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President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Taking a new direction in Sri Lanka’s Foreign Policy

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Former Sri Lankan defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa was declared victorious in Sri Lanka after a closely fought election, as his main opponent Sajith Premadasa of the ruling United National Party (UNP) conceded defeat. Rajapaksa’s victory, gaining 6,924,255 votes with 52.25% of total votes cast appears to bring new hope to the South Asian nation.At the outset, Sri Lanka was a founder member of the Non Aligned Movement (NAM). As part of this approach, the new Sri Lankan government had outlined in the manifesto how the presidency would implement the Foreign Policy over the next five years.

The manifesto mentions a key phrase “Friendly and Non-aligned Foreign Policy .We will not fall on our knees before any country in maintaining foreign and trade relations. We will always be mindful of our national sovereignty and maintain friendly relations with other countries from a standpoint of equality. Our government will restore Sri Lanka’s national pride and dignity”. (Gotabaya Rajapaksa manifesto, 2019. After assuming Presidency the new President appointed two-time former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, is credited for ending Sri Lanka’s nearly 30-year civil war with the Tamil Tigers separatist group in 2009 as his Prime minister .He also appointed Dinesh Gunawardena as the Minister of Foreign Relations after his Presidential election in 2019.With the victory of Gotabaya Rajapaksa there is great confidence among Sri Lankans that the new leader will transform economic, welfare and foreign policies of the new government into effective action, while also addressing policy gaps to bring new hope to the South Asian nation.

Research scholar at Jindal School of International Affairs, India and an editor of Diplomatic Society for South Africa

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The next wave – How to beat future pandemics

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A new report by UNEP and The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) considers the root causes of the emergence and spread of COVID-19 and other zoonoses. Zoonoses are diseases that originate in animals and are transferred to humans.

The report offers a set of practical recommendations that can help policymakers prevent and respond to future disease outbreaks. Read related report here

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Regional Development in Sri Lanka : Hambantota Your next investment location

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HAMBANTOTA district located 240 km south east of Colombo consists of 2,622 sq. km land area representing six per cent of the country’s land mass. The district with economic growth of five per cent sustained by vibrant private sector activity has been strategic trading location between the Middle East and Far East. It was ideal strategic location for development In 2005 the new visionary plan of H.E Mahinda Rajapaksa improved infrastructure facilities of the southern district. This required development of infrastructure facilities such as ports, expressways, water supply . The Hambantota port had the potential to become a important transshipment hub in the region . The southern expressway was extended upto Hambantota. In addition a rail link was extended up to Beliatta. The new port district received a new sports and convention centre. Under the Uma Oya Project water was diverted to the district . Today Hambantota offers one of the most business friendly environments in Sri Lanka

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The Lost Generation Speech – 26th Annual Russian American Seminar At St Petersburg State University

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podcast by Dr. Matthew Crosston

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