SL-India Foreign Ministers discusses COVID-19, post- conflict residual matters

Rebecca Pavey | Published: 2:56 PM Sep 23 2021
Local SL-India Foreign Ministers discusses COVID-19, post- conflict residual matters

Foreign Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris called on Indian Foreign Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar on the sidelines of the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.

Peiris briefed the Indian Foreign Minister on the situation concerning the COVID-19 pandemic in Sri Lanka, and the successful measures being implemented by the Government to curb the spread of the virus.

Minister Peiris further briefed Dr. Jaishankar on the pragmatic and tangible action taken by the government, in an attempt to resolve residual matters following the end of the 30-year-long Civil War of 1983. 

He explained that the Foreign Ministry, Defence Ministry and Justice Ministry were working collaboratively to address key issues, including the releasing of LTTE prisoners, revisiting the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), and empowering independent institutions such as the Office of Missing Persons, Office for Reparations, Office of National Unity and Reconciliation, the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka and the SDG Council. 

Moreover, Foreign Minister Peiris emphasised that Sri Lanka is not ready to accept any external or foreign mechanisms in this regard, as domestic mechanisms are' 'vigorously moving forward'.

He added that he was greatly encouraged by many countries standing firmly with the principled position taken by Sri Lanka that resolutions against countries cannot work without the consent of those countries.

Indian Foreign Minister Jaishankar indicated the need for a fair and just resolution of residual issues in the aftermath of the ethnic issues is in the interest of both countries, adding that bilateral relations between the two countries should not be limited to a single issue.  

Dr. Jaishankara assured, however, that India is willing to work with Sri Lanka in many different ways, including enhancing people to people contacts.

Both Jaishankar and Peiris agreed on the need to conclude pending agreements to fast-track relations between the two countries.

Rebecca Pavey | Published: 2:56 PM Sep 23 2021

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