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June 30, 2016    Reading Time: 2 minutes

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Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera makes his statement at the UN Human Rights Council. Image credit - Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Reading Time: 2 min read


Foreign Minister gives statement at UN Human Rights Council

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mangala Samaraweera, has made a statement to the 32nd Session of the UN Human Rights Council on 29 June.

Mr. Samaraweera updated the Council on various steps taken by the government in addressing post-war reconciliation and accountability issues. He emphasised Sri Lanka’s openness to constructive feedback from the international community in this regard.

Human Capital Index ranks Sri Lanka in top 50

The Human Capital Index released by the World Economic Forum has ranked Sri Lanka 50th out of 130 countries, with an overall score of 71.69. The ranking is the highest in the South Asian region.

However, the Index suggested that Sri Lanka should work towards channelling the potential of its youth into the workforce, stating that one in four Sri Lankan youth were not active in education, training, or employment.

Chinese workers stage protest in Matara

A group of Chinese nationals working on the Matara-Beliatta railway project have staged a protest in the southern town of Matara yesterday, 29 June.

The protesters claimed that they were attacked by a group of Sri Lankans in the nearby village of Naotunna, leaving several injured. Police investigations are currently underway.


Security Council extends peacekeeping missions

The UN Security Council unanimously decided to extend the UN-led peacekeeping operations in Darfur and Mali until 30 June 2017, and its mission in the Golan Heights until 31 December 2016.

The Security Council agreed to increase the number of UN peacekeepers in Mali by approximately 2,500, bringing the force’s total size to just over 15,000.

Russia and Turkey resume bilateral cooperation

The Presidents of Russia and Turkey have agreed to resume bilateral cooperation. This decision followed the apology of the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, over the downing of a Russian warplane in November 2015.

President Vladimir Putin instructed his government to initiate ‘the process of normalising general trade and economic ties with Turkey’. He also lifted the ban on Russian charter flights to Turkey.

Rodrigo Duterte takes oath

Rodrigo Duterte, a former mayor, has begun his six-year term as the 16th President of the Philippines after winning the presidential election held last month.

President Duterte has promised to reduce crime, end corruption, and spread wealth around the country. Leni Robredo, an anti-poverty advocate belonging to the same party as former President Benigno Simeon Aquino III, was also sworn in as the country’s Vice President.

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