External Affairs Minister Professor G L Peiris met Sri Lankan Ambassadors based in Europe and discussed initiatives to counter campaigns against the country, using human rights and other issues as political tools.
At the Sri Lankan Embassy in Rome, Minister Peiris met with several of the country’s Ambassadors in the region for a comprehensive review of their work, the External Affairs Ministry said.
The envoys attending the discussion were Professor Karunaratne Hangawatte, Ambassador in France, Karunatilake Amunugama, Ambassador in Germany, Ravinatha P. Aryasinha, Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva and Nawalage Bennet Cooray, Ambassador in Italy. Pradip Jayewardene, Sri Lanka’s Consul in Frankfurt, also participated in the meeting.
Sri Lanka’s economic relations with these countries, with particular reference to trade, investment and tourism, constituted the focus of the discussion. Each of the Ambassadors made a presentation on the progress made last year, while the Minister indicated targets for the next few months, with the time-frames applicable.
There was also discussion about initiatives to counter campaigns against the country, using human rights and other issues as political tools. The envoys participating indicated perspectives of special relevance to the countries in which they are serving, and their own suggestions regarding a co-ordinated strategy. The Minister stressed the importance of community involvement, and the need to work closely with the Sri Lankan community in the respective countries.
Professor Peiris had a discussion with representatives of the Sri Lankan community in Italy. Earlier this year, the Minister held a similar progress review session with Sri Lanka’s Ambassadors in the Gulf region. This discussion, in which seven Ambassadors participated, took place in Abu Dhabi