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August 19, 2016    Reading Time: 2 minutes

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Aung San Suu Kyi makes her first diplomatic visit to China. Image credit -  NadaK2 / depositphotos

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Sri Lanka and India discuss economic collaboration

Sri Lanka and India have begun preliminary discussions regarding the Economical and Technical Cooperation Agreement (ETCA), which is expected to be ratified by the end of 2016.

The Ministry of Strategic Development and International Trade has stated that the ETCA would allow Indian manufacturers to establish operations in Sri Lanka, and export their products to China, Pakistan, and other countries with which Sri Lanka plans to have free trade agreements.

Australia advises on expanding bilateral trade

The Deputy High Commissioner of Australia, Tim Huggins, has discussed three ways in which Sri Lanka can further develop its bilateral trade with Australia. These include: maximising existing trade, finding avenues to diversify trade, and investing in innovation.

Mr. Huggins stated that there was great potential to expand trade in the education and tourism sectors, and that Australia was ‘working closely with the Prime Minister’s team’ to strengthen Sri Lanka’s tourism industry.

Indian Coast Guard ship docks in Colombo

The Indian Coast Guard ship, ‘Samarth,’ docked in the Colombo port on 18 August on a goodwill visit. The ship is scheduled to leave on 20 August.

The Commander of the Western Naval Area, Rear Admiral Jayantha De Silva, held discussions with the ship’s Commanding Officer, Captain Anand Prakash Badola, at the Western Naval Command Headquarters in Colombo.


Aung San Suu Kyi visits Beijing

The State Counsellor of Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi, is currently in Beijing, on her first diplomatic visit to China as Myanmar’s de facto leader.

During talks with Ms. Suu Kyi, Chinese officials reaffirmed China’s support to bring peace to northern Myanmar, where Myanmar’s military has clashed with ethnic Chinese rebels. The two nations also signed an agreement to build a bridge near the China-Myanmar border.

US Secretary of State to travel to Africa and the Middle East

US Secretary of State, John Kerry, is scheduled to visit Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, as well as the cities of Sokoto and Abuja in Nigeria, and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, from 22 – 25 August.

Secretary Kerry will discuss challenges in East Africa with Kenyan Foreign Minister, Amina Mohamed, and other regional foreign ministers. He will also meet Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari to conduct talks on Nigeria’s economy, human rights issues and the fight against terrorist group Boko Haram. In Saudi Arabia, Kerry will meet senior leaders from other Gulf states to discuss the Yemeni conflict.

South Sudan’s opposition leader flees to DRC

The former vice-president and current opposition leader of South Sudan, Riek Machar, has fled to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Machar had led a two-year rebellion against South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir, before reaching a peace deal in August 2015.

UN spokesperson, Farhan Haq, has stated that the UN contacted Congolese authorities after becoming aware of Machar’s presence in the DRC. The Congolese government had then requested that Machar be extracted by MONUSCO, the UN mission in the DRC, and placed in their care.

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