily in order to ensure the effectiveness of any possible future freezing of funds”. 

Conscious of the fact that the listing of the LTTE is a matter internal to the EU, Sri Lanka is confident that the European Commission and the EU Member States will take the best possible decision on the future course of action to be taken in this regard, in accordance with their own legal architecture in preserving sovereignty. 

The EU proscribed the LTTE as a terrorist organization in May 2006, and has remained on its list of terrorist entities ever since. Apart from the EU, the LTTE is proscribed as a terrorist organization in the USA, India, Canada, the UK and Sri Lanka. 

The Government of Sri Lanka has fully supported the EU in its listing of the LTTE and has periodically provided information supportive of the regulation and also with a view to facilitate the Commission’s defence in the ECJ. The Government remains committed to provide to the European Commission and EU Member States, any further assistance and information available, to maintain the LTTE as a brutal terrorist organization. 

It is noteworthy that a number of EU member countries have carried out investigations against LTTE activists in their territories, some of which are ongoing, while some have resulted in the accused being sentenced by Court. 

Sri Lanka is further mindful that the ECJ decision may have an impact including from a security perspective, on the large majority of Sri Lankans living in EU territory, as well as EU citizens of Sri Lankan origin, who are likely to come under pressure once again by pro LTTE activists.

 

Ministry of External Affairs

Colombo

16 October 2014

 

Press Release issued by the Media Centre of the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development to travel to Northern Province by Foreign Nationals

Whilst    welcoming    and   appreciating    positive    assistance    rendered    by   Friendly Countries, International   Organizations   as well  as Non  Governmental   Organizations   in peace building  and development,   it is the duty of the Ministry  of Defence  and Urban  Development to take  appropriate   measures  to prevent  negative  interventions,   particularly   in the Northern Province. 

Conscious   of  its  duty  towards  maintaining   national  security  and  creating  necessary conditions  for national  processes,  the Ministry  of Defence  and Urban  Development   requests foreign  nationals  to obtain  prior  approval  when  they  intend  travelling  to the north.  It is also informed  that  the  objectives   and   purposes  of the  projects  or other  reasons  for   which  they intend to travel are also be clearly  indicated. 

Foreign  nationals   intending  to  travel  to Northern  Province  can  obtain  approval  by  sending written  requests  to the following  address/fax: 

 Secretary,  Ministry  of Defence  and Urban Development

(Attention  Military  Liaison  Officer)

15/5,   Baladaksha  Mawatha

Colombo  03.

Fax: +94112328109

 

P R WANIGASOORIYA  USP

Brigadier

Director 

15th October  2014

Press Release in PDF...

   

Yal Devi again after 24 years

yal_devi1

The famous north-bound Yal Devi train resumed carrying passengers to Jaffna today (Oct. 13), after a 24-year lapse, when President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared open the Northern Railway Line up to Jaffna joining the inaugural drive as a special passenger.

In line with this, the Jaffna Railway Station also was opened by the President. The Jaffna railway station is now featured many modern facilities including novel communication electronic signal system.

Three railway stations between Palai and Jaffna located in Kodikamam, Chavakachcheri and Navatkuli were also opened by the President.

The Government of India provided financial and technical assistance to reconstruct the Northern Railway Line.

Read more: Yal Devi again after 24 years

   

Sri Lanka should be judged in proportion to the challenges faced by a country emerging from a 30 year terrorist conflict

- Ambassador Aryasinha tells the Human Rights Committee in Geneva 

Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva and Leader of the Sri Lanka delegation to the Human Rights Committee Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha asked the Human Rights Committee to “judge Sri Lankain proportion to the challenges Sri Lanka has continued to face as a country emerging from a 30 year terrorist conflict". 

The Ambassador made this observation in responding to comments made during the consideration of Sri Lanka's 5th Periodic Report under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) by the Human Rights Committee,which was held on 7-8 October 2014 in Geneva. The Human Rights Committee comprises a body of independent experts from 18 countries that monitors implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights by its State parties. 

Read more: Sri Lanka should be judged in proportion to the challenges faced by a country emerging from a 30 year terrorist conflict

   

7TH SRI LANKA FOOTWEAR & LEATHER FAIR - 6TH - 8TH FEBRUARY 2015 AT BMICH, COLOMBO, SRI LANKA

The 7th edition of the Sri Lanka  Footwear  &  Leather  Fair  will be organized by the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (SLEDB) in association with Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Industrial Development Board and the Sri Lanka Footwear and Leather Product Manufacturers Association. The Fair will be held from 6th to 8th February  2015 at the BMICH, Colombo, Sri Lanka.

This  Fair which  will  be of international  standard  consists  of approximately 230 trade  stalls to display footwear, leather products and  travel goods. Foreign   suppliers of raw material, components and machinery are also invited to participate at this exhibition.  An exclusive  fashion show will be held as a special  event.

Footwear  & Leather  products  made  in Sri Lanka  are supplied  to well known  international  brands,  such as Marks  & Spencer,  Bata France,  Play  Boy,  Laurel  and Clarks. There are around  30 manufacturing plants  in Sri Lanka  catering  to the export market. The value of exports of footwear & leather products was US$  51 Million in 2013.

The SLEDB will extend 03 nights hotel accommodation on bread &  breakfast basis at a star class hotel in Colombo for the visiting Foreign buyers whose participation recommended by Sri Lanka High Commission in Ottawa. Therefore the interested parties may contact Sri Lanka High Commission at 613 233 8449 for further information.

An industry  brief  is attached.

An Industry e-flyer is attached.

Sri Lanka High Commission/Ottawa

09 October 2014

 

   

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