Western Diplomats shun meeting with Foreign Minister on political crisis

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –Eight Western countries stayed away from a meeting with Sri Lanka’s Government on Monday (12) to register their protest against President Maithripala Sirisena’s decision to dissolve Parliament, the Reuters reported quoting Diplomatic and Government sources.

Foreign Minister Sarath Amunugama called the Heads of 43 Foreign Missions for a meeting on the political situation on Monday but only a handful turned up, the sources said.

The Ambassadors of Britain, Netherlands, Norway, France, Australia, South Africa, Italy, and Canada did not attend the meeting while European Union (EU), the United States (US), and Germany sent Representatives, the sources said.

India, Sir Lanka’s nearest neighbour, sent a Junior Representative.

At the meeting Foreign Minister Amunugama said all of the decisions that have been taken over recent weeks were in line with the Constitution.

“Most countries have stated that they are watching the situation … Of course there are uncertainties. But there has been no violence,” he later told reporters.

Japanese Officials have said they will halt a USD 1.4 billion soft loan for a Light Rail Project while the US is holding off on a USD 480 million Infrastructure Grant until the political crisis is resolved and democratic rights are restored, the Reuters reported.

Amunugama, however, said no country has said anything about grants, concessions or loans.

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