Media Releases

SAARC Secretary General meets Minister of External Affairs

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As a part of the introductory visits to SAARC Member States, the new Secretary General of the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC), Arjun B. Thapa, is currently visiting Sri Lanka.

During his stay in Sri Lanka, the Secretary General paid a courtesy call on President Mahinda Rajapaksa on 11th August in Kandy and held discussions with the Secretary to the Ministry of External Affairs, Mrs. Kshenuka Senewiratne on 12th August at the Ministry in Colombo.

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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.”

The High Commissioner who is scheduled to leave office at the end of this month making public pronouncements to the media on an investigation which has commenced only recently is a clear indication of personal bias. It is evidence of an attempt to influence the investigation process and make it follow a preconceived trajectory. She refers in her statement to a “wealth of information outside Sri Lanka”. This is the same wealth of information that she has tended to refer to in the past, justifying it to be from credible sources, although their origins continue to remain undisclosed, and verification has not been facilitated. In fact the High Commissioner has desisted from acknowledging verifiable statistics of UN sources. Instead, she has sought to endorse exaggerated claims of former UN sources of spurious credentials by including such uncorroborated statistics in UN documentation. Utterances of this nature from an Officer who is expected to maintain the highest standards of objectivity is disappointing. 

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Examine root causes for US perception of anti-Western sentiment: Ministry of External Affairs

The Ministry of External Affairs takes serious note of the Security Message for US Citizens issued by the United States Department of State Bureau of Diplomatic Security on 8th August 2014, which regrettably creates a false and alarmist view of the conditions prevalent in Sri Lanka.

The right to freedom of expression and peaceful protest are important values in a democracy, and the public in Sri Lanka have the liberty to exercise these rights which are guaranteed by the Constitution of the country. However, there have been no instances of violent protests targeting the US Embassy, its diplomats, officials or citizens, though claimed by the US State Department’s Security Message, that such incidents could occur.

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Joint Press Statement: Pakistan-Sri Lanka Foreign Secretary-level talks

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Foreign Secretaries of Pakistan and Sri Lanka, Mr. Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry and Mrs. Kshenuka Senewiratne held Fourth round of Political Consultations on 6th August 2014 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Islamabad.

The Sri Lankan delegation comprised of H.E. Air Chief Marshal Jayalath Weerakkody, Sri Lankan High Commissioner, Senior DIG Anura Senanayake, Ministry of Defence and Urban Development, Mr. Dharshana Mahendra Perera, Acting DG/South Asia, Ministry of External Affairs, Mr. Samantha Wijesekara, Deputy Director, Department of Commerce, Mrs. Tharanga Liyanage, Director (Middle East & SAARC),Department of External Resources and officials of the Sri Lankan High Commission, while senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and 12 other Government Departments were part of the Pakistani delegation.

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