July 18, 2016 Reading Time: 2 minutes
Reading Time: 2 min read
*A Daily Brief will not be published on Tuesday 19th July, due to the local public holiday.
Diaspora Convention held in Singapore
The Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, is in Singapore to attend the third South Asian Diaspora Convention. Prime Minister Wickremasinghe delivered the keynote address at the inaugural session.
Participating policymakers, academics, and civil society activists are expected to discuss the development of the region’s trade sector and the political role of South Asia in the 21st century. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mangala Samaraweera, the Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade, Malik Samarawickrama, and the Deputy Minister of Justice and Buddhasasana, Sarathi Mithrapala, are also attending the Convention.
PM to sign bilateral trade deals with Singapore
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will sign several bilateral agreements with Singapore during his three-day official visit to the country on 17-19 July.
A Sri Lanka-Singapore Free Trade Agreement, which will include provisions for trade in goods, services, investment and government procurement, is also being explored.
UNWTO commends Sri Lanka’s progress
Secretary General of the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has commended the Sri Lankan government’s efforts in promoting tourism to further peace and reconciliation in the country.
These statements were delivered at the UNWTO conference, ‘Tourism: a Catalyst for Development, Peace and Reconciliation’, which was held in Passikudah on 11-14 July.
Turkish military attempts coup
On Friday, 15 July officials of the Turkish military attempted to overthrow the government, citing the erosion of democracy and the secular rule of law as reasons for the coup. Military personnel involved in the takeover surrendered, following a call by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan asking people to take to the streets in protest.
African leaders gather in Kigali
The 27th African Union (AU) Summit was held on 10-18 July 2016 in Rwanda. While the conflict in South Sudan was set to dominate talks, other issues that were covered included the crisis in Burundi, Boko Haram in Nigeria, and violence in the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Morocco, currently the only African country not in the AU, announced that it will seek to rejoin the Union after leaving the organisation 32 years ago.
Yemen peace talks resume
The UN-backed Yemeni peace talks, between the internationally-backed government and Iranian-allied Shiite Houthi movement, have resumed in Kuwait.
The conflict, which began in March 2015, has claimed at least 9,000 lives to date. The discussions resumed after the UN’s Special Envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, convinced the Yemeni government to return to peace talks.