New guidelines for Commonwealth election observation were agreed upon and released at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) concluded on Friday – the first such update in 27 years.In that time, the Commonwealth has observed 137 elections in 38 countries. Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said: “Since 1991, there have been many developments in approaches to election observation and in the conduct of elections, notably with regard to the use of information and communication technology for the management of elections, women’s political participation and new media.
The international forum and ceremony to award Sri Lanka’s Cascaded Tank-Village System as a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Site took place in Rome, Italy a short while ago (April 19TH).The system, known locally as the “Ellanga Gammana,” was recognised as one of the 14 newly designated Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Sites in the world.
Pakistan is the only single market for Sri Lanka’s betel leaves and imports 5,000 to 6,000 MT of betel leaves annually. There is also an annual increase.In addition the other exports from Sri Lanka to Pakistan are coconuts, textiles, rice, chemicals, natural rubber, rubber gloves, tea and spices.
Fifteen people including 12 Sri Lankans were injured when a bus carrying a group of Sri Lankan tourists crashed with two trucks on a Swiss highway near Zurich on Wednesday, the Channel News Asia reports said.
The UK’s Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox says that the Government of Britain is ready for direct investments in Sri Lanka, while increasing the investments in the country. He further said that the necessary process in this regard will be implemented in the near future.
An innovative way for small states to obtain easier access to international trade finance has been launched at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London. In order to help Small States get access to global markets, India, Sri Lanka, Mauritius and Malta have provided USD 5 million of capital to the scheme, called the Commonwealth Small States Trade Finance Facility. Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of Finance & Mass Media signed this agreement on behalf of Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka is working towards opening a gateway to East Africa via Colombo and a second gateway in Trincomalee which opens to Bay of Bengal,” said Minister of Megalopolis and Western Development, Champika Ranawaka. “We will extend the Megapolis concept to Trincomalee as well. The Minister also recalled that Sri Lanka was the first in the region to open modern Free Trade Zones in Katunayake and Biyagama.
Sinhala and Hindu New Year was celebrated at the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Beijing on 15th April with the participation of over 400 Sri Lankans, Chinese nationals and other foreign well-wishers. The new year celebrations were jointly organized by the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Beijing and the China-Sri Lanka Youth Forum.
The World Bank’s latest edition of South Asia Economic Focus titled “Jobless Growth?” alerted that massive job creation is needed in the South Asian countries in the next decade to catch-up with other countries with similar income levels.The report released on April 9 states that priority should go to policies that make growth more prone to job creation in South Asia.“Even allowing for a 20-year transition period for the catch-up, the number of new jobs needed every year would be gigantic. Bangladesh would have to create over 1.6 million jobs every year, Pakistan more than 2 million, and India close to 13 million. Much smaller Sri Lanka would need to create more than 120,000 new jobs every year,” the report stated.