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We are opposed to bifurcation of Asia – President



President Ranil Wickremesinghe took the stage at the ‘Nikkei Forum: Future of Asia’ held in Tokyo, Japan today (25).

Addressing the Forum, President Wickremesinghe highlighted Asia’s significance as the world’s largest economy, home to 60% of the global population, and a major contributor to global growth.

He emphasized the region’s potential for continued growth, supported by China’s recovery, India’s domestic demand, and the contributions of advanced economies like Japan and South Korea.

3 key challenges

President Wickremesinghe also highlighted three major challenges facing Asia during his address.

He said democratic values and human rights, climate change and trade integration are key challenges and emphasized the importance of respecting the diverse political systems and definitions of human rights across Asian countries.

Stressing on climate change, which poses significant threats to Asia, the President added that rising temperatures in the region, leading to severe weather events & rising sea levels, are impacting the livelihoods, food security, & exports of Asian countries.

Noting that by mid-century, rising waters will impact nearly a billion people in the Asia-Pacific region, the President told the Nikkei Forum, “It is regrettable that as many as eight of the fifteen countries affected by climate change are from Asia.”

Economic powerhouse & most dynamic region

President Wickremesinghe emphasized that Asia has become the global economic powerhouse and the most dynamic region, with its economy already comparable in size to Europe and North America’s economies.

We are opposed to bifurcation of Asia

In his address, President Wickremesinghe also focused on trade integration and debt sustainability and highlighted the risks faced by Asian countries, emphasizing the importance of upholding the rules-based multilateral trading system with the World Trade Organization at its core, rejecting economic coercion and decoupling

President Wickremesinghe further emphasized that Asian countries do not want to be forced to choose between global powers & highlighted the economic interdependence between ASEAN countries and China and expressed opposition to the bifurcation of Asia.

“Consequently, the pressure on Asian countries to choose between the US and China is being resisted by many. We are opposed to what my friend Vivian Balakrishnan, the Foreign Minister of Singapore, calls the bifurcation of Asia. We in Asia don’t want to choose between U.S. and China. Many of us cannot make that choice because we have already made our choice, and that choice is Asia. We want an Asia that can accommodate the Indo-Pacific, the BRI, as well as the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific.  The BRI is a strategy to increase China’s influence in Asia and Africa through economic means. We, the members of the BRI, have no security arrangements with China, nor do we intend to enter into any security agreements with China,” the President said.

Open ended dialogues

President Wickremesinghe also supported a cooperative approach by Japan and called for open-ended dialogues among Japan, China, India, and ASEAN, adding that it is crucial for the emergence of a peaceful and prosperous Asian region.

A unified, Asian voice
“A single Asian voice devoid of disharmony needs to be present at COP 28. The success of this conference will depend on the ability of the key Asian nations to come to an agreement,” he added.

“Sri Lanka welcomes the pledge made at the G7 Hiroshima Leader’s Communique to reject decoupling and its strategies in favour of economic resilience and economic security. To this end, the G7 has undertaken to engage in dialogue and follow a cooperative approach within the group as well as with global partners – including developing countries,” the President further added.

He also pointed out that it is appropriate that the rules-based multilateral trading system with the WTO at its core be upheld.


Finalize on plantation workers’ wage before Dec. 31 – President




President Ranil Wickremesinghe advised the leaders of plantation companies to engage in a collective agreement concerning the wage hike for plantation workers, aiming for a minimum of Rs. 1700, as per their request. 

Alternatively, they were urged to reach a consensus on the increased wage amount before December 31st.

This guidance was imparted during a discussion held at the Presidential Secretariat this morning (08), where the President met with the heads of plantation companies. The purpose of the meeting was to explore how regional plantation companies could align their programs with the agricultural modernization initiative outlined in this year’s budget.

The conversation also delved into the program designed to grant land rights to plantation workers. President Ranil Wickremesinghe expressed his intention to establish committees for future work, proposing one committee to address the housing needs of plantation workers and another to represent the interests of both workers and plantation companies.

Emphasizing his confidence in an export-oriented economy for the country’s economic development, President Wickremesinghe stressed the collective contribution needed to ensure the success of the agricultural modernization program. He highlighted the growing demand for food due to the increasing population of Asian countries and urged the country’s export economy to prepare for this reality.

The event, attended by Minister of Labour and Foreign Employment Promotion Mr. Manusha Nanayakkara, Minister of State for Finance Mr. Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, Secretary to the President Mr. Saman Ekanayake, Senior Advisor to the President on Economic Affairs Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga, and numerous representatives from local plantation companies, also discussed various aspects of the proposed initiatives.

(President’s Media Division)

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China hands over 100 egg incubators to SL




With the objective of strengthening the rural economy and empowering small scale poultry farm owners, 100 egg incubators were distributed today (Nov. 08) under the patronage of Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena at the Temple Trees.

According to a request made by the Prime Minister during his visit to China’s Yunnan Province, the Chinese Ambassador – Mr. Qi Zhenhong handed over 100 incubators to the Prime Minister and these machines were distributed all over the island by the Hadabima Authority of the Ministry of Agriculture.

The Chinese Ambassador who participated in this event, said that as a special friend, China will always fully support the program of Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena to improve the lives of the rural people in Sri Lanka.

Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera, Fisheries Minister Douglas Devananda, State Ministers D. B. Herath, Janaka Vakkumbura, Kader Mastan, Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan, Chamal Rajapaksa and other District Coordinating Committee Chairmen, Secretary to the Ministry of Public Administration Ranjith Ashoka, Hadabima Authority Chairman Sarath Chandrasiri Vithana and others joined the event.

(Pics : Prime Minister’s Media Unit)

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Independent Commission for Truth, Unity & Reconciliation to be established




In a historic step towards transitional justice and post-conflict reconciliation, the Government of Sri Lanka has decided to establish an independent Commission for Truth, Unity and Reconciliation. 

This proposed Commission will be established through an Act of Parliament, currently in the drafting process as a concept paper in consultation with relevant stakeholders. The concept paper, used to prepare the final draft of the Bill for Parliament, will soon be available for comments to ensure an inclusive process in developing legislation that strengthens and safeguards national unity through truth, transitional justice, reconciliation, reparation and social cohesion.

A key objective of this process is to establish the truth regarding post-conflict grievances of Sri Lankan citizens, facilitating reconciliation, reparation and sustainable peace. The proposed Commission acknowledges every Sri Lankan’s inalienable right to ascertain the truth, a pivotal aspect for individuals and communities to heal from past conflicts.

Additionally, the Commission aims to ensure and strengthen national unity, peace, the rule of law, coexistence, equality, tolerance, respect for diversity and reconciliation among the people of Sri Lanka. This commitment extends to preventing any recurrence of disharmony and future conflict between the multi-ethnic and diverse communities.

The Commission is expected to review, consider and facilitate the implementation of recommendations made by past Commissions related to Sri Lanka’s post-conflict reconciliation efforts, including the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC). Findings from the Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms, established in 2006 by the Government of Sri Lanka, will also be considered.

The Government of Sri Lanka is committed to ensuring that the proposed independent Commission acts impartially, free from any political influence. With a victim-centric ethos, the proposed Commission will be a sanctuary for voices to be heard, pain to be acknowledged and dignity to be reclaimed, providing a closure to victims and paving the path for national unity and social cohesion.

Pending the enactment of the proposed new law, the Government has initiated the establishment of an interim body, the Interim Secretariat for Truth and Reconciliation Mechanism (ISTRM). The ISTRM is working to build the necessary legal and policy framework, operational procedures and guidelines for the Commission. The objective of the ISTRM is to lay the foundation for a home-grown solution for truth, reconciliation and national unity. The ISTRM is currently engaging with the public and stakeholders to ensure the Commission is built with their participation and consultation, shaping this transformative mechanism and ultimately paving the way for sustainable peace and national unity.

(President’s media Division)

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