Grace Asiriwatham to take over as Sri Lankas envoy to EU

Grace Asirwatham has served as Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Nepal and The Netherlands and in other positions in Sri Lanka missions in Germany and Pakistan. Since October 2017 she has held the post of state secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (Colombo Gazette) Rodney Perera has been the Sri Lankan ambassador to Luxembourg, Belgium and the European Union since August 2014. He has previously served as ambassador to Italy and Norway. He is very familiar with the United States, having obtained a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Toledo, Ohio, and a master’s in international relations from the Columbia University, New York. The announcement of the nominations was made on 2 September, with Sri Lankan foreign ministry sources cited as saying that both appointments will come into effect from next month. Grace Asiriwatham is to take over as Sri Lanka’s envoy to the EU, reports said today.Asiriwatham will fill the post left vacant when incumbent Rodney Perera moves to be the next Sri Lankan Ambassador to the United States, the Delano website reported. read more

Security Council ends weeklong mission to Central Africa

The 15 Council diplomats ended the six-country mission with visits to Uganda and Tanzania yesterday before returning to New York, according to a UN spokesman. The weeklong mission was led by Ambassador Jean-Marc de La Sablière of France.On Sunday evening, the delegation met at Entebbe Airport for an hour with President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda. Talks focused on the DRC and Burundian peace processes, as well as the ‘positive role’ that neighbouring countries should play on both issues. That morning, the delegation met in Dar es Salaam with Tanzanian President Benjamin Mpaka. The discussions included Tanzania’s support for the Burundian peace process and “good neighbouring relations” in the region. Also in Dar es Salaam, the delegation met with a Burundian rebellion movement, the National Council for the Defence of Democracy-Forces for the Defence of Democracy (CNDD-FDD), one of the two rebel groups who are still fighting against the Government. On Saturday, the mission left Burundi for Rwanda, where a 90-minute meeting took place with President Paul Kagame. They discussed the political process in the DRC, fighting in eastern DRC and Ituri, and the deployment of the Interim Multinational Force in Bunia. They also discussed allegations of a Rwandan presence in the troubled eastern DRC territory, the role of neighbouring countries in the DRC peace process, and the possibility of holding a conference on the Great Lakes.In New York, a UN spokesman said Secretary-General Kofi Annan has entrusted his Special Representative for the Great Lakes region, Ibrahima Fall, to coordinate the preparation of the conference, as called for by the Security Council. Mr. Fall briefed the Council mission in Central Africa on the progress of the preparations. read more