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Sri Lanka rejects allegations by the Canadian PM

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has unreservedly rejects the statement issued by the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on 18 May 2023 containing outrageous claims of genocide relating to the past conflict in Sri Lanka. 

“Such irresponsible and polarizing pronouncements by the leader of a nation breeds disharmony and hatred both in Canada and Sri Lanka, instead of promoting peace and reconciliation,” a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs states.

The MFA statement further notes :

Sri Lanka urges Canada and its leaders to refrain from making pronouncements from Canada which promote hatred, misinformation and extremist views and to cease its unhelpful focus on Sri Lanka based on distorted facts.  This runs contrary to the Canadian Prime Minister’s stated objective of “safeguarding human rights across the world”.

Sri Lanka vehemently rejects this unsubstantiated narrative of ‘genocide’ which has been deliberately constructed by politically motivated anti-Sri Lanka elements whose so-called recognition in Canada depends  on spreading misinformation and a false narrative of hatred.  We urge caution at a time when the world is combatting the dangers of misinformation, including through social media platforms.

For over three decades the people of Sri Lanka suffered from the brutal terrorism waged by the “LTTE” one of the world’s most ruthless terrorist organizations which suppressed the lives and democratic rights of all communities, Tamils, Muslims and Sinhalese in all parts of the country. The LTTE atrocities included assassinations of Sri Lankan and foreign leaders as well as moderate Tamil leaders. The defeat of this terrorist organization brought security and stability to Sri Lanka.  The LTTE continues to be proscribed in several democratic countries including Canada. Many Sri Lankan soldiers were killed and disabled in protecting the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of the country. 

Sri Lanka and Canada are linked by a significant community of Canadians of Sri Lankan heritage who maintain a rich and mutually reinforcing relationship between our countries. We urge the Canadian Government and its leaders to leverage this platform to form bonds of friendship and harmony between people and to refrain from polarizing communities in both Canada and overseas.

Despite the socio-economic challenges encountered by the country at present, Sri Lanka has made a cautious start in ushering in stability, recovery and furthering reconciliation for all communities and all segments of the people. We deeply appreciate the support we have received from the international community in this effort.

Both Sri Lanka and Canada are committed to common democratic values, institutions and traditions and to the promotion of peace and prosperity to improve the lives of fellow citizens.  Sri Lanka wishes to engage with Canada, a longstanding bilateral and development partner, in this spirit of mutual respect and calls on Canada to ensure that its pronouncements are not detrimental to Sri Lanka’s overriding national interest of ensuring the prosperity of our people and future generations.

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Fire breaks out in workers’ living quarters near Colombo Port

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A fire has reportedly broken out in the living quarters of highway access road workers near the Colombo Port.

The Colombo Fire Brigade said it has dispatched four fire trucks to assist in extinguishing the flames.

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President Wickremesinghe meets Elon Musk to discuss starlink implementation in Sri Lanka

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe has met with billionaire and investor Elon Musk on the sidelines of the 10th World Water Forum High-Level Meeting being held in Indonesia.

During the meeting, Wickremesinghe and Musk discussed the implementation of ‘Starlink’ in Sri Lanka.

It was emphasized that Sri Lanka is committed to expediting the application process to connect the country to the global Starlink network, according to the President’s Media Division (PMD).

Minister Jeevan Thondaman, accompanying the President on his two-day visit to Indonesia, tweeted: “President and Elon discussed Sri Lanka’s recovery, economic potential, and new opportunities for investment. Great to have two visionary leaders come together for Sri Lanka.”

Elon Musk arrived in Indonesia’s resort island of Bali on Sunday to launch Starlink satellite internet service in the world’s largest archipelago nation.

The billionaire head of Tesla and SpaceX, and owner of social platform X, arrived by private jet on the idyllic “island of the gods,” renowned for its tropical beaches, terraced rice paddies, mystical temples, and colorful spiritual offerings.

Musk is slated to launch the service alongside Indonesian President Joko Widodo in a ceremony later Sunday at a public health clinic in Denpasar, the provincial capital of Bali. 

Musk will also sign an agreement to enhance connectivity in the country’s health and education sectors.

During his first in-person visit to Bali, Musk is also scheduled to participate in the 10th World Water Forum, which seeks to address global water and sanitation challenges.

–With agencies inputs

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Senior diplomat to oversee Sri Lankan embassy in Russia

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It is reported that the government has planned to send a senior officer of the foreign service to the Sri Lankan embassy in Russia until a new ambassador is appointed due to the lack of an ambassador.

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Taraka Balasuriya has told the media that the absence of an ambassador is just a gap in the work procedure, and based on the current situation in Russia, a senior official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be directed to supervise its affairs.

He emphasized that a retired foreign service senior is being sent and the lack of an ambassador is not a major problem.

The Minister further stated that there is already a senior Foreign Service officer there, and given the urgent need, a very senior Foreign Service officer is being sent not because the officer currently in Russia is inadequate.

Mr. Balasuriya has stressed that this is being done to strengthen the operation and that the work will be done according to the normal protocol.

However, even though an ambassador has been appointed to Russia, Mr. Balasuriya has made arrangements not to reveal who it is to the media.

The former Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the Russian Federation, Prof. Janitha A. Liyanage, was given three extensions, and she ended her service at the Sri Lankan Embassy in Moscow on April 29.

At present, Counsellor Ruvini K. Munidasa serves as the Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy.

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