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September 2, 2016    Reading Time: 2 minutes

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H.E. Ban Ki-moon speaks on ‘Sustaining Peace and Achieving Sustainable Development Goals’ . Image credit -Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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UN Secretary-General in Sri Lanka

The Secretary-General of the UN, H.E. Ban Ki-moon, has arrived in Sri Lanka on an official three-day visit. Secretary-General Ban’s visit includes an event with youth in Galle, titled ‘Reconciliation and Coexistence: The Role of Youth’, and a visit to Jaffna.

The Secretary-General also spoke on ‘Sustaining Peace and Achieving Sustainable Development Goals’ at the invitation of The Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute. The event was organised by The Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the assistance of the United Nations Sri Lanka.

India commends Sri Lanka’s reconciliation efforts

The Indian Minister of State for External Affairs, M. J. Akbar, has praised Sri Lanka’s efforts in improving security and reconciliation in the Indian Ocean Region. The comments were made during a discussion with Prime Minister Wickremesinghe at the 2016 Indian Ocean Summit in Singapore.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe also emphasised that issues of the Indian Ocean Region should be solved through discussions and consensus, which result in parties collectively entering into agreements.

Japanese government provides demining grant

The Japanese government has provided a grant worth LKR 86.3 million, for demining projects in the north of Sri Lanka. The grant was given to HALO Trust, an international demining organisation operating in the north.

Japan has supported humanitarian mine clearance in Sri Lanka in the past, and has provided nearly USD 28.7 million for demining activities in the north and east, under its Grant Assistance schemes.


China and ASEAN to agree on Naval Protocols

China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have agreed to establish hotlines among senior diplomats and a Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES), to avoid confrontations in the South China Sea.

The agreement is expected to be finalised at the ASEAN summit in Laos, which will be attendedby ASEAN member states and regional powers, Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Russia and the United States.

Turkey clears ISIS and Kurdish ‘People’s Protection Units’ from northern Syria

The President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has stated that Turkey has removed ISIS and the Kurdish ‘People’s Protection Units’ militia from an area in northern Syria. Syrian Kurdish forces are yet to comply with Turkey’s demands, and withdraw to the east of the Euphrates river.

Turkey launched a cross-border offensive in Syria  last week, while preventing Kurdish forces from filling the void left in the wake of the offensive. Turkey’s aggression against Kurdish forces has caused the US to request Turkey to focus on Islamist militants.

US President to attend G20 summit and meet Philippine President

The President of the US, Barack Obama, is expected to attend his final G20 Summit, to be held from 4-5 September in Hangzhou, China. President Obama will focus on strengthening progress made during his terms as US President, while paying special attention to climate change and trade.

President Obama will also meet with the President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit in Laos, to discuss regional security and human rights.

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