Thursday, April 18, 2024

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SOC reviews future plans of Foreign Affairs Ministry Departments

Colombo (LNW): The Sectoral Oversight Committee (SOC) on International Relations convened in Parliament on the 21st, chaired by MP Akila Ellawala in lieu of MP Namal Rajapaksa, to discuss the roles and future plans of various departments within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Officials from the Consular Affairs Division, the United Nations and Human Rights Division, and the National Oceanic Affairs Committee Secretariat, all operating under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, were summoned to provide insights into their current activities and roles.

During the session, the Committee delved into the functions of these departments, with a particular focus on the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine in the Middle East.

Additionally, MP S. M. M. Muszhaaraff sought information on the relationship between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Sri Lanka, and officials confirmed the existing ties between the two nations.

A notable concern raised by the Committee was the comparatively high prices of tourist accommodations, especially in hotels around Colombo. The Committee emphasised the need to address this issue to enhance Sri Lanka’s competitiveness in the tourism sector.

Youth representatives participating in the Sectoral Oversight Committee also brought attention to the unsanitary condition of Negombo beach, expressing concerns about the negative impact on tourism due to its current state.

Among the attendees at the Committee meeting were Members S. M. M. Muszhaaraff and Madhura Withanage. Officials representing various entities, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Department of Immigration, Sri Lanka Export Development Board, Sri Lanka Investment Promotion Board, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, and Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, were also present to contribute to the discussions.

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