External Affairs Minister Peiris meets counterparts from Australia and Indonesia

External Affairs Minister Peiris meets counterparts from Australia and Indonesia

At a meeting on Monday with External Affairs Minister Professor G.L. Peiris on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly session in New York, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop expressed her country’s “deep appreciation” for Sri Lanka’s excellent cooperation in preventing, detecting and intercepting human smuggling operations to Australia. Minister Peiris stated that there is increased naval surveillance to prevent illegal means of transporting people by sea to Australia and therefore there is also heightened awareness on the issue in Sri Lanka.  The Minister reiterated Sri Lanka’s continued cooperation in addressing this issue comprehensively.

At a meeting on Monday with External Affairs Minister Professor G.L. Peiris on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly session in New York, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop expressed her country’s “deep appreciation” for Sri Lanka’s excellent cooperation in preventing, detecting and intercepting human smuggling operations to Australia. Minister Peiris stated that there is increased naval surveillance to prevent illegal means of transporting people by sea to Australia and therefore there is also heightened awareness on the issue in Sri Lanka.  The Minister reiterated Sri Lanka’s continued cooperation in addressing this issue comprehensively.

The Australian Foreign Minister referred to the newly elected Australian government’s vision on the manner it proposes to dismantle people smuggling rings through the adoption of stringent measures. This she said would also be a deterrence to this continued illegal practice.
With reference to the recently held Northern Provincial Elections Minister Peiris observed that it was held after 25 years. He added that the onus is now on the winning party to assume responsibility in serving the people of that region, and pointed out that the Government will work with the newly elected Provincial Council in the North towards this endeavour.

The two Ministers exchanged views on the forthcoming CHOGM in Sri Lanka and confirmation of Australia’s participation at the highest level was reiterated. Minister Peiris outlined that the Youth and People’s Forums are being held in Hambanthota and Hikkaduwa respectively in a bid to take Commonwealth to the people and increase awareness of the Organization.

Minister Bishop acknowledged the strong bilateral links between the countries evidenced by Australian investments. She referred to enhanced investments from Australia that are presently in the pipe line and hoped that this trend would continue.

Subsequently, Minister Peiris met Indonesian Foreign Minister Martin Natalegawa in New York. Both Ministers agreed the need for enhanced trade and economic relations and pledged to pursue the outcomes of the Joint Commission held in 2012 in Colombo. The Indonesian Minister informed that BatikAir has been designated to commence direct flights between the two countries for better connectivity and increased people to people contact.

Minister Peiris outlined developments in facing the challenges of post conflict Sri Lanka and highlighted that the Government has been addressing the related issues in a coherent sequence of resettlement, rehabilitation, economic development and now the political process. The Indonesian Minister acknowledged the political commitment displayed by the Sri Lankan Government and the step by step approach domestically driven, since one size does not fit all.

With regard to multilateral cooperation the two Ministers referred to the process of achieving the Millennium Development Goals and the need to cooperate internationally, particularly among the developing countries in evolving a post 2015 Development Agenda. They agreed to work together towards this end.

23 September 2013

Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the UN
New York

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