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November 17, 2016    Reading Time: 2 minutes

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Russia announces its withdrawal from the ICC. Image Credit - burchenko / depositphotos

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China to increase investments in Southern Province

The Ambassador for China in Sri Lanka, Yi Xianliang, has announced plans of several development projects in the Southern Province, during a conference in Hambantota. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Harsha de Silva, stated that Sri Lanka hopes to enter a public-private partnership with China Merchants Group to facilitate these projects.

The plans include a power plant, an oil refinery plant, a chemical fertiliser factory and a shipbuilding facility under the programme. The projects were also discussed by Ambassador Yi during the China- Sri Lanka Business Meeting for Investment and Trade in Colombo.

Senior officials meet to discuss trafficking-related crime

The 11th Ad Hoc Group Senior Officials Meeting on the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime has commenced in Colombo.

Representatives of 48 countries participated in the event.

During the meeting, Minister of Justice, Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe expressed concern over the global refugee crisis and commended the Bali Process on helping to control illegal migration.

Cabinet approves extradition treaty between Sri Lanka and Belarus

The Cabinet has approved a proposal made by President Maithripala Sirisena, to sign an extradition treaty with the Republic of Belarus.

The treaty aims to develop cooperation between the two countries in preventing and controlling crimes, in addition to facilitating the extradition process.


Russia withdraws signature to ICC

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced that Russia will withdraw its signature from the International Criminal Court (ICC). This follows President Vladimir Putin’s directive against Russia becoming a state party to the Rome Statute, which Russia signed in 2000 but did not ratify.

The Foreign Ministry cited the ICC as being ‘ineffective’ and having failed to become ‘a truly independent, authoritative international tribunal’. A spokesman for the ICC, Fadi El Abdallah, has acknowledged the ICC’s respect for states’ ‘voluntary and sovereign decision’ for membership of the Rome Statute.

President Obama meets Chancellor Merkel

President Barack Obama has met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on 16 November, as part of his three-day tour of Europe. President Obama has previously referred to the Chancellor as his ‘closest international partner’.

In a joint article for German magazine WirtschaftsWoche, the leaders emphasised the importance of continued US-EU cooperation on anti-terror policies, climate change, and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

UN warns of risk of South Sudan atrocities

The UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, has stated that there is a ‘very real risk’ of mass atrocities occurring in South Sudan, following a rise in ethnic tensions. He added that it was unlikely that UN peacekeepers deployed in the country would be able to prevent the violence.

Secretary-General Ban asserted that the peacekeeping operation lacked capabilities and manpower, citing its failure to protect civilians in Juba earlier this year as an example.

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