G.L. tells foreign diplomatic missions to respect local sensitivities



Obviously referring to cavalier attitudes adopted by certain Western embassies in Colombo, the External Affairs Ministry yesterday told diplomats accredited to Sri Lanka not to overstep their limits.


In a comprehensive briefing for Ambassadors and High Commissioners at the Ministry of External Affairs, Professor G.L. Peiris dealt with several current developments.


He stressed the need for foreign envoys to show sensitivity to local sentiments and to be cautious about associating themselves with events which are not compatible with the impartiality integral to their role. He said that Sri Lanka’s own culture emphasizes self-restraint in passing judgment on others and commenting in a partisan manner on sensitive developments in other countries.


"This is because of our inherent respect for the identity of these nations and the legitimate responsibility of their elected leaders to determine policy in accordance with the aspirations of their people", he said.


While underlining Sri Lanka’s eagerness at all times to exchange views and to work cordially with the international community, he commented on the importance of diplomatic missions refraining from activity which might give rise to any perception of partisanship in respect of domestic matters.


The Minister explained in detail matters relating to the appointment of three experts to assist Sri Lanka’s Commission to investigate allegations of disappearances, and the role of these experts. He also dealt with the reasons for the government’s recent initiatives with regard to the rapidly increasing number of persons from overseas, claiming asylum or refugee status. 


Minister Peiris explained to the diplomatic community the government’s policy pertaining to non-governmental organizations and recent developments in this regard.


He touched on the work of the Parliamentary Select Committee, which was sitting on that very day, and the way forward in the field of constitutional reform.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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