November 23, 2016 Reading Time: 2 minutes
Reading Time: 2 min read
Foreign Minister reiterates Sri Lanka’s position on Palestine
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mangala Samaraweera, has announced, in Parliament, that Sri Lanka’s position on Palestine remains unchanged. The Minister clarified the grounds on which the country abstained from voting on the recent UNESCO resolution moved by Palestine. The resolution was related to violations carried out by Israel in the vicinity of holy sites in Jerusalem.
The Minister further stated that Sri Lanka has not retracted the country’s ‘long-held position of support for Palestine’, and will continue to maintain bilateral ties with Israel.
Parliament discusses protection from nuclear accidents in India
Deputy Minister of Power and Renewable Energy, Ajith P. Perera, has stated that necessary measures have been taken to protect Sri Lanka from the destructive effects of potential nuclear accidents from India’s nuclear power plants.
Deputy Minister Perera emphasised that in addition to maintaining warning centres for radiation disasters, Sri Lanka would also receive information on nuclear accidents from the International Atomic Agency.
Chinese trade exhibition opens in Colombo
The second ‘China Products (Colombo Sri Lanka) Exhibition 2016’ has been launched on 22 November.
The Minister of Industry and Commerce, Rishad Bathiudeen, described the exhibition as a ‘strong platform’ for entrepreneurs from both countries to interact and for Sri Lanka to explore long-term business associations with China. Minister Bathiudeen added that the Sri Lankan government’s proposal for a Free Trade Agreement with China will facilitate the growing trend in trade between the two countries.
UN Secretary-General urges cooperation in water resource management
United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, has highlighted the need for cooperation in the management of water resources. Secretary-General Ban indicated that the signing of the Declarations of Principles on the Grand Renaissance Dam agreement between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan is a vital confidence-building measure for cooperation.
The statement was made during a Security Council debate on successful experiences in conflict prevention.
European lawmakers call for halt in Turkey-EU membership negotiations
Leaders from major groups in the European Parliament have called for the EU to halt membership talks with Turkey. The dispute follows Turkey’s firing of over 100,000 civil servants following the failed coup on 15 July, including 15,000 dismissals on 22 November.
The Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has stated that Turkey could potentially join the SCO, alongside China and Russia, instead of joining the EU.
South Korean leader approves intelligence pact with Japan
The President of South Korea, Park Geun-hye, has approved an intelligence pact with Japan, to facilitate the sharing of information regarding North Korea’s missile and nuclear activities. The agreement follows calls from the US to place more pressure on North Korea to end its nuclear and missiles programme.
The pact was signed amid protests against President Park, following the disclosure of alleged ‘influence-peddling’ in her administration.