Japan to assist Sri Lanka in counter terrorism


Toshiko Abe with Prime Minister Wickremesinghe at Temple Trees .

by Zacki Jabbar

Japan is to assist Sri Lanka with counter terrorism equipment and training. This follows a request made by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe from the  visiting Japanese State Minister of Foreign Affairs Toshiko Abe, during bilateral talks at Temple Trees yesterday.

Communication Unit Director at the Premiers office Sudharshana Gunawardhana said that the meeting with Abe, took place prior to Wickremesinghe leaving on a three day official visit to Singapore.  

The Prime Minister told Minister Abe that Japan’s assistance in counter terrorism equipment and training was welcome, Gunawardena said, adding  that cooperation between the coast guard agencies of both countries was also discussed.Wickremesinghe, addressing concerns expressed by European Union Ambassadors at a separate meeting, about various issues and incidents  that had cropped up in the aftermath of suicide bomb blasts carried out by the National Thowheed Jamath on three churches and three luxury hotels on April 21st Easter Sunday, had outlined the security measures taken.

The Ambassadors had urged the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government to ensure mutual respect and equal treatment for all Sri Lankans.

The EU yesterday issued the following statement in agreement with the embassies of France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Romania and the UK High Commission, as well as the embassies of Norway and Switzerland: "We are deeply concerned by political and religious pressure being directed at Sri Lanka’s Muslim community which is undermining peace and reconciliation in the country.  Prejudiced and unsubstantiated allegations repeatedly published by media serve only to fuel intolerance.

"We shared our views during a meeting today with the Prime Minister. On that occasion we welcomed the government’s commitment to address hate speech and to set up a religious reconciliation council.

"We stand by all Sri Lankans working to preserve the peaceful coexistence between all communities, and expect religious and other community leaders to support them and speak out against violence.

We urge the President, Prime Minister, and all political leaders to reassert the state’s commitment to mutual respect, tolerance, and equal treatment under the law for all, irrespective of faith or ethnicity."

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