Ministry News

Statement by Sri Lanka on the Situation in Gaza

The Government of Sri Lanka is deeply concerned at the recent escalating violence in Gaza, resulting in tragic loss of civilian lives and extensive damage to property. Cross border provocations on locations in parts of I ...

Minister of External Affairs Prof. G.L. Peiris holds bilateral talks with Indian External Affairs Minister Shrimathi Sushma Swaraj

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External Affairs Minister Professor G.L. Peiris, at his meeting with Shrimathi Sushma Swaraj, Minister of External Affairs of India, in New Delhi on Friday 11 July, recalled with pleasure her visit to Sri Lanka two years ago as Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha as the head of an All-Party delegation. He referred to Shrimathi Swaraj’s constituency in the Lok Sabha, Vidisha, where Sanchi – the home of Emperor Ashoka’s children, Arhat Mahinda and Theri Sanghamitta – continues to receive a large number of Sri Lankan pilgrims every year.

Minister Peiris said that the meeting in May between President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Modi on the occasion of the latter’s swearing in ceremony was particularly constructive. He reiterated the President’s invitation to Prime Minister Modi to undertake an official visit to Sri Lanka.                                            

The two Ministers in their survey of projects assisted by India, noted with satisfaction that the housing projects have entered their second phase and that much of the railways infrastructure projects have been completed ahead of schedule.

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All 41 Sri Lankan Fishermen Released in Andhra Pradesh

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External Affairs Minister Professor G.L.Peiris, at his meeting with Shri N. Chandrababu Naidu, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, in Hyderabad yesterday (10th July), expressed appreciation of the action taken on the previous day to release all 41 Sri Lankan fishermen held in Andhra, so that there are now   no Sri Lankan fishermen at all held in custody in that State.

On the initiative of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, 175 Indian fishermen had been released by   Sri Lanka since the assumption of office by the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Minister said.

Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, noting with satisfaction the vibrant relationship between Sri Lanka and Andhra, referred to the construction of a replica of the Aukana Buddha Statue at the Parwatharama Buddhist Theme Park at Nagarjuna Sagar in Andhra Pradesh, now nearing completion. The Deputy High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in Chennai had co-ordinated   this project with the State Government of Andhra Pradesh.

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Press Statement

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.

It is recalled that the work of Non-Governmental Organizations in Sri Lanka is based on the provisions of the legal framework provided by the following:

  1. Voluntary Social Service Organizations [Registration and Supervision] Act Number 31 of 1980
  2. Voluntary Social Service Organizations [Registration and Supervision] [Amendment] Act Number 8 of 1998
  3. Regulations issued under the Act published in the Extraordinary Gazette 1101/14 dated 15/10/1999
  4. Circular Letter of the Secretary to the President dated 26/2/1999

The aforementioned instructions, issued by the Director/Registrar of the NGO Secretariat were sent to all NGOs registered with the NGO Secretariat. As required by the related Regulations, all NGOs registered with the NGO Secretariat are liable to submit annual Action Plans containing details of the activities which would be undertaken in the forthcoming year for approval. In the event that NGOs conduct press conferences, workshops, training for journalists, and disseminate press releases, which are not connected to the activities in the approved annual Action Plan, those NGOs would be acting beyond their given mandate. Unfortunately, having found some NGOs had exceeded their mandates, the Director/Registrar of the NGO Secretariat was compelled to issue the said instructions, which was a mere reiteration of the existing provisions for their smooth functioning. While as a sovereign and independent State, all Non Governmental Organizations operating in Sri Lanka are required by law to be registered, to ensure transparency and accountability, it has also been found that this is practiced in the breach.

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Minister Peiris underlines Sri Lanka’s leadership role in Blue Economy

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The defeat of terrorism and the advent of peace and stability have brought about significant benefits not only for the people of Sri Lanka but for the whole South Asian region, and it is only right and proper that the magnitude of these benefits should receive recognition, Professor G.L. Peiris, Minister of External Affairs, said in Colombo today (30th June 2014).

He was delivering the keynote address at a symposium on establishing a Centre of Excellence on Ocean Sciences and Environment for the Indian Ocean Rim countries. Sri Lanka’s contribution to the development of the economy in the region far exceeds its size and material resources, the Minister commented. Pointing out that terrorism is one of the main issues which continue to challenge the economy and wellbeing of many of the countries in the region, he said that Sri Lanka’s success in eradicating terrorism from its shores has had a crucial impact on weakening the forces of destabilization in the entire region and, in particular, on reducing the opportunities for collaboration among terrorist groups active in the area.

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