Sri Lanka and China reiterate their firm commitment to strengthen friendship and bilateral relations

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Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera concluded a successful two-day official visit to China today, during which he paid a courtesy call on the Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and also held extensive bilateral discussions with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, as well as met with the Vice Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and Minister of the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, Wang Jiarui and the Minister of Commerce, Gao Hucheng.


Both sides reiterated the importance of the bilateral relationship between China and Sri Lanka, which has stood the test of time amidst changing international circumstances and evolution of domestic political situations, as testimony of a solid and deep friendship between the two countries.

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FM Samaraweera to address HRC

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Foreign Minister Mangala Samaweera will travel to Geneva to attend the High-Level Segment of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to be held on 2nd March 2015. Over 65 Foreign Ministers from around the world will participate in this year's High-Level Segment.

He is also scheduled to meet UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein.

 

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FINANCE MINISTER RAVI KARUNANAYAKE CONCLUDES SUCCESSFUL VISIT TO WASHINGTON

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Washington DC, February 19: Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake visited Washington D.C. from 17th to 18th February and met with senior officials of the Bretton Woods institutions, the US Treasury, the US Department of State and the White House. He met with Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde, the World Bank’s Managing Director Sri Mulyani Indrawati, and US Assistant Secretary for Treasury Ramin Toloui as well as US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Nish Biswal and the senior officials of the White House.

Finance Minister Karunanayake briefed both the Managing Director of the World Bank and Managing Director of International Monetary Fund (IMF) of the new government’s policy agenda aimed at long-term sustainable development and inclusive growth following the 100 day programme of the Government which has specific tasks to be accomplished. He emphasized that steps have already been taken to eliminate wasteful expenditures and corruption.

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Maha Shiva Rathri signifies unity and harmony transcends all differences - President

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The most visible aspect of this festival, the lighting of lamps, symbolizes the constant efforts by humans to dispel the darkness of ignorance with the light of knowledge and understanding. It also signifies the search for unity and harmony among people that transcends all differences in society, President Maithripala Sirisena said in a message to mark Maha Shiva Rathri.

“The Hindus of Sri Lanka, who have a long tradition of friendship and harmony with all other communities in Sri Lanka, will gain more strength in their search for unity through reconciliation and understanding with the spirit of this festival,” the President said.

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Sri Lanka and India Signed Four Agreements/MoU

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Sri Lanka and India signed four agreements/MoU during President Maithripala Sirisena’s state visit to India, Feb. 15-18, 2015.

Mr. Patali Champika Ranawaka, Minister of Power & Energy on behalf of Sri Lanka and Mr. Ratan Kumar Sinha, Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy for India signed an agreement on Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy.

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Grand welcome at Rashtrapathi Bhavan for President Sirisena

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President Maithripala Sirisena who arrived in India yesterday was warmly received by the Indian President Pranab Mikherjee at Rashtrapathi Bhavan this morning.
 
He was accorded a 21-gun salute followed by a guard of honor.
 

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Foreign Minister Samaraweera concludes successful visit to the US capital

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Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera visited Washington DC from 11-12 February. The visit which was his first to the US capital since assuming office as the Minister of Foreign Affairs followed the visit of US Assistant Secretary of State Nisha Biswal to Colombo on 2-3 February and coincided with the completion of 30 days in office of the new Government in Sri Lanka.

During the two day visit, the Minister held a range of meetings including with Secretary of State John F. Kerry, National Security Adviser Susan Rice, co-chairs of the Sri Lanka Caucus in the US Congress, Chris Van Hollen and Robert Aderholt, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Congressman Ed Royce and Ranking Member of the Committee, Congressman Eliot Engel. The visit also included speaking engagements followed by interactive sessions at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on ‘Sri Lanka after the Presidential Election’ and at the National Press Club on ‘Sri Lanka – US Relations’.

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Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera meets UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

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Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera met with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 13th February 2015 at the United Nations headquarters in New York.

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Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera meets US Secretary of State John Kerry

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Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera held official talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington DC on Thursday 12 February 2015.

Remarks by US Secretary of State John Kerry and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mangala Samaraweera before their meeting.

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President assures of domestic mechanism to probe alleged rights violations during conflict

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President Maithripala Sirisena assured the diplomatic community that his government will not hesitate to punish the offenders of human rights violations said to have taken place during the war after the conduct of a credible domestic inquiry through a judicial process into the allegations.

Meeting with the diplomatic corps in Colombo Friday, President Sirisena said foreign policy of the present government is to strengthen the cooperation with all countries and international organizations that extend support to all communities.

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Foreign Minister Samaraweera speaks at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington

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Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera delivered an address on the theme “Sri Lanka after the Presidential Election,” outlining the priorities of the government at the prestigious Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, in Washington DC on 11th February 2015 to a full house.
 

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Stronger bonds of national unity and eradication of poverty – President at Independence Day celebrations

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The need to build genuine unity among all people of the country after the physical defeat of terrorism in 2009, the necessity to work with speed towards the eradication of poverty and the bringing of Constitutional changes to give effect to establishing a truly democratic country with the genuine sovereignty of Parliament as given in the recent mandate by the people were among the highlights of President Maithripala Sirisena’s address to the nations at the 67th Independence Day celebrations this morning.

President Sirisena also said the country would follow the middle path in foreign policy in friendship towards all countries, with due respect to the United Nations Charter and the conventions adopted by the United Nations.

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Sri Lanka marks Independence Day with a special Declaration of Peace

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Sri Lankan Government on Wednesday, February 4th 2015, six years after the end of the war, marked the 67th Independence Day with a special Statement of Peace at the ceremony, in a bid to push forward the reconciliation effort,
Immediately after President Maithripala Sirisena’s Address to the Nation, a special peace pledge was delivered in all three languages at the 67th Independence Day ceremony. This was in line with a key recommendation by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) in its 2011 report.

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Independence is of special significance as it sees the launch of a new era of Good Governance in the country - President

The celebration of this 67th anniversary of our Independence is of special significance as it sees the launch of a new era of Good Governance in the country.

This comes with a new commitment to the unity of our people, to safeguard freedom and democratic rights, and proceed to a future that moves further from the re-emerging forces of colonialism.

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Independence celebrated in a civilized political culture today - PM

Today we are celebrating the 67th anniversary of Independence while a civilized political culture is being created in our beloved motherland, said Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe.

In his message to mark Independence Day today (Feb.04) he stated; “Once we gained independence, the challenge that we had to face was to safeguard that unity and marches towards the development of the country”.

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The time has now come to restore the respect and dignity Sri Lanka once commanded – Foreign Minister

On the 67th anniversary of independence, Sri Lanka, one of the oldest democracies in Asia has, in the face of many challenges, again proved its commitment to freedom and democracy through yet another peaceful transition of power.

Unlike in the Arab Spring where change was brought about by bullets, pellets and stones Sri Lanka’s ‘rainbow revolution’ was achieved by power of the ballot — paving the way for far-reaching constitutional reforms that will make Sri Lanka a modern 21st century democracy.

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US Assistant Secretary of State Biswal meets Foreign Minister Samaraweera

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Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera held official talks with visiting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia of the USA, Ms. Nisha Biswal at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today. Assistant Secretary Biswal reviewed a range of bilateral issues. She conveyed the US Government’s desire to work closely with the newly elected government of President Maithripala Sirisena.
 

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New Chief Justice sworn in

Justice K. Sripavan, the senior judge in the Supreme Court took his oaths as the new Chief Justice before President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat today (30).

Justice Sripavanwas born on 29 February 1952. He was educated at Jaffna Hindu College between 1962 and 1972. He joined Ceylon Law College in 1974 and passed out as an attorney at law in 1976, obtaining a first class in the Intermediate Examination.

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British Foreign Office Minister Swire meets Minister Samaraweera

Hon Mangala Samaraweera and UK State Minister for Foreign -30jan2015


Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera held talks with visiting British Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Hugo Swire at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today. Minister Swire stated that the purpose of his visit was to convey the UK Government’s desire to work closely with the newly elected government of President Maithripala Sirisena and to convey a special message from Prime Minister David Cameron.

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Foreign Minister Samaraweera visits Brussels

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Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Mangala Samaraweera, concluded a two day official visit to Brussels today.Foreign Minister Samaraweera met Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Didier Reynders and members of the European Parliament. He also held talks with the European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs & Fisheries, Mr. Karmenu Vella, and the European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Mr. Neven Mimica.

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Interim Budget 2015 brings an array of relief

The Interim Budget 2015 presented in Parliament today offering an array of relief to all sections of the society.

Ravi Karunanayake, in his capacity as Finance and Planning Minister presenting said the government believes in uplifting and developing the lives of every citizen of this country - not just a selected few.Salaries of state sector servants will be increased by Rs. 10,000 - Rs. 5000 will be given in February and remaining Rs. 5000 in June. Thereby state sector employees' salaries increased by 47%.Senior citizens with Rs. 1 million in their bank accounts will be given 15% interest rate.

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Foreign Minister Samaraweera calls on Prime Minister Modi in New Delhi

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Hon. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India welcomes Hon. Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka on 19th January 2015 at the Official residence of the Prime Minister in New Delhi.

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Foreign Minister Samaraweera meets Indian counterpart

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Hon. Sushma Swaraj  Minister of External Affairs of India, warmly welcomes Hon. Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka on 18th  January 2015 at Nehru Bhawan in New Delhi.

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Mrs Chitranganee Wagiswara appointed as the new Foreign Secretary

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Mrs. Chitranganee Wagiswara has been appointed as the Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by the President Maithripala Sirisena. She received her letter of appointment from President Sirisena today (19th January 2015) at the Presidential Secretariat. Thereafter, Mrs Wagiswara assumed duties at the Ministry Office at a simple ceremony.
 

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For reconciliation & rebuilding process to succeed all must work together - Pope

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“I am convinced that the followers of the various religious traditions have an essential role to play in the delicate process of reconciliation and rebuilding which is taking place in this country”, said His Holiness Pope Francis speaking at the Bandaranaike International Airport upon his arrival, today (13).
 
“For that process to succeed all members of society must work together; all must have a voice”, he further said.
 

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President welcomes blessings from the Pope

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The visit of Your Holiness gives me an opportunity to receive your blessings as I commence my term of office, said President Maithripala Sirisena welcoming the Holy Father at Bandaranaike International Airport this morning (Jan. 13).

The President, wishing the Pope a most fruitful and memorable journey in Sri Lanka sought the blessings of the Holy Father on the people of Sri Lanka and requested his prayers for the peace progress and prosperity of the people.

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