UN mum as US renews concerns

The United Nations (UN) remained silent when asked about the appointment of new Chief Justice Mohan Peiris yesterday while the US State Department, for a second day running, reiterated its concerns on Sri Lanka.Asked about the appointment of the new Chief Justice, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky told reporters in New York that the UN was aware of the developments but had no comment as yet. “We had made clear throughout this impeachment that we were concerned about what it said about the democratic process that we were, concerned about the perception of reprisals against somebody for independent thinking and action. So those concerns remain with regard to the quality of Sri Lankan democracy,” she told reporters yesterday.On Monday Nuland had warned that the impeachment of the former Chief Justice may impact foreign investments to Sri Lanka. “No, we don’t have any comment at this time.  We are obviously aware of the media reports, and if that changes and we have something to say, I’ll certainly let you know,” Nesirky said in response to a question posed by Inner City Press. Meanwhile US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said that the US is concerned about the perception of reprisals against somebody for independent thinking and action. Asked yesterday on the same issue during the daily State Department briefing, Nuland said “As I said yesterday, that this entire issue also serves to undermine the international reputation of Sri Lanka as it pertains to investment decisions that foreign companies might make, so there is usually a cost to this kind of thing in terms of their ability to attract foreign investment,” she said.Asked if it will have an impact on US investments to Sri Lanka, Nuland said she was not aware of that and had to check on the current US assistance situation with Sri Lanka.  (Colombo Gazette) read more

Read More

Sri Lanka backs readmission of the Maldives to the Commonwealth

These issues adversely affect economic and social development and impact their ability to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The Group should act as a collective voice to call for greater international assistance and support for vulnerable and marginalized states, particularly for financing and capacity building.Additionally, in a statement at the Asian Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, where Sri Lanka is a co-prime mover of the pillar on “Science, Technology and Innovation”, Foreign Secretary Aryasinha noted the great potential in the ACD Region in the field of tourism which could play a crucial role in sustainable social, cultural and economic growth.The ACD taking centre stage in enhancing economic competitiveness in the region enables Asian countries to compete in the global market on an equal footing. Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha, speaking at the Commonwealth Foreign Affairs Ministers Meeting, said that as a close neighbor and a fellow South Asian nation, Sri Lanka enjoys strong bilateral ties with the Maldives, and it is gratifying that one of the primary initiatives embarked upon by the new Maldivian administration last year was to convey its intention to re-join the Commonwealth. Sri Lanka has welcomed a  proposal for the readmission of the Maldives to the Commonwealth family reiterating that Sri Lanka fully supports the fast track procedure previously applied in the readmission of Gambia, to allow the Maldives to participate fully at CHOGM 2020 in Rwanda.Sri Lanka made the observation at the Commonwealth Foreign Affairs Ministers Meeting held in New York on the sidelines of the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, chaired by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State for the Commonwealth and the United Nations. The Foreign Secretary noted that particularly given that the Commonwealth Secretariat had carried out a comprehensive assessment mission in the Maldives in January 2019 resulting in a positive outcome; any perceived obstacles to its re-entry should be seen as mere imperfections that afflict all countries from time to time. He urged that additional hurdles not be placed in their way, which would serve as a disincentive.Foreign Secretary also attended the Group 77 (G77) Foreign Ministers Meeting held on Friday, 27th September 2019 in New York. It was noted that the G77 is uniquely positioned to call for global action to address the diverse needs of countries in special situations such as Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States. read more

Read More