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Foreign Minister briefs the Colombo-based Diplomatic Corps on current developments

Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Sabry chaired the first briefing of the year for the members of the Colombo-based diplomatic Corps at the Ministry on Thursday, 11 January 2024.

The Minister outlined several areas of progress made on many fronts in 2023, that led to a greater degree of stability, including debt restructuring, economic and legal reforms and reconciliation.

Minister Sabry referred to 2024 as the year to revitalize the country’s economy, following the crucial achievements that have been made in overcoming the challenges of 2022.

Minister Sabry stated that the Government has taken concerted efforts towards the establishment of a Commission for Truth, Unity and Reconciliation and ensured the gazetting of the draft Bill. He added that following extensive consultations with the stakeholders, it would be tabled in the Parliament shortly. He also informed that the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation Bill was passed by the Parliament on 09 January 2024 and two more draft Bills will be tabled in the Parliament on anti-terrorism, and the Office for Overseas Sri Lankans.

Minister of Public Security Tiran Alles and Senior Advisor to the President on Climate Change Ruwan Wijewardene, Deputy Treasury Secretary R.M.P. Rathnayake, and Foreign Secretary Aruni Wijewardane also briefed the Diplomatic Corps. Attorney General Sanjay Rajaratnam was also present.

The Minister of Public Security provided an update on the progress made by the special operation against drug menace and underworld activities.

Senior Advisor on Climate Change to the President outlined Sri Lanka’s initiatives on climate change including the proposal to establish an International Climate Change University, launching the Tropical Belt Initiative for sustainable development, creating a Climate Justice Forum, and implementing the Sri Lanka Climate Prosperity Plan, aiming to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 through renewable energy sources and green investment strategies.

Foreign Secretary Aruni Wijewardane focused on the country’s upcoming international engagements and incoming visits of foreign dignitaries. Deputy Secretary to the Treasury made a presentation on the current economic situation and the envisaged way forward.

Representatives of domestic institutions dealing with reconciliation such as the Office on Missing Persons, Office for Reparations, Office for National Unity and Reconciliation, Interim Secretariat of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Office for Overseas Sri Lankans were also present at the briefing.

During the discussion that followed the presentations, the members of the diplomatic Corps expressed appreciation for the fruitful and useful briefing organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the current situation and the steps taken towards recovery and stabilization.

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