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November 28, 2016    Reading Time: 2 minutes

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François Fillon wins centre-right primary of France. Image Credit - Webster, verdy_p / Wikimedia Common

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Asia Hotel and Tourism Investment Conference commences

A three-day Asia Hotel and Tourism Investment Conference has commenced in Colombo. During the proceedings, the Chief Guest, President Maithripala Sirisena, met the Chairman of the World Travel and Tourism Council, Gerald Lawless, and other key figures in the industry.

The Conference, themed ‘True Colours: Showcasing hotel and tourism investment in Asia’, will host speakers discussing challenges and opportunities faced by the hotel and tourism investment industry in South Asia.

President seeks support from Trump on human rights charges

President Maithripala Sirisena has expressed willingness to seek support from US President-elect, Donald Trump, to clear international charges of alleged human rights violations against Sri Lanka.

The President made this statement at a political event in Galle, indicating that he would ask the US President-elect to free Sri Lanka from the accusations. President Sirisena also noted that the international community has shown leniency towards Sri Lanka since the 2015 presidential elections.

Sri Lanka establishes resident mission in Ethiopia

The Sri Lankan government has opened a new resident mission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Ambassador-designate to the country, Sumith Dassanayake, will present his credentials to the President of Ethiopia, Mulatu Teshome.

The newly appointed Ambassador is also the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the African Union (AU), where Sri Lanka has ‘Observer’ status.


François Fillon wins French primary

The former French Prime Minister and social conservative, François Fillon, has won the primary race of the centre-right party, The Republicans, to become the party’s candidate in the French presidential election next year. Mr. Fillon defeated the more moderate candidate, Alain Juppé, with over 60% of the vote.

Mr Fillon’s campaign focused on raising the retirement age, reducing social security, and ending the 35-hour working week. He is expected to run against the leader of the far-right National Front, Marine Le Pen, in the election next year.

Syrian Army captures key Aleppo districts

Syria’s Army and its allies have retaken control of two districts in eastern Aleppo, Jabal Badro and Baadeen.

Thousands of civilians have fled, and an estimated 250,000 people remain in eastern Aleppo, where food and medical supplies are reported to be running low. Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, would be regarded as gaining a major victory if the city of Aleppo comes under government control.

Summit held between EU and Ukraine

The EU-Ukraine summit took place in Brussels on 24 November. The European Council showed support for visa-liberalisation for Ukraine, with European Council President Donald Tusk stating that it was a “recognition of Ukraine’s achievements in meeting European standards”.

The summit talks also covered crisis and conflict in the region, as well as reform, with a further €104 million being pledged in support for public administration reform.

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