Get the latest news roundup here:
ADB to provide loan to improve electricity
The Asian Development Bank has signed an agreement with the Secretary to the Treasury, Dr. R.H.S. Samarathunga, to provide a loan of USD 115 million to Sri Lanka. The loan is expected to fund projects to improve the country’s electricity supply.
The funded projects are expected to focus on advancing renewable energy systems and improving the reliability of the electricity supply, especially in underdeveloped and isolated regions of Sri Lanka.
Foreign Minister condemns assassination of Russian Ambassador
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mangala Samaraweera, has condemned the assassination of Andrey Karlov, former Ambassador of Russia to Turkey. The Minister expressed on social media that the act violates a diplomat’s right to represent their nation in a peaceful manner.
Minister Samaraweera conveyed condolences to the family of the former Ambassador, and to the government and people of Russia.
Tourism Fest 2016 launched in Colombo
Tourism Fest 2016 has been launched at Independence Arcade in Colombo. The three-day event, which is being held for the second time, is a public-private partnership hosted and promoted by many stakeholders of the tourism sector.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, the Minister of Tourism Development, John Amaratunga, and other dignitaries from the diplomatic and religious communities participated in the event’s opening ceremony.
Venezuela reopens border with Colombia
Venezuela has decided to gradually reopen its border with Colombia, after closing it for eight days. The decision follows a telephone call between the President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, and his Colombian counterpart, Juan Manuel Santos.
President Maduro closed the border and at the same time, withdrew the country’s highest denomination bank note from circulation, to disrupt illegal trafficking of goods and cash.
Russia, Iran, and Turkey discuss peace deal for Syria
Representatives of the governments of Russia, Iran and Turkey met in Moscow on 20 December to work towards an agreement to end the war in Syria. Representatives from the US and the UN were not consulted or invited to the meeting.
The three countries announced that they were ready to broker a peace deal, and adopted a declaration that sets out the principles of any potential agreement.
UK and Argentina to identify Falklands war victims
The UK and Argentina have agreed to identify the bodies of Argentinian soldiers buried in the Falklands Islands, following the 1982 war between the two countries. The Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK, Sir Alan Duncan, and the Deputy Foreign Minister of Argentina, Pedro Villagra Delgado, signed the agreement in London.
Sir Alan Duncan also expressed that the two countries will work to increase the number of flights between the Falklands Island and Latin America.