DAILY BRIEF: MONDAY, 19TH DECEMBER 2016

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High level Sri Lankan delegation visits Bahrain. Image Credit - Wadiia / Wikimedia Common

High level Sri Lankan delegation visits Bahrain. Image Credit - Wadiia / Wikimedia Common

LOCAL NEWS

Sri Lanka selected for five year US grant

The US Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) has selected Sri Lanka for new ‘MCC Compacts’, which are five year grants. The MCC provides the grants to reduce poverty and encourage economic growth.

To be selected for an MCC grant, a country must demonstrate a strong commitment to good governance, economic freedom, and investment in its citizens.  

Sri Lanka discusses foreign employment with Bahrain

A high level delegation from the Ministry of Foreign Employment and the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau, has visited Bahrain to enhance employment opportunities for Sri Lankans, and address challenges faced by Sri Lankan expatriate workers.

The delegation engaged in discussions with the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) of Bahrain, manpower and employment agencies, migrant worker protection bodies, and other relevant institutions. The delegation and the LMRA signed an MoU aimed at increasing the number of skilled job opportunities available to Sri Lankans in Bahrain.

Italy and Sri Lanka renew License Agreement

The Sri Lankan Embassy in Italy, in partnership with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Italian Motor Traffic Department, and Sri Lankan motor traffic authorities, have renewed the Bilateral Agreement for Mutual Recognition of Driving Licenses between the two countries. The renewed agreement will enter into force in the first quarter of 2017.

The formal exchange of notes took place between Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Italy, Daya Pelpola, and the Principal Director for the Countries of Asia and Oceania, Ugo Astuto, on 14 December in Rome.

 

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

New Government formed in Lebanon

Lebanon has announced the formation of a new 30-member government, led by Prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri. The government was formed as part of an agreement that also led to the election of a new President, Michel Aoun, in October.

The first meeting of the government is expected to be held on 21 December.

NATO-Russia council to discuss troop deployments

The NATO-Russia Council is expected to convene on 19 December. At the meeting, NATO is expected to reassure Russia that its troop deployments to the Baltic states and Poland next year are defensive. NATO’s Secretary-General, Jens Stoltenberg, stated that the purpose of the reinforcements was to ‘send a clear message of deterrence.’

NATO-Russia Council meetings resumed earlier this year, after communications were suspended in April 2014 following Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine.

Bolivian President may seek fourth term

Bolivia’s ruling party, the Movement for Socialism, has stated that incumbent President Evo Morales may run for a fourth term, despite narrowly losing a referendum that would not have allowed him to do so. The party congress recommended four ‘legal alternatives’ that would allow President Morales’s candidacy within the constitutional framework.

President Morales stated that he would ‘stay with the people to continue guaranteeing this democratic and cultural revolution.