Dinesh wants government and opposition to work together internationally

Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawadena flanked by officials at the meeting/Parliament.lk

ECONOMYNEXT-The Government and the Opposition must work together when representing
the country’s foreign policy internationally, Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena said.

Speaking at the Parliamentary Consultative Committee on Foreign Ministry held at Parliament last week, the minister said even though the country’s foreign policy may have debates within the country, everyone must unite under one voice when representing the country internationally.

He said that many countries including neighbouring India represent their nation in one voice when on international platforms despite differences domestically.

On the issue of repatriating Sri Lankan refugees in India, Foreign Secretary Admiral Prof Jayanath Colombage stated that there are a number of camps for asylum seekers in India and that more than 50,000 asylum seekers are living in the camps of Tamil Nadu.

He also said that there are people outside these camps whilst measures have been taken to repatriate a considerable number back to Sri Lanka.

He added while the Indian Government is providing the refugees located within the camps with food, shelter, medication, education and basic needs, their welfare is also being monitored by the Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission in Chennai.

Minister Gunawardena also announced to the committee that in accordance with the proposal made by the Foreign Ministry, approval has been granted for the establishment of embassies in Spain and Romania. In addition, approval has also been granted for the establishment of a consulate general office in Madagascar and to establish diplomatic relations with Liechtenstein.

Further, Gunawardena said that Sri Lanka will continue discussions with the Indian High Commission in Colombo regarding the presence of Indian fishing vessels in Sri Lankan waters and its impact upon the local fishermen.(Colombo/Feb16/2021)

Reported by Imesh Ranasinghe

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