The Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Sabry on Monday briefed the Colombo-based Ambassadors and High Commissioners on key developments following the election of the new President and the formation of the new Government, at his first briefing of the diplomatic corps.
The Minister outlined the recent political developments in Sri Lanka leading up to the election of President Ranil Wickremesinghe as well as the formation of the interim Government. The related processes had taken place within a democratic constitutional framework. The Foreign Minister reiterated the commitment of the President to speedily resolve the economic challenges faced by the country in discussion with all relevant partners in the international community as a matter of the highest priority.
The Foreign Minister extended his deep appreciation to the international community for the assistance being extended to Sri Lanka in order to address issues of relevance in the current socio-economic context.
Elaborating on the broad-based, consultative approach adopted by the President in addressing the current challenges, the Foreign Minister referred to ongoing discussions on forming an all-party Government. Reference was also made to progressive legislative reforms being contemplated in the near-term in accordance with the aspirations of the people.
With regard to the policy priorities of the new Government which would be presented to Parliament by President Wickremesinghe when the Parliament reconvenes for its next session on Wednesday 3 August, Minister Sabry reiterated Sri Lanka’s neutral and non-aligned foreign policy based on the principle of friendship towards all.
The Foreign Minister highlighted the longstanding, democratic credentials of Sri Lanka, including the right to peaceful protest, freedom of assembly and expression. These rights are constitutionally guaranteed and upheld by the Government. He apprised the diplomatic community on action taken to restore normalcy in the country within the framework of the law, in order to ensure the effective functioning of Government. The Minister observed that the emergency regulations enacted in July 2022 are subject to regular and periodic review. Members of the Diplomatic community congratulated the Foreign Minister warmly on the assumption of his new role and thanked him for the useful update.
Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Aruni Wijewardane and senior officials of the Ministry were also present at the briefing.