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*A Daily Brief will not be published in the last week of 2016, and will resume in the new year.
Government notes a 50% decrease in illegal fishing
The Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development, Mahinda Amaraweera, has stated that information from the Sri Lankan Navy and Coast Guard indicate a decrease of approximately 50% in South Indian vessels entering Sri Lankan waters.
Minister Amaraweera emphasized that Sri Lanka would continue the policy of apprehending and confiscating Indian fishing vessels and gear, until the situation is ‘permanently redressed.’
President to launch sustainable development campaign
President Maithripala Sirisena is to launch a three-year campaign advocating sustainable development on 2 January 2017, while unveiling the ‘National 2030 vision.’
The campaign promotes the 17 goals of Agenda 2030, which was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015.
Ban Ki-moon calls President before vacating office
The outgoing Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, has conversed with President Maithripala Sirisena through a telephone call, on 22 December.
Secretary General Ban commended the leadership of President Sirisena, and expressed his willingness to continue his support for Sri Lanka, after stepping down as Secretary-General.
South Korean court begins impeachment process
The South Korean Constitutional Court has begun hearings regarding President Park Geun-hye’s impeachment. President Park was indicted following a vote by the National Assembly on 9 December.
The Constitutional Court will have until June 2017 to confirm the indictment, after which the President will be reinstated or officially impeached. The South Korean Prime Minister, Hwang Kyo-ahn, is currently serving as acting president.
Syrian government reclaims Aleppo
Representatives from President Bashar al-Assad’s forces have stated that eastern Aleppo is now under government control. Around 40,000 civilians and rebel fighters evacuated the city this week, including 4000 evacuees who left Aleppo on 22 December.
The Syrian army described the city’s reacquisition as ‘a strategic change and turning point in the war against terrorism’.
UN to fund Somali refugee project
The UN Peacebuilding Fund is to allocate USD 3 million for a project to provide professional skills to Somali refugees in Kenya.
The project will build on an existing agreement among the Somali and Kenyan governments and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, regarding the repatriation of refugees living in Kenya’s Dadaab region.