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October 26, 2016    Reading Time: 2 minutes

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Philippine President makes official visit to Japan. Image Credit - sepavone / depositphotos

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Sri Lanka participates in trilateral naval exercise

The Sri Lankan offshore patrol vessel, ‘SLNS Sagara’, has arrived in the Maldives to participate in a four-day trilateral coastguard exercise with India and the Maldives. The aim of the exercise is to strengthen operational collaboration between the naval forces.

The planned drills will focus on search and rescue, anti-piracy, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, and pollution response operations.

SAARC Cultural Centre in Matara to be completed in 2017

The Minister of Internal Affairs, Wayamba Development and Cultural Affairs, S.B. Navinna, has announced that the construction of the SAARC Cultural Centre in Nawimana, Matara will be completed by December 2017.

The Cultural Centre aims to facilitate discussions among SAARC representatives and enhance regional cultural relations. It will operate parallel to the SAARC Cultural Centre in Colombo, which was also established to strengthen cultural ties and promote the unique identity of South Asia.

Foreign Minister releases statement on Temple Mount resolution

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mangala Samaraweera, has released a statement explaining why Sri Lanka abstained from voting on the Temple Mount resolution drafted by Palestine and adopted by UNESCO. The resolution referred to the holy site in Jerusalem by its Arabic name, with no reference to its Jewish name.

Minister Samaraweera emphasised that the resolution did not accord with the government’s principles and policies, which recognised ‘people’s rights and religious freedom’. He added, however, that Sri Lanka did not vote against the resolution because of its good relations with Palestine.


France dismantles refugee camp in Calais

France has begun demolishing the temporary refugee camp located in Calais, which was also known as ‘The Jungle’. More than 4000 people have been moved to alternate locations in France since evictions began on 24 October.

An estimated 200 children have been relocated to the UK, including some who have been relocated under the so-called ‘Dubs’ amendment to the Immigration Act. The amendment allows children to take refuge in the UK even if they do not have family there.

Venezuelan opposition votes to put President Maduro on trial

Venezuela’s opposition-led National Assembly has voted to open a trial against the President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro. The opposition has charged that President Maduro is constitutionally ineligible to be Venezuela’s Head of State, as he is a dual citizen of Colombia and Venezuela.

President Maduro and the socialist government he represents have dismissed the vote as illegitimate, citing a previous court ruling which would support this view.

Philippine President arrives in Tokyo

The President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, has arrived in Japan, following a four-day official visit to China. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan and President Duterte will hold discussions on 26 October.

Prime Minister Abe is expected to encourage the Philippines to maintain better relations with the US, and emphasise the important role played by the US in regional stability.

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