Foreign minister to visit Sri Lanka
Minister for Foreign Affairs Stephen Smith is in Sri Lanka today to discuss people smuggling with his counterpart, Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama, the first visit by an Australian foreign minister since 2003.
“Mr Bogollagama and I will discuss bilateral and regional cooperation on people smuggling and ways in which Australia will continue to assist Sri Lanka rebuild after decades of internal conflict,” said Smith. “I will reiterate Australia’s view that having won the war, Sri Lanka now needs to win the peace through political reform and reconciliation.”
He said Australia’s position was that of encouraging Sri Lanka to accelerate the resettlement of displaced civilians in providing $35 million in assistance, to go towards through de-mining activity, post-conflict reconstruction and education.
Smith will also visit Singapore later this week for the 21st APEC Ministerial Meeting.