November 1, 2016 Reading Time: 2 minutes
Reading Time: 2 min read
Colombo to take lead role in national development
Prime Minister Wickremesinghe has stated that the city of Colombo will pioneer Sri Lanka’s development process, in a speech during the ‘World Cities Day’ celebration at the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development. Prime Minister Wickremesinghe cited several major international cities as examples of how urbanisation has led to national economic growth, and called for higher levels of urbanisation in Sri Lanka.
Prime Minister Wickremesinghe emphasised the need to exploit Colombo’s geographic location, and to develop the city as a commercial hub between Singapore and Dubai.
Foreign Minister meets with French State Minister
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mangala Samaraweera, has met with the French State Minister for Commerce, Martine Pinville, in Colombo on 31 October.
The Ministers discussed political developments, trade, and business partnerships, as potential areas for enhancing relations. Minister Samaraweera highlighted that Sri Lanka hosted the 2016 French Travel Agents Association Congress, which over 700 French travel agents attended.
President inaugurates IOGT Conference in Kandy
President Sirisena has inaugurated the International Organisation of Good Templars (IOGT) International Celebration Conference in Kandy on 31 October. The Conference was held in celebration of the 165th anniversary of IOGT International, and focused on alcohol policy in the 21st century.
In his address, the President cited the establishment of the National Authority of Tobacco and Alcohol, and the ratification of the WHO Framework on Convention on Tobacco Control, as important achievements in combating alcohol and tobacco abuse.
US halts sale of weapons to Philippines
The US government has suspended its planned sale of approximately 26,000 assault rifles to the national police of the Philippines on human rights grounds, following the controversial measures taken by Philippine President, Rodrigo Duterte, to combat drugs-related crime.
More than 2000 people have been reported to be killed in the Philippines as a result of the current ‘war on drugs’.
Canada to accept 300,000 immigrants in 2017
The government of Canada has announced that it will admit 300,000 immigrants into the country in 2017. An economic advisory council to Canada’s Finance Minister, Bill Morneau, recommended that the country should increase its annual immigration target to 450,000 over the next five years.
Canada’s revised immigration targets are aimed at countering the economic impact of the country’s aging population.
Australia considers naval patrols with Indonesia
Australian Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, has confirmed that Australia is considering establishing joint naval patrols with Indonesia in the South China Sea. Minister Bishop stated that joint naval patrols are in line with Australia’s policies on freedom of navigation.
The request was made by the Indonesian Minister of Defence, Ryamizard Ryacudu, during a meeting with the Australian Defence Minister, Marise Payne, in Bali, Indonesia. Minister Bishop added that Australia and Indonesia would notify surrounding countries in the event of a planned exercise.