Sept 24, New York: Sri Lanka's External Affairs Minister Professor G.L. Peiris says the onus is now on the winning party to assume responsibility in serving the people of the Northern Province.
Minister Peiris, meeting with his newly elected Australian counterpart Minister Julie Bishop on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly session in New York on Monday, said the Northern Provincial Elections were held after 25 years and the Sri Lankan Government will work with the newly elected Provincial Council in the North to assist their task.
During the meeting, the Australian Foreign Minister has expressed her country's "deep appreciation" for Sri Lanka's excellent cooperation in preventing, detecting and intercepting human smuggling operations to Australia.
Minister Peiris, while briefing Ms. Bishop about Sri Lanka's increased naval surveillance to prevent illegal means of transporting people by sea to Australia and the heightened awareness on the issue, has reiterated country's continued cooperation in addressing the issue comprehensively.
The Australian Foreign Minister has said that the newly elected Australian government also plans to adopt stringent measures to dismantle people smuggling rings.
Minister Peiris has apprised her of Sri Lanka's preparations for the forthcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka and the Australian Minister has reiterated her government's participation at the highest level in the summit.
Minister Bishop has acknowledged the strong bilateral links between the two countries as evidenced by Australian investments in Sri Lanka and hoped the trend would continue.
Minister Peiris also met his Indonesian counterpart, Foreign Minister Martin Natalegawa in New York.
Both Ministers agreed the need for enhanced trade and economic relations and pledged to pursue the outcomes of the Joint Commission held in 2012 in Colombo.
The Indonesian Minister informed that BatikAir has been designated to commence direct flights between the two countries for better connectivity and increased people to people contact.
With regard to multilateral cooperation the two Ministers referred to the process of achieving the Millennium Development Goals and the need to cooperate internationally, particularly among the developing countries in evolving a post 2015 Development Agenda. They agreed to work together towards this end.