United Nations E-Government Survey 2014: Sri Lanka ranks top among South Asia

Sri Lanka ranks first among South Asian countries in the latest E-Government Development Index conducted by the United Nations.

“Sri Lankan government has made a substantial effort to develop its online portal which now ranks 74th in the world”, the UN said. Sri Lanka ranked 115 in 2012.


President appoints international Advisory Council to the Commission of Inquiry


President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday appointed an Advisory Council to the Commission of Inquiry, extending the scope of the mandate of the commission. The Advisory Council comprises three legal luminaries. The Right Honourable Sir Desmond de Silva was appointed as the chairman of the council while Sir Geoffrey Nice, and Prof. David Crane are the members.

The Commission of Inquiry appointed vide Gazette Notification 1823/42 dated 15th August 2013 is mandated to inquire and report on the matters that have been referred in paragraph 4. 359 to in the Report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).


Sri Lanka expresses concerns on escalating violence in Gaza


The Government of Sri Lanka is deeply concerned at the recent escalating violence in Gaza, resulting in tragic loss of civilian lives and extensive damage to property. Cross border provocations on locations in parts of Israel also need to cease.

Sri Lanka calls upon the parties concerned to exercise utmost restraint in a bid to halt the violence and ensure a climate conducive to the recommencement of negotiations for a lasting solution to the conflict.Sri Lanka calls upon the parties to engage at the earliest in direct dialogue which is the only viable initiative for sustained peace and security in the region.


Deputy Minister Neomal Perera inaugurates Sri Lanka Honorary Consulate in Zurich

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After his appointment as Sri Lanka Honorary Consul for the Zurich Canton in March 2014, Mr.Vidarshana Munasinghe, the official opening of the Honorary Consulate took place with the participation of the Deputy Minister of External Affairs, Neomal Perera.


South African Deputy President calls on President Rajapaksa

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South African President Jacob Zuma's special envoy to Sri Lanka, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees last evening (July 7).
Ramaphosa arrived in Colombo yesterday on a two-day official visit to meet Sri Lankan government, and opposition officials and discuss Sri Lanka's reconciliation process.


Minister Peiris underlines Sri Lanka’s leadership role in Blue Economy

The defeat of terrorism and the advent of peace and stability have brought about significant benefits not only for the people of Sri Lanka but for the whole South Asian region, and it is only right and proper that the magnitude of these benefits should receive recognition, Professor G.L. Peiris, Minister of External Affairs, said in Colombo today (30th June 2014).

He was delivering the keynote address at a symposium on establishing a Centre of Excellence on Ocean Sciences and Environment for the Indian Ocean Rim countries. Sri Lanka’s contribution to the development of the economy in the region far exceeds its size and material resources, the Minister commented. Pointing out that terrorism is one of the main issues which continue to challenge the economy and wellbeing of many of the countries in the region, he said that Sri Lanka’s success in eradicating terrorism from its shores has had a crucial impact on weakening the forces of destabilization in the entire region and, in particular, on reducing the opportunities for collaboration among terrorist groups active in the area.


Sri Lanka - Seychelles Agree to Strengthen Relations


President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Seychelles President James A. Michel during bilateral discussions at the State House in Victoria, the capital of Seychelles, (28) agreed to strengthen already exiting bilateral relations while expanding cooperation into new areas.
President Rajapaksa concluding the two-day state visit to Maldives arrived in Seychelles yesterday.


We do not approve external pressure, will always support Sri Lanka – Maldivian President

HE. Mahinda Rajapaksa-Maldivian President June 2014

“Our two countries have been very good neighbours for a long time. We do not approve undue external pressure over countries. That is why the Maldives consistently stood for Sri Lanka at international fora. We will continue to do so in shoulder to shoulder with Sri Lanka”, Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom said during a bilateral discussion with President Mahinda Rajapaksa held at President’s Office in Male yesterday (25).
Following one-to-one meeting between two Presidents, bilateral discussions between the delegations of two countries commenced. The long standing and mutually benefitted relations between Sri Lanka and Maldives was highlighted in this discussion while exploring ways and means for further strengthening relations. “Our countries have been subjected to harassments and too much foreign intervention. This should stop. For that we must stand together”, the Maldivian leader said.


Sri Lanka soars 41 places to rank 74 in UN E-Government Development Index

Making the biggest progress by a member country from its preceding ranking in the 2014 United Nations eGovernment Development Index (eGDI), Sri Lanka has advanced to the 74th position.
At the preceding survey determining the eGDI which was in 2012 Sri Lanka’s position out of 193 countries was 115. Thus the 2014 United Nations eGDI of Sri Lanka is a jump traversing 41 positions.
The rank reached by Sri Lanka out of 193 countries also places it within the first half of the highest ranked countries as well as the in the first position out of South Asian countries.


Attempt to drive a wedge between Sri Lanka and Muslim countries - Prof Peiris

Addressing a group of Colombo based Ambassadors on the recent disturbances, External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris said that the events in its internal dimension was a direct attempt to alienate the Muslim community from the government while the external expression of this campaign has as its objective the purpose of driving a wedge between Sri Lanka and Muslim countries, with a view to weakening Sri Lanka in international fora. He said the skillfully conceived and co-ordinated character of the campaign is apparent, and substantial funding as well as other forms of material support from foreign sources is also in evidence.
The redeeming feature, he pointed out, is that mainstream opinion in both the Sinhala and the Muslim communities is moderate and reasonable, and strongly opposed to violence in any form. This is the product, he said, of a long tradition of mutually reliant co-existence of the Sinhala and Muslim communities in the towns and villages of Sri Lanka in a spirit of total empathy, participating freely in each other’s social events.


SL government has taken great strides to reintegrate IDPs - UNHCR

In a statement to mark the World Refugee Day the UNHCR has commended Sri Lankan government on the ‘great strides taken to reintegrate some 573,651 returning internally displaced persons since the end of civil conflict in 2009’.

It had also noted the role played by Sri Lanka on being a host country to populations that flee violence in the South Asian region.


President visits Beruwala, promises stern action against perpetrators of recent violence


President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday promised to take stern action against the perpetrators of the communal violence in Aluthgama and Beruwala.

After visiting the areas of Beruwala and Aluthgama affected by the clashes between two groups of people, the President, who just returned from the Bolivia visit, reiterated he will not allow anyone to take law into their hands. An impartial investigation will be conducted into the incident and will definitely bring all culprits to the book irrespective of race or religious differences.


President in Bolivia Explains Sri Lanka’s Reality to World Leaders

President Mahinda Rajapaksa currently visiting Santa Cruz in Bolivia to attend the Golden Jubilee of the G77 held bilateral discussions with several world leaders at the Expo Cruz Export Center on Sunday (June 15) and explained Sri Lanka’s actual situation to them.
Prime Minister of Gabon Mr. Daniel Ona Ondo, President of Uruguay Mr. José Mujica and President of Equatorial Guinea Mr. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo met President Rajapaksa for bilateral discussion.


Sri Lanka will have the strongest growth in South Asia in 2014 – World Bank

he World Bank's latest Global Economic Prospects (GEP) report, issued on June 10, says Sri Lanka will have the strongest economic growth in South Asia in 2014 reaching 7.2 percent.
According to the report, in Sri Lanka, where output is currently above potential, annual growth is forecast to remain broadly stable at 7.2 percent in 2014, and over time, to moderate to about 6.9 percent in 2015 and 6.7 percent in 2016, slightly higher than estimates of medium-term potential growth for the country.


President Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Modi Meet in New Delhi

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President Mahinda Rajapaksa and new Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met for bilateral talks this morning at the Hyderabad House in New Delhi, India, where the President was warmly welcomed by the Prime Minister.
The two leaders had an in-depth discussion of issues of mutual concern. President Rajapaksa described the initiatives Sri Lanka has taken with regard to rehabilitation, resettlement, reconstruction and the ongoing reconciliation process in the country. President Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Modi also discussed the issue of fishermen of both countries and measures that can be taken to find a permanent solution through a process in which the views of fishermen from both countries can be taken into consideration. Both agreed that talks between the fishermen and the meeting of the joint committee of officials must continue.


Malaysian police arrest three LTTE suspects

Malaysian Police have arrested three men suspected to be members of Sri Lanka's Tamil terrorist group, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a top Malaysian police official has said Sunday.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said the suspects were arrested in multiple raids in Petaling Jaya and Klang, Selangor, and were being held under the Immigration Act.


SL fully committed to implement a domestic procedure to address alleged violations - President


Sri Lanka remains fully committed to implementing a domestic procedure to look into alleged violations that may have taken place during the war, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has told the U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
The President said an international inquiry into the alleged violations is not in keeping "with the vision of our people" and made reference to the contradictions in Paragraphs 2 and 10 of the last resolution of the U.N. Human Rights Council, when he met the UN Secretary - General last afternoon on the sidelines of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in Shanghai China.


Let us work collectively to create a peaceful and stable new Asia – President Rajapaksa calls on CICA leaders

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President Mahinda Rajapaksa today called on the heads of state who are attending the fourth summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in Shanghai to work collectively to create a peaceful and stable new Asia.

“Peace, security and stability are vital for progress and economic development in a nation or a region, as has been demonstrated by Sri Lanka, since eliminating terrorism. It is absolutely essential therefore, that we work collectively to create a peaceful and stable new Asia,” President Rajapaksa said addressing the Summit.



Minister Sirisena elected Vice President of World Health Assembly

67th WHA Vice Presidents

Minister of Health Maithripala Sirisena has been elected as one of the Vice Presidents of the World Health Assembly, the decision-making body of World Health Organisation (WHO).

Minister Sirisena is leading the Sri Lankan delegation currently attending the sixty-seventh session of the World Health Assembly (WHA) taking place in Geneva during 19–24 May 2014.


Best homage to war heroes is to safeguard unity - President Rajapaksa

victorydayspeech 18may2014
The best tribute we can pay to the war heroes is to safeguard the undivided nation they achieved with great sacrifices, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

“The freedom has been brought to the country through the sacrifice of thousands of lives of war heroes. Therefore, we should protect that freedom, without betraying it,” he said.


India extends ban on LTTE, says remnant cadres trying to resurrect outfit

The Central Government of India has extended its ban on the organization for five more years.

The government of India has declared the organization as an "unlawful association" with immediate effect under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act of 1967.
The Ministry of Home Affairs in an Extraordinary Gazette notification issued Wednesday (May 14) said the activities of the LTTE remnant cadres, sympathizers and supporters in Tamil Nadu state suggest that the cadres would ultimately be used by the LTTE for unlawful activities.


Sri Lankan society strongly defends and respects independence and dignity of others in the policies of State - President

Sri Lankan society, nurtured by the teachings of the Buddha, and with expectations based in honoring his great teachings, strongly defend and respect the independence and dignity of others in the policies of State, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said.

In a message to mark the Vesak, the most revered religious occasion in the country, the President citing the words from the Dhammapada, said the teaching of the Buddha is the greatest message of peace to the world.


Geneva resolution does not help Sri Lanka - Japan

"We considered whether the Resolution on Sri Lanka moved in the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva would help Sri Lanka. We decided it will not. That is why we abstained when the vote was taken", said Mr. Seiji Kihara, Parliamentary Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan when he met President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees yesterday (09). He is in the Island on an official visit.


Sri Lanka obtains Accreditation Status in the African Union

National Flag of Sri Lankaafrican union flag

Turning a new chapter in the history of Sri Lanka – Africa relations, the Commission of the African Union granted Sri Lanka Accreditation Status in the African Union (AU) with effect from April 2014 as a non-African State. Sri Lanka is the 3rd South Asian country along with India and Pakistan to have obtained Accreditation Status in the African Union. This new membership is a progressive reflection of the country’s new multifaceted Foreign Policy commitment of reenergizing its longstanding affinities with the African region.


‘Your country cannot be second to any of your interests’ - President tells youth

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“I wish to appeal to the young people who represent the world, to regard your country, as sacred. It cannot be second to any of your interests; nor can it be sacrificed for any gain whatsoever,” said President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Inaugurating the World Conference on Youth (WCY) 2014 at the Magama Ruhunupura International Conference Centre in Hambantota today (6), he said there may be outside pressures to compromise your love for your country, but all such pressures must be resisted at any cost. Only then, can we build a better world for all of us without destroying the cultures, traditions, customs, that we are heirs to.


Fitch Affirms Sri Lanka at 'BB-'; Outlook Stable

Fitch Ratings has affirmed Sri Lanka's Long-Term Foreign and Local Currency IDRs at 'BB-'. The issue ratings on Sri Lanka's senior unsecured foreign and local currency bonds are also affirmed at 'BB-'. The Outlooks on the Long-Term IDRs are Stable. The Country Ceiling is affirmed at 'BB-' and the Short-Term Foreign Currency IDR at 'B'.


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