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June 20, 2016    Reading Time: 2 minutes

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EU extends sanctions on annexed-Crimea. Image credit - vlakoh / depositphotos

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E-Passports to be issued next year

Measures have been taken to issue e-Passports from the beginning of 2017. The Minister of Internal Affairs, Wayamba Development and Cultural Affairs, S. B. Navinna, has stated that e-Passports have been designed to prevent forgeries.

The statement was made at the ceremonial launch of Sri Lankan visa stickers and online passport applications.

Korean assistance to construct houses

A Korean delegation representing the fisheries sector, on a visit to Sri Lanka, has presented a USD 128,000 grant for a housing project. Each house is to be built at an estimated cost of LKR 550,000.

The President of the National Federation of Fisheries Cooperatives of Korea, Kim Im-kweon, who led the delegation, noted Sri Lanka’s strategic geographic location in the fisheries industry.

Discussions held on combating people smuggling and transnational crimes

Sri Lanka and Australia have discussed efforts to resist people smuggling and other transnational crimes. This discussion took place during the Sri Lanka-Australia Joint Working Group meeting on 14 June at the Ministry of Defence.

Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, Karunasena Hettiarachchi, stated that sharing information and intelligence has proved to be successful in preventing people smuggling to Australia.


EU extends sanctions on annexed-Crimea

The EU has extended its ban on economic ties with Crimean businesses until 23 June 2017. The EU is also scheduled to extend sanctions on Russia for a further six months, over its role in the Ukraine crisis.

However, the Austrian and German Foreign Ministers have expressed their desire to improve ties with Russia, and have called for the gradual phasing out of EU sanctions.

Rio de Janeiro declares state of emergency

The State Governor of Rio de Janeiro has declared a state of emergency to authorise additional funding to fulfil obligations for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The Olympics are scheduled to begin on 5 August 2016.

The State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s largest oil producer, has fallen into a fiscal crisis driven by low global oil prices and increased state spending for Olympic-related projects.

Okinawan residents protest against US military bases

Thousands of demonstrators have gathered in Okinawa, Japan, calling for an end to the heavy US military presence on the island. Approximately 26,000 US troops work and live on bases which cover a fifth of the island.

US officials have stated that US troops on Okinawa are of strategic value within the context of China and North Korea, and an integral part of the US-Japan security alliance.

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