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Secretary leads delegation to Australia - Sri Lanka Joint Working Group meeting in Canberra

Secretary leads delegation to Australia - Sri Lanka Joint Working Group meeting in Canberra

[September 08 2017]

The Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Mr. Kapila Waidyaratne PC led the Sri Lankan delegation to the Australia - Sri Lanka Joint Working Group meeting held in Canberra, Australia. The meeting was held at the Hotel Realm in Canberra on Wednesday (06th September 2017).

The host delegation included, Co-Chair - Deputy Secretary of Policy Group Ms. Linda Geddes and Commander of Operations Sovereign Borders, Air Vice-Marshal Stephen Osborne.

Discussions were centered on a range of issues including countering people smuggling operations and maritime cooperation. During the meeting both sides inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on People Smuggling and Transnational Crime to reinforce cooperation on counter - people smuggling operations, which would enable even closer cooperation between the two nations.

The MoU was signed by Secretary Waidyaratne and Secretary of Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection Mr. Michael Pezzullo.

The MoU will facilitate the return to Sri Lanka of individuals who are involved in people smuggling activities. It also enables enhanced information sharing on methods for tracking, intercepting and investigating people smugglers. It will also see further cooperation between the two nations on countering human trafficking, stopping the movement of illicit goods and targeting acts of money laundering and proceeds of crime.

Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Australia HE Mr. S. Skandakumar, Chief of National Intelligence Mr. Sisira Mendis, Controller General of Immigration and Emigration Mr. Nihal Ranasinghe, Director General Operations of Navy Rear Admiral Piyal De Silva, Additional Secretary/ Ministry of Justice, Ms. Charmini Piyumanthi, Senior Assistant Counselor/ Attorney General's Department, Ms. Disna Warnakula, Director Operations and Training/ Sri Lanka Coast Guard, Captain Ravindra Tissera, Director/ FCID, SSP PKD Priyantha and Legal Officer/ Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ms. Sanjika Gayathri made up the Sri Lankan delegation.

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