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July 20, 2016    Reading Time: 2 minutes

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The Philippines refuses talks with China over South China Sea. Image credit - sikaraha / depositphotos

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Singapore to support port development

The Government of Singapore has pledged its support for the expansion and development of Sri Lanka’s ports, during a tour of the country by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe was welcomed by the Regional PSA Southeast Asia Chief Executive Officer, Ong Kim Pong, who commended Prime Minister Wickremesinghe’s statements regarding Sri Lanka’s plans for its ports. They further discussed the country’s potential to be a shipping hub for South Asia.

Islamic Finance Forum of South Asia to be held in Sri Lanka

The inaugural Islamic Finance Forum of South Asia (IFFSA) will be held 26-27 July in Colombo. The Forum will be attended by representatives from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and the Maldives, as well as experts from the USA, Singapore, Malaysia, and several other countries.

The keynote address for the IFFSA will be delivered by the Director of the European Centre for International Political Economy, Dr. Razeen Sally. The topics to be discussed at the Forum include  microfinance, capital markets, and the asset management industry.

Sri Lanka and China hold talks on future investments and projects

The Deputy Foreign Minister, Harsha de Silva, met with Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Yi Xianliang, to discuss matters of economic diplomacy, on 19 July. The Deputy Foreign Minister has stated that the talks included an exchange of views on how best to align the interests of both countries and achieve their respective goals.

The Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi,  has stated that China is interested in assisting Sri Lanka in becoming the shipping, logistics, and financial hub of the Indian Ocean.


UN urges Turkey to uphold rule of law

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, has called on the Turkish government to uphold protection of human rights and strengthen democratic institutions, following the attempted coup on 15 July.

The Turkish authorities have detained, sacked or suspended over 40,000 persons, including educational staff, ministry officials, police officers, and judges suspected of having been involved in the attempted takeover.

UK has announced Article 50 will not be invoked in 2016

The UK government has announced that Prime Minister Theresa May will not immediately invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty in 2016. Invoking Article 50 would formally initiate the UK’s exit from the EU.

Prime Minister May intends to first establish an internally agreed upon ‘UK approach and objectives for negotiations’, before triggering the exit from the EU.

The Philippines refuses bilateral talks with China over South China Sea

The Philippines Foreign Minister, Perfecto Yasay, stated that the Philippines has turned down bilateral talks with China over the South China Sea dispute. China has offered to engage in bilateral talks with the Philippines on issues that are ‘outside of or in disregard’ of the recent decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration regarding claims of the two countries in the South China Sea.

Foreign Minister Yasay has stated that negotiating Filipino fishermen’s rights in the disputed Scarborough Shoal will be the country’s first priority.

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