DAILY BRIEF: THURSDAY, 8TH DECEMBER 2016

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New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister announced as new Prime Minister. Image Credit - muha04/ depositphotos

New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister announced as new Prime Minister. Image Credit - muha04/ depositphotos

LOCAL NEWS

UN Committee Against Torture urges Sri Lanka to investigate alleged violations

The United Nations Committee Against Torture, which reviewed Sri Lanka in November, has delivered its concluding remarks. The committee expressed concern over Sri Lanka’s commitment to addressing torture and human rights violations. The committee urged Sri Lanka to identify and prosecute the perpetrators of ‘emblematic cases.’

The Director General of the Government Information Department, Ranga Kalansooriya, has stated that Sri Lanka has a ‘zero tolerance’ policy towards torture.

President affirms procedure on signing trade agreements

President Maithripala Sirisena, has stated that trade agreements will only be signed with the consensus of the Parliament, and that disadvantageous clauses would be amended prior to signing.

President Sirisena emphasised the relative importance of economic security to national security, and the need to engage in trade agreements with countries of a higher level of economic development.

Cabinet approves Hambantota Port PPP with China

The Cabinet has approved the development of the Magampura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port as a Public Private Partnership with China Merchants Port Holdings (International) Co. Ltd. China Merchants Port Holdings is expected to hold 80% of the equity, and the government of Sri Lanka is expected to hold 20%.

The government will enter into a framework agreement with the company, based on a proposal by the Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade, Malik Samarawickrama, and the Minister of Special Assignment, Sarath Amunugama.

 

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

UK seeks greater defence cooperation with Gulf states

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has stated that her government is interested developing greater defence cooperation with countries in the Gulf region. She stated that the UK is willing to invest more than GBP 3 billion in defence spending in the region, over the next decade.

Prime Minister May made the statement at the Gulf Cooperation Council's (GCC) annual summit held in Bahrain.

US Defence Secretary visits New Delhi

US Defence Secretary, Ashton Carter, has arrived in New Delhi to conduct talks with the Defence Minister of India, Manohar Parrikar. Secretary Carter emphasised that the US and India should be strategic partners, since both countries have strong militaries and similar values.

The two ministers are expected to hold their seventh meeting on 8 December.

New Zealand Prime Minister announced

Mr. Bill English, has been announced as the next Prime Minister of New Zealand. The announcement follows the resignation of the incumbent, John Key, on 5 December.

Mr. English, who has previously served as the Deputy Prime Minister and the Finance Minister of New Zealand, will assume office once the Prime Minister Key formally resigns on 12 December.