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The might of powerful nations cannot prevail against justice and fair play – President at UNGA

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“Deeply mindful that the battle for peace I every bit as important and difficult as the struggle against terror”

Read more: The might of powerful nations cannot prevail against justice and fair play – President at UNGA

 

Minister Peiris calls on the international community to distinguish political agendas from genuine expressions of concern in the propaganda campaign carried out against Sri Lanka

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The recent spate of unsubstantiated allegations on the last few days of the conflict levelled at the Government of Sri Lanka, need to be examined in terms of the political agenda behind such propaganda and distinguished from the genuine expressions of concern on humanitarian issues, observed External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris in his keynote address at the launch of the publication by the Ministry of Defence entitled “Humanitarian Operation: Factual Analysis – July 2006-May 2009” on 1st August. Elaborating he stated that the task of analysing where the political agendas end and norms of human rights begin has now become more crucial and this issue deserves to be judged dispassionately, without prejudice and bias. The External Affairs Minister recalled an observation made by the former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson on the Goldstone Report on the Gaza issue, that it was guided “not by human rights but by politics”.

Read more: Minister Peiris calls on the international community to distinguish political agendas from genuine expressions of concern in the propaganda campaign carried out against Sri Lanka

 

Sri Lanka counters C4: ‘Lies Agreed Upon’

 

A report compiled by the Ministry of Defence titled "Humanitarian Operation - Factual Analysis : July 2006 - May 2009" was released at an official function held at the Hilton Hotel on 2nd of August . Following the release of the report, a video documentary titled " Lies Agreed Upon" was screened depicting the LTTE's brutal acts of terror as well as footages of the humanitarian operation and interviews given by LTTE cadres, Tamil civilians, Government officials served in the conflict areas etc. which aimed at refuting Channel 4 allegations against the Government.

Full Text of Report "Humanitarian Operation: Factual Analysis"

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Travel restrictions lifted for Foreign Passport holders visiting North

The Ministry of Defense (MOD) has lifted travel restrictions hitherto imposed on foreign passport holders, including diplomats, NGOs and INGOs visiting North. For further details please refer websites of the Defence Ministry www.defence.lk and Department of Information www.news.lk

 

New Year Message : Renewal in spirit and expectations - President

We celebrate this New Year at a time when production is progressing rapidly in agriculture and all other areas of development. It is also a time when all enjoy the freedom achieved in our motherland, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said.

We celebrate this New Year at a time when production is progressing rapidly in agriculture and all other areas of development. It is also a time when all enjoy the freedom achieved in our motherland, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said.

"Therefore, this New Year will help bring a renewal in spirit and new expectations to the people about future progress," said the President.

Here is the full text of the message :

From ancient days the great cultural festival of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year has brought satisfaction and joy to the vast majority of our people. It is a festival that pays homage to the Sun for the strength given to the land and people and is also the annual harvest festival that echoes the achievements of the rural people.

We celebrate this New Year at a time when production is progressing rapidly in agriculture and all other areas of development. It is also a time when all enjoy the freedom achieved in our motherland. Therefore, this New Year will help bring a renewal in spirit and new expectations to the people about future progress.

The New Year traditions coming down through centuries add to the joy of celebration. We can give this joy to future generations by making our children aware of its importance in our way of life.

We must create every opportunity for our children who cherish the New Year festivities to join in observing the many rituals and traditions that are associated with it. Therefore, to ensure the safety and joy of our children in celebrating this event, I appeal to you all to keep away from all intoxicants during this festive season. I trust this will contribute to bringing its joy closer the children and women of our country.

I extend my deep gratitude to the members of the Armed Forces, Police and Civil Defence Corps, as well as all employees of the State and Private Sector who have made a commitment to be at their posts during the festive season.

I wish you all a Happy and Prosperous New Year !
 

President expresses sympathy on Japan's earthquake and tsunami

President Mahinda Rajapaksa, in a message to Emperor of Japan, Akihito expressed sympathy on the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan today (11) and stated, ‘we pray for solace for those affected by the disaster and for the rapid recovery of the Japanese people and nation’.

Japan is a very close and dear friend of Sri Lanka. At this moment of challenge, our thoughts are with Your Majesty and your people, he said.

Following is the full text of the message :

Along with the rest of the globe, the people of Sri Lanka and I have been watching with sorrow and anguish the destruction brought about in Japan by the earthquake followed by a tsunami.

We are aware that due to their nation being located in an area of the world especially vulnerable to this kind of natural phenomenon, the Japanese authorities have taken the maximum measures to prepare for and mitigate the consequences of such a disaster. We also know that the Japanese people possess incredible resilience and courage, which has enabled them to overcome always the greatest of destruction and continue on the path of national progress.

Japan is a very close and dear friend of Sri Lanka. At this moment of challenge, our thoughts are with Your Majesty and your people. We pray for solace for those affected by the disaster and for the rapid recovery of the Japanese people and nation.

Please accept, Your Majesty, the assurances of my highest consideration.
Policy Research and Information Unit (PRIU)
Presidential Secretariat
Colombo 01
   

The New Foreign Policy Priorities By Prof. G. L. Peiris Minister of External Affairs

BACKGROUND TO A NEWS STORY

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The role that foreign policy has played in the recent past, most importantly, in creating the environment that made the successful conclusion of the war possible can be described as a genuine achievement. The activity on the battlefield was no doubt a major factor. However the conduct of foreign relations certainly played a major role in bringing about that positive outcome. In the past, there have been interventions which prevented the war from going forward. This time around, president Rajapaksa was able to handle those situations with considerable finesse. Foreign policy is also important in the post war scenario as we rebuild the country. Stability is important to bring about an environment necessary for rapid economic development. Now after two and a half decades of conflict, that stability has come. Our priorities in foreign policy will change from time to time depending on the situation. Now that there is a stable peace in the country, the main component of our foreign relations will be the focus on investment and trade.

Two months ago, our trade attaches all over the world were summoned to Colombo. When I briefed them, what I said is that in the conduct of Sri Lanka’s foreign policy in the capitals to which they have been sent, this is the most significant part of their work. That is the job of the trade attaches anyway, but our ambassadors and heads of mission have also been instructed that this is their main task. Even in Colombo, the larger foreign missions spend a lot of their time in commercial activity. For Sri Lanka, this is vitally important at this time. We have impressed upon our heads of mission, that they must give the sharpest possible focus to trade and investment in their work. The world is responding in a very positive way to Sri Lanka’s overtures in that regard.

My recent visit to Qatar was a very brief visit of 36 hours. The Qatari authorities are looking for suitable destinations for their investment. I met the Emir of Qatar as well as the Prime Minister who is also the Foreign Minister and what they said is that they are significantly increasing their investments in different parts of the world and that they would certainly like to take a close look at Sri Lanka because they are satisfied that the condition of the economy is propitious for that kind of initiative on their part. The synergies are such that it is a win-win situation for both. Qatar is the world’s largest producer of Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) gas. So for Sri Lanka, it would be a decisive advantage to have a multi-purpose storage facility. We are now developing Colombo as a trans-shipment hub and our emphasis is on ports and harbours and linking Sri Lanka with the world. In that context the LNG multi-purpose storage facility would be a matter of high priority between the two administrations. We are now working towards an investment agreement and a joint commission. We already have an agreement with regard to the avoidance of double taxation and we will build on that.

Qatar will be hosting FIFA (Federation of International Football Associations) in 2022 and already they are already preparing for it as a result of which there are plenty of opportunities for skilled employment there. It is not just domestic employment. In Qatar the higher echelons of the banking sector are manned by professionals from this country and they command a lot of respect there. Also in the construction sector there are professionals like Quantity Surveyors who are much in demand. Construction is a major industry there because they were not really affected by the global recession.     

Read more: The New Foreign Policy Priorities By Prof. G. L. Peiris Minister of External Affairs

   

Ayurveda Expo-2011. July 15-17, 2011-Colombo

 

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The National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka will be organizing "Ayurveda Expo 2011" from July 15-17, 2011 in Colombo. This event will be held in association with the Ministries of Indigenous Medicine, External Affairs, Economic Development, Industry and Commerce, Export Development Board and Sri Lanka Tourism and Sri Lankan Airlines.

The month of July 2011 is designated as "Visit Sri Lanka - Ayurveda". The proposed Ayurveda Expo 2011 is the main event associated with the month of July, and it  has number of associated events, such as mega exhibition,  business meetings, and symposium on Ayurveda and Indigenous Medicine

   

President Mahinda Rajapaksa's Thai Pongal message

Thai Pongal is a celebration of the Hindu-Tamil farming community that highlights the core values of their culture and civilization. It is a sacred day when gratitude is expressed to the Sun God for the bountiful harvest gathered. As such, it is a day for Hindus in Sri Lanka who march towards development in the golden rays of the sun, to join in celebration with those of their faith worldwide.

I join in the prayers on this Thai Pongal, for stronger bonds of friendship, mutual understanding and trust among all communities in the absence of fear and suspicion.

I call upon all on this day, to be united to achieve a sustainable peace, harmony, equality and prosperity in our land.

“The dawn of the Month of Thai, is the beginning of a new path”
   

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