Sri Lanka to shut some embassies in Europe
Sri Lanka is reportedly planning to open new embassies in Asia and shut those in Europe that are not serving any purpose in obtaining support for its national issues.
Colombo: The Sri Lankan government has decided to shut down some of its embassies in Europe, the External Affairs Ministry said on Tuesday.
A spokesperson at the ministry said that the government is of the view that embassies in Europe which are not serving any purpose in obtaining support for Sri Lanka's national issues will be closed and new embassies will be opened in Asia.
"President Mahinda Rajapaksa had discussed the issue with the government and it will now be decided exactly which embassy in which country in Europe will be closed," the External Affairs Ministry spokesperson told Xinhua.
He said the move was not a result of several European countries deciding to vote against Sri Lanka when a resolution was presented at the recently concluded UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva.
However, the spokesperson quoted External Affairs Minister GL Peiris as saying that with almost all the Asian countries, excluding India, voting in favour of Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council, it was felt that strengthening ties in Asia will be helpful for Sri Lanka in the future.
"The government has limited resources so it is difficult to maintain embassies in every single country. So the government feels it will be more productive to have embassies in countries where we can gain something," the spokesperson said.
The European Union voted in support of the US sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council last week which called on Sri Lanka to fully implement the recommendations of a local accountability commission.
Sri Lanka has refused to fully implement the recommendations despite the resolution being adopted by a majority vote.