8 Oct

Sri Lanka confident of being removed from EU list

Last week the European Union (EU) had included Sri Lanka in a new list of 23 third countries with strategic deficiencies in their anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing frameworks. For each country, the Commission assessed the level of existing threat, the legal framework and controls put in place to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing risks and their effective implementation. The Commission also took into account the work of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the international standard-setter in this field. (Colombo Gazette) Dr. Harsha De Silva said that the Central Bank of Sri Lanka has been working on the issue and Parliament has already approved amendments to the necessary legislation on the Trust Ordinance, etc. The Government says it is confident of being removed from the European Union’s “dirty money” list over the next couple of months.Minister of Economic Reforms and Public Distribution Dr. Harsha De Silva said that the EU is likely to remove Sri Lanka from the list during its next review as Sri Lanka has taken steps to rectify any shortcomings. read more

6 Oct

Security Council endorses agreement on interim arrangements for Afghanistan

In a unanimous decision this afternoon, the Council adopted resolution 1383 in which it declared its willingness to take further action, on the basis of a report by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, to support the interim institutions established by the agreement and to support implementation of the agreement and its annexes.The Secretary-General, speaking to reporters after the Council’s vote, said the resolution was “a good one” but pointed out that the difficult tasks were ahead. “We have many hurdles ahead, and we are going to try and do our best and we expect the Afghan parties to cooperate with us,” he said.As for a multinational force to maintain security in Afghanistan, Mr. Annan noted that the agreement reached in Bonn expressed a need for one. “The Council will be coming back to that later,” he said, “I hope not much later because that is an essential part of the agreement.”In its resolution, the Council noted that the provisional arrangements were intended as a first step toward the establishment of a “broad-based, gender sensitive, multi-ethnic and fully representative government,” and called on all Afghan parties to implement the agreement in full, in particular through full cooperation with the Interim Authority, which is due to take office on 22 December.The 15-member body also called on all bilateral and multilateral donors – working with Mr. Annan’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, Lakhdar Brahimi, UN agencies and all Afghan groups – to reaffirm, strengthen and implement their commitment to assist with the country’s rehabilitation, recovery and reconstruction, in coordination with the Interim Authority and as long as the Afghan groups fulfil their commitments. read more