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May 13, 2016    Reading Time: 2 minutes

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President Sirisena meets UK Prime Minister David Cameron. Image credit -

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SL commended at Anti-Corruption Summit

The UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, has praised the Sri Lankan Government’s and President Maithripala Sirisena’s commitment towards corruption free good governance.  The statement was made at the Anti-Corruption Summit in London on 12 May.

President Sirisena stated that Sri Lanka is committed towards eliminating corruption in all sectors, and will work towards ensuring that the public service and business sector are free of corruption.

Cabinet establishes Committee on Human Rights

The Cabinet has approved a proposal to establish an Inter-Ministerial Committee to consider all human rights related issues, in preparation for a National Action Plan on Human Rights.

The proposal was submitted by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mangala Samaraweera. The new 2017-2021 action plan will replace the 2012-2016 Human Rights Action Plan.

SL in final stages of GSP+ application

The Deputy Foreign Minister, Dr. Harsha de Silva, has stated that Sri Lanka is now in the ‘final leg of [its] GSP+ application process’. This follows talks between the EU and the Sri Lanka Working Group on Trade and Economic Cooperation, held in Brussels on Wednesday.

The EU has acknowledged Sri Lanka’s significant progress in addressing the outstanding issues from its GSP+ application. These include issues relating to the rule of law, democracy, governance, environmental protection, and human rights.


Brazilian Senate impeaches President Rousseff

The Brazilian Senate has voted to place President Dilma Rousseff on trial over allegations that she illegally manipulated the budget in 2014, to hide a growing fiscal deficit.

Vice President, Michel Temer, will act as interim president for up to six months, pending a decision on the permanent removal of Dilma Rousseff from office. If she is removed permanently, Mr. Temer will continue as President until the elections in 2018.

Tensions rise between Saudi Arabia and Iran

The Iranian government has announced that its citizens will not participate in the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.

The decision comes amidst Iran’s criticism of Saudi Arabia’s management of the 2015 pilgrimage, when a stampede resulted in the deaths of 2,000 pilgrims, including 464 Iranians.

South Asian nations to fight child exploitation

Following a conference on child protection, ministers from India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and the Maldives have agreed to adopt measures to boost cooperation in ending child trafficking and exploitation.

The measures include setting up a toll-free helpline, developing a regional strategy to address all forms of sexual abuse, and working on data-sharing initiatives to trace missing children.

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