Australia to provide assistance within IMF framework
Australian Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neill has said that the Australian Government will assist Sri Lanka in overcoming the present economic crisis in compliance with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) framework.
Minister O’Neill, who is on an official visit to Sri Lanka, made these remarks when she called on President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at President’s House in Colombo, yesterday.
The ‘Zero Chance’ campaign for illegal migration and human trafficking was the policy of the previous Conservative Government of Australia. Minister O’Neill stated the same is the policy of the new Labour Government too.
President Rajapaksa explaining the steps that he had taken when he was the Defence Secretary to prevent illegal migration said that the Navy is taking such actions as are necessary to prevent illegal migration. President Rajapaksa appreciated the support of the Australian Government in providing naval, technical and material assistance and noted that the two countries were working closely together.
Australia is on high alert for security in the Indian Ocean. President Rajapaksa stated that the Sri Lankan Government would extend its fullest support to maintain the Indian Ocean as a Security Zone. It was also revealed that around 50 Navy personnel are currently in Australia for special training. The President commended such training opportunities and their cooperation with the Sri Lankan Security Forces.
Minister O’Neill assured her willingness to provide assistance to increase government revenue and also help in the success of the Sustainable Energy Generation Programme through the experience in Customs administration.
She also said that her Government is ready to assist in the regulation of fishermen, the promotion of vocational and technical education and to make Sri Lanka a hub for higher education for international students.
Michael Outram, APM Commissioner, Australian Border Force/Department of Home Affairs, Justin Jones CSC, RAN – Commander, Joint Agency Task Force, Australian High Commissioner David Holly, First Secretary / Australian High Commission Ashley Alderton, Foreign Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris, Secretary to the President, Gamini Senarath, Chief Adviser to the President, Lalith Weeratunga, Defence Secretary General (Rtd) Kamal Gunaratne, Foreign Secretary Aruni Wijewardane, Chief of Defence Staff General Shavendra Silva and Navy Commander Vice Admiral Nishantha Ulugetenne were also present.