High Commission of Sri Lanka in India

55th Session of the Human Rights Council: Statement by PR/Geneva PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Monday, 04 March 2024 14:40

(as the country concerned following the Oral Update on Sri Lanka by the High Commissioner for Human Rights)

01 March 2024

 

Mr. President,

 

The Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka, in his address to this Council earlier this week, highlighted that Sri Lanka has over the years engaged actively and constructively with this Council. He also elaborated on our recent engagements with a number of working methods of the Council. It is in this context that I take the floor today, specifically to provide more details on the progress made on matters of relevance to this Council. 

 

The Government, to overcome the challenges of the recent past, prioritized economic recovery and reconciliation objectives, while ensuring that  the country’s democratic traditions and institutions remained stable at all times. Being sensitive to the economic hardships faced by the people, social safety nets have been strengthened to help cushion the impact of the challenges on the poor and vulnerable. It is undeniable that significant progress has been made in restoring normalcy in the social, political, and economic spheres. This has been welcomed both domestically and internationally. It is envisaged that the Government’s commitment to economic recovery leading to sustainable and stable growth which will benefit all segments of Sri Lankan society in all parts of the country.

 

Despite severe constraints, our objectives remain steadfast and unwavering towards expediting the ongoing efforts for strengthening the foundation of national unity, post-conflict reconciliation and human rights. Sri Lanka is committed to pursuing progress through already established domestic mechanisms.

 

Consultations on the draft Truth, Unity and Reconciliation Commission bill are ongoing with the participation of Government, civil society, religious leaders and legal experts. The draft Bill was gazetted on 1 January 2024 and will be tabled in the Parliament after providing sufficient time for the public to express their views on the draft. An interim-Secretariat, to lay the foundation for the Commission, has already been established since May 2023 and continues its work.

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Sri Lanka expresses grave concern over the death of aid seekers in Gaza PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Monday, 04 March 2024 14:24

Sri Lanka is deeply troubled about the death of over hundred people who were waiting to receive aid in Gaza and joins the call for investigation into the incident.

The latest incident underscores the immediate need to end the blockade imposed on Gaza, depriving its civilian population, including women and children, of access to basic necessities such as food, water, medicine, electricity, and fuel.

Sri Lanka reiterates its call for an immediate ceasefire and unrestricted humanitarian access to Gaza to alleviate the suffering of civilians.

The Sri Lanka Government approved the establishment of the “Children of Gaza Fund,” a compassionate initiative proposed by the President aimed at providing assistance to the victims in Gaza and to donate USD one million through UN agencies to provide much-needed support to the victims of Gaza.

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Minister Jeevan Thondaman inaugurates Ramayana Art Exhibition in New Delhi PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Sunday, 03 March 2024 08:49

At the invitation of the Director General of the National Gallery of Modern Arts (NGMA) New Delhi, Minister of Water and Estate Infrastructure Development Jeevan Thondaman inaugurated the ‘Ramayanam Chitrakavyam’ exhibition as the Guest of Honour together with Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture Meenakshi Lekhi on 1 March 2024.

Addressing the event, Minister Thondaman observed that in Sri Lanka as in India, the Ramayana is woven into the rich cultural tapestry and adapted into various forms of literature, dance, theatre and art, serving as a common narrative and contributing to a shared cultural consciousness, facilitating understanding and strengthening ties between the two countries. Noting that people-to-people connect remains the fulcrum of bilateral interactions, which further strengthens the civilizational links, he remarked that artistic depictions and interpretations of the Ramayana are often associated with sites and festivals which have become points of interest for cultural and religious tourism, attracting visitors from both Sri Lanka and India. Minister Thondaman pointed out with pride, that his constituency of the Nuwara Eliya district is associated with several sites stated as being connected to the Ramayana. In this context, he underscored the tremendous potential to increase tourism between the two countries through the Ramayana trail and Buddhist pilgrim circuit. He also referred to the intellectual and engineering prowess attributed to King Ravana both in Sri Lanka and in the Ramayana epic.

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EU-Sri Lanka: 26th Joint Commission Meeting takes place in Brussels PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Friday, 01 March 2024 07:50

The 26th European Union (EU) – Sri Lanka Joint Commission took place on 22 February in Brussels. The meeting served as an occasion to exchange views on all areas of EU-Sri Lanka bilateral relations, in a spirit of cooperation and mutual respect. 

 

The EU updated on its key policies and legislation over the past year including on its economic security strategy, artificial intelligence policy, business and human rights agenda, environment protection, Global Gateway strategy and EU Indo-Pacific strategy. Sri Lanka briefed the EU on the steady progress made in the past year towards economic stabilization and recovery. The EU noted that Sri Lanka is taking steps to ensure that economic growth is sustainable, inclusive and equitable and is accompanied by social protection measures for vulnerable groups. The EU congratulated Sri Lanka on the rapid economic recovery and growth prospects.

 

The EU and Sri Lanka discussed current global challenges, such as combating climate change, financing green energy and technology transition, achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and mitigating the sovereign debt crisis, the challenges of terrorism and transnational organised crime, cyber-security and disinformation. They highlighted the importance of international law in upholding international peace and security, with full respect of the UN Charter. 

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