Foreign Minister Dr Sarath Amunugama briefed foreign diplomats based in Colombo at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs this morning (12). The Minister clarified the chain of events that compelled President Maithripala Sirisena to arrive at the decision to dissolve Parliament. He emphasized the constitutionality of the steps taken by President Sirisena and added that having being elected through a nation-wide vote, the President derives his authority directly from the people of Sri Lanka. The Minister said in the event of a conflict between the organs of government, seeking a mandate from people who are sovereign ensures that democracy prevails. Minister Amunugama also made special note of the peaceful atmosphere that continues to prevail in Sri Lanka, in the midst of internal political changes. This is to the credit of the people of Sri Lanka and re-affirms the democratic traditions of the country. Through the measures adopted, the Minister added, the Executive has discharged his responsibility of ensuring the security and safety of all Sri Lankans, which may have been compromised by the growing tension and the departure from parliamentary traditions. Several country representatives present at the briefing expressed their confidence in the strength of Sri Lanka’s long standing democratic traditions in resolving this internal matter.

Foreign Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama, said that there was no justification for the Travel Advisories issued by a few countries, since there have been no incidents of violence or disruption in the country following the recent events.

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May the Noble Triple Gem bless all of you ! Mr. President, Mr. Secretary-General, Distinguished Heads of State, Distinguished Delegates, Friends,

I am extremely pleased to participate in the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly representing Sri Lanka for the fourth consecutive occasion.  Sri Lanka, as a Member State of the United Nations, is fully committed to adhere to its Charter, Conventions and Agreements and their implementation.

The Ministry of Agriculture of Sri Lanka is organizing an Agriculture Exhibition from December 11th -16th 2018 at Bandaranayke Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH) in Colombo Sri Lanka.

Minister of Youth Affairs, Project Management and Southern Development Sagala Ratnayaka undertook an official visit to Washington D.C. from September 12-13. Minister Ratnayaka is also the Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister.

Representing Sri Lanka at the Conference to Advance Religious Freedom, Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Prasad Kariyawasam remarked that Sri Lanka remains committed to advance and uphold the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; including freedom to change ones religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest ones religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance. Stating that Sri Lankans believe in the ability of religions to contribute to building peace and stability around the world, he acknowledged challenges to inter-religious understanding and harmony in Sri Lanka, and outlined steps being taken to overcome challenges and advance religious freedom. He also stressed that Sri Lanka will join the international community to foster what the world needs most today to progress – peace, compassion, mindfulness, and justice, and recognition of our common humanity.

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