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Minister of Justice Sabry concludes successful official visit to Singapore 

At the invitation of K. Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law of Singapore, Hon. M.U.M. Ali Sabry, PC, Minister of Justice of Sri Lanka, led a high-level delegation on an official visit to Singapore from 13th – 17th February 2022.

During the visit, the Minister met with his counterpart K. Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law of Singapore and held a wide-ranging discussion on collaboration between Sri Lanka and Singapore in the legal sphere. 

Minister Ali Sabry thanked Minister K. Shanmugam for the invitation extended to undertake this visit and for the hospitality extended to Sri Lanka delegation.

Briefings were provided on recent amendments made to several important pieces of legislation including the Criminal Code, Religious Harmony Act, Internal Security Act of Singapore and on latest criminal law reforms implemented by the Government of Singapore. The two sides discussed the lessons learnt in the operational aspects of the legislation and amendments.

With a view to benefitting from Singapore’s learnings through its evolution of legislation related to national security and social cohesion, the two Ministers agreed to explore the possibility of sending a team of officials from Singapore to Sri Lanka to gain a wider understanding of the Sri Lankan legal context and to conduct a series of webinars for the officials of the Ministry of Justice of Sri Lanka.

During the visit the Minister visited the Religious Rehabilitation Group (RRG) Resource and Counselling Centre (RCC) on the 14th of February. Associate Professor Dr Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, Minister of State, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of National Development and the senior management of the Religious Rehabilitation Group (RRG) joined Minister Ali Sabry explaining their approach on dealing with religious extremism with a specific emphasis on rehabilitation.

The Sri Lanka delegation participated in a virtual briefing on the court automation process of Singapore conducted by the Supreme Court of Singapore. Citing Sri Lanka’s own efforts in modernising and automation of the courts in Sri Lanka, Minister Ali Sabry stated that the system implemented in Singapore could be a valuable case study for Sri Lanka. It was agreed to conduct a series of webinars on the court automation system of Singapore for Sri Lankan officials.

The Minister also paid a visit to the Maxwell Chambers of Singapore on 15th February. Several briefings on Singapore’s legal technology platform, Singapore’s dispute resolution ecosystem, Singapore International mediation Centre, Singapore International Arbitration Court and Singapore International Commercial Court were conducted at the Maxwell Chambers. 

A visit to the Harmony Centre of Singapore took place on the 16th of February, where the Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Second Minister for Law of Singapore Edwin Tong, met and welcomed the Sri Lankan delegation. The Harmony Centre officials conducted a briefing and a tour of the centre focusing on Islam and interfaith relations and on the role of Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura (MUIS), also known as the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore in keeping the Islamic community in Singapore safe from the continuous and evolving threat of radicalisation. The MUIS leadership explained their approach was to work with the community in forging the Singaporean Muslim identity. It was highlighted that they are prioritising shaping religious life within Singapore’s national context.

The Minister also paid visits to the Internal Security Department of Singapore (ISD) Heritage Centre and the Diversity in Harmony Gallery, and the Inter-Religious Organization (IRO) and had interactions with several prominent members of the Singaporean civil society. 

The Sri Lanka delegation led by the Minister of Justice consisted of Prof. Rohan Gunaratna, Director General of the Institute of National Security Studies, Sri Lanka. Mr. Navin Marapana, PC, Head of Sub Committee of the Ministry of Justice, tasked with the Digitization and Court Automation of the entire legal/judicial system in Sri Lanka and Mr. Shamir Zavahir, Head of Reforms & Coordinating Secretary of the Minister’s Bureau at the Ministry of Justice. 

High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to Singapore Sashikala Premawardhane , First Secretary Nanduni Govinnage and First Secretary Madusanka Jayasinghe accompanied the Minister of Justice for the high-level meetings and visits.

The visit was coordinated by the High Commission of Sri Lanka in Singapore with the support of the Ministries of Home Affairs and Foreign Affairs of Singapore, and the Ministry of Justice and Foreign Ministry of Sri Lanka. 

High Commission of Sri Lanka

Singapore

24 February 2022

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