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Visit of State Minister of Foreign Affairs Vasantha Senanayake to Jordan, 9-11 May 2018



State Minister of Foreign Affairs Vasantha Senanayake paid an official visit to Jordan from 9 to 11 May 2018.  During the visit State Minister Senanayake met with officials of Amman Chamber of Commerce and held discussions on bilateral trade issues. He encouraged the Jordanian authorities to explore the possibility of making value added tea catering to various localized palates using bulk tea imports from Sri Lanka. Currently, tea imported from Sri Lanka to Jordan is re-exported to neighboring Syria, Iraq and Palestine. Further, the Amman Chamber of Commerce officials agreed to take up the issue of restrictions placed on fruit imports from Sri Lanka with the Jordan Ministry of Agriculture. The Amman Chamber of Commerce also agreed to send a delegation comprising high-level business leaders to the Sri Lanka Investment and Business Conclave 2018 scheduled to be held from 19th to 21st June 2018 in Colombo.

Read more: Visit of State Minister of Foreign Affairs Vasantha Senanayake to Jordan, 9-11 May 2018


President Maithripala Sirisena’s State Visit to Iran



On an invitation extended by President Hassan Rouhani, President Sirisena undertook a two-day State visit to Iran on 12 and 13 May 2018 that included official bilateral discussions between the delegations led by the two Presidents at the Saadabad Palace in Tehran, and a meeting with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Read more: President Maithripala Sirisena’s State Visit to Iran




The first public consultation of the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) can be considered as a success, says Chairman of the OMP, Saliya Peiris PC, as around 250 family members of missing persons attended the meeting in Mannar yesterday(12th).

Peiris told that the commission met with family members of those reported missing, along with civil society groups and members of media. “We engaged in a productive discussion with them where they raised the many concerns they had about the process,” he said, adding that the majority of the families appeared to be disheartened and frustrated but also hopeful they may receive the answers they are searching for.

With the OMP commencing its operations, he said the office hopes to gain the trust of the people through its process. Earlier, member of the OMP, Dr Nimalka Fernando was quoted assuring the families that their problems will be addressed and asking the families to place their trust in the newly formed office.

However, according to regional correspondents attending the meeting, the public had raised their concerns, claiming they were finding it difficult to have faith in the office after the long period they have had to go through without receiving any answers about their missing family members. As a result, many are said to have requested an international mechanism to be put in place.

Meanwhile, Peiris also said much still needs to be done with the setting of the OMP such as hiring necessary staff. “It will happen simultaneously along with the public process,” he said, adding that, however, a time frame cannot be given as it is an ongoing and complex process.

The series of regional level consultations are considered a vital and the initial step in the process to operationalise the functions of the OMP to assist the families of missing persons. Commencing in Mannar, the OMP will visit Matara, Trincomalee, Mullaitivu, Kandy, Kilinochchi, Jaffna, Batticaloa and Ampara in the first phase.

The office while understanding the urgency and frustrations of the families has requested them to be patient so that the office can ensure the vital processes put in place.



OMP consultations commences in Mannar tomorrow

The Office on Missing Persons (OMP) is launching a series of regional-level consultations,  commencing in Mannar on Saturday, 12th May 2018. The consultations are a vital step in the process to operationalise the functions of the OMP in its search for missing and disappeared persons.

Consultations will be held with the families of missing and disappeared persons, activists, professionals and organisations working on the issue. In the coming weeks, the OMP will visit Matara, Trincomalee, Mulaitivu, Kandy, Kilinochchi, Jaffna, Batticaloa and Ampara in a first phase of visits. The purpose of these meetings will be to share the OMP’s organisational plan and strategies, as they currently stand, in order to hear public views and incorporate suggestions on measures and processes. The plans thus far attempt to build on the lessons learned and recommendations from previous commissions and the Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms process.

The OMP understands the urgency and frustration of the families and individuals who have been searching for their loved ones over a number of years, but respectfully requests their patience to ensure vital processes are put in place in order to ensure an effective response and to avoid ad hoc measures. These consultations mark the start of the outreach process of the OMP and are a positive indication that the search for missing and disappeared persons is underway


Statement on the Inter-Korea Summit on 27 April 2018

Sri Lanka welcomes the Inter-Korea Summit between the leaders of the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on 27 April 2018 and the adoption of the Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification of the Korean Peninsula.

We look forward to the implementation of the important commitments and agreed actions outlined in the Declaration aimed at progressing through dialogue, diplomacy and trust-building towards achieving sustainable peace and prosperity, and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

We also look forward to the consolidation and advancement of the gains at the Panmunjom Summit at the Summit between the two leaders of the United States of America and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea that is expected to take place on 12 June 2018 in Singapore.


Ministry of Foreign Affairs


11 May 2018

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