Colombo, 18 August 2023 (TDI): The Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka, Ali Sabry accompanied by Foreign Secretary, Aruni Wijewardane held a briefing on current developments in Sri Lanka for the High Commissioners and  Ambassadors of Diplomatic Missions and representatives of United Nations based in Colombo on August 16.

The briefing was centred to delineate the economic and legislative measures taken by the government, the progress of domestic institutions and the participation of Sri Lanka at different international forums.

At the beginning of the meeting, the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister highlighted that the meeting was an extension to the former briefings organized which were exclusively designed to share information on the current developments in the country.

The briefing kicked off by highlighting the fundamental current developments in financial stabilization measures, steps taken towards economic recovery and growth, and legislative reforms including the adoption of the anti-corruption bill, the proposed truth-seeking mechanism and the proposed anti-terrorism bill.

Apart from the former stated current developments, the Foreign Minister shed light on the significant points of the President’s statement in the Parliament on August 9, in specification to the implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.

The Foreign Minister in his briefing to the diplomatic corps also provided a summary of the ongoing reconciliation endeavors and work being carried out under the independent mechanism.

Sri Lanka’s participation at the international forums

During the meeting, the Sri Lankan Foreign Secretary, Aruni Wijewardane mapped out Sri Lanka’s ongoing participation at the international and multilateral forums including Sri Lanka’s constructive engagement at the 4th Cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and review of Sri Lanka’s Report under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

She also highlighted Sri Lanka’s continued engagement with the United Nations including its participation in the upcoming 54th  Session of the Human Rights Council and in the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in September 2023.

The Foreign Secretary also focused attention on the upcoming Fifth Forum of Ministers of Environment Authorities of Asia Pacific which is to be held in Colombo from  October 3 to 6, 2023 and the upcoming IORA Ministerial Meeting scheduled to be held on  October 11, 2023, where Sri Lanka will assume the chairmanship of the organization from 2023-2025.

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Progress in the domestic institutions

Apart from the presentation on Sri Lanka’s participation at international forums and multilateral upcoming events to be held in Sri Lanka, the progress report on its domestic institutions was also presented by a number of political officials.

These officials included the Chairperson of the Office for Reparations (OR), Dhara Wijayatilake; the Chairperson of the Office on Missing Persons (OMP), Mahesh Katulanda and the Director General of the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR), Deepthi Lamahewa.

Director General of the Interim Secretariat of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Asanga Gunawansa, and the Director General of the Office for Overseas Sri Lankan Affairs  (OOSLA), V.

Krishnamoorthy also participated in the presentation of the report.

Finally, the Additional  Secretary of the Presidential Secretariat, Chandima Wickramasinghe provided an update on the implementation of Sri Lanka’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security.

Conclusively, the briefing called the attention of the diplomatic corps to the regional current developments and the actions taken by the Sri Lankan government in strengthening its multilateral connections.