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Sri Lanka to open diplomatic mission in Romania soon

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FM Gunawardena with Ambassador Victor Chiujdea

Sri Lanka intends to open a diplomatic mission in Romania in the near future, the Foreign Ministry revealed in a statement issued following Chargé d’Affaires of Romania resident in Colombo Victor Chiujdea meeting Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena recently at the Foreign Ministry.

The following is the text of the statement: “The parties reviewed bilateral cooperation in the political, economic and cultural spheres, with a focus on trade, investment, tourism, foreign employment and agriculture.

Reaffirming Sri Lanka’s commitment to further consolidating the warm and friendly relations between the two countries, spanning 64 years, Foreign Minister Gunawardena reiterated the intent of the Government to open a resident Mission of Sri Lanka in Romania in the near future.

The Minister appreciated Romania’s partnership with Sri Lanka in the provision of employment opportunities for Sri Lankan nationals in a range of sectors, and welcomed the potential to further expand this cooperation in the future. Ambassador Chiujdea reaffirmed Romania’s interest to broaden cooperation in the employment sector, and indicated that Sri Lankan workers are held in high esteem in Romania, due to their superior skills and adaptability.

The parties focused on the expansion of bilateral trade and investment opportunities, including greater utilization of the EU GSP+ facility, and cooperation in the tourism sector, given the increasing trend of tourist arrivals from Romania to Sri Lanka, and to South Asia. 

The discussion also covered review of shared interests in the regional and multilateral spheres, the exchange of high level visits, as well as identification of potential sectors for future cooperation.”



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President orders probe into notification issued by Department of Immigration and Emigration

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It has been reported that President Wickremesinghe ordered an investigation into the notification issued by the Department of Immigration and Emigration requesting all  Russian and Ukrainian tourists to leave the country within 14 days.

According to the President’s Media Division (PMD), the relevant notification was issued without prior approval from the Cabinet of Ministers.

The decision had reportedly been taken as certain foreign tourists are running illegal businesses in the country.

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Contentious Chinese research vessel docks in Maldives

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Xiang Yang Hong 03 has previously visited Indian Ocean on several other occasions

A contentious Chinese research ship reached the Maldives on Thursday in the latest sign of the archipelago’s diplomatic reorientation towards Beijing and away from its traditional benefactor India.

Local residents said they had spotted China’s Xiang Yang Hong 3 at the Thilafushi industrial port near the capital Male.The 100-metre-long (328-foot) vessel was at an anchorage near Male on Thursday evening, according to the website Marinetraffic.

The Maldives’ pro-Beijing government said earlier the vessel was docking for a port call to rotate crew and take on supplies, on the condition that it would not conduct “research” while in its territorial waters.

Media reports in India had suggested that the vessel was conducting surveillance for Beijing.

India is suspicious of China’s increasing presence in the Indian Ocean and its influence in Sri Lanka and the Maldives, which are strategically placed halfway along key east-west international shipping routes.Relations between Male and New Delhi have chilled since pro-China President Mohamed Muizzu won elections last year.

Muizzu has asked India to withdraw 89 security personnel based in the Maldives to operate reconnaissance aircraft by March 15.But the president has also insisted he does not want to upend ties with New Delhi by replacing Indian troops with Chinese forces.

Sri Lanka refused entry to Xiang Yang Hong 3 after two other port calls from Chinese vessels since 2022 raised objections from India.That included the ship Yuan Wang 5, which specializes in spacecraft tracking and which New Delhi described as a spy ship. (AFP)

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MP Harsha in Australia as “Special visitor”

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Harsha de Silva

Opposition MP and Chairman of the Committee on Public Finance (COPF) Harsha de Silva is currently in Australia as a special visitor.

Taking to ‘X’, the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) MP said he had embarked on a nine-day visit on an invitation extended by the Government of Australia.

“My engagements with policymakers, academics, scientists and investment managers began in Melbourne and will continue in Adelaide and then public officials and politicians in Canberra,” he added.

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