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November 2, 2016    Reading Time: 2 minutes

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Spain appoints Mariano Rajoy as Prime Minister. Image Credit - Bertl123 / depositphotos

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Sri Lanka to create themed Tourist Development Zones

Sri Lanka is to initiate the construction of tourist development zones to promote tourism and foreign investment into the country. The initiative is to be a public-private partnership supported by the Ministry of Lands, the Ministry of Tourism, and the Sri Lanka Tourism Club.

The development of the project will be announced at the inaugural Asia Hotel and Tourism Investment Conference in November.

EU provides update on GSP+ application

A visiting parliamentary delegation from the European Union (EU) has recognised the steps taken by Sri Lanka towards regaining GSP+ benefits but stated that ‘tangible progress’ is still required to meet the the criteria set by the EU.

The members of the delegation stated that further action is required on several issues, including the Prevention of Terrorism Act, and demilitarisation in the north. The EU will release its decision on 12 May 2017.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs appoints Inspectors-General

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mangala Samaraweera, is expected to appoint a system of Inspectors-General to oversee and report on the progress of Sri Lanka’s consular and diplomatic representatives abroad. The decision follows a recommendation by a committee appointed by Minister Samaraweera to study overseas missions.

The posts are expected to be filled by three former Foreign Service Officers, Daneshan Casie Chetty, Geetha de Silva, and G. Wijesiri.


Mariano Rajoy sworn in as Prime Minister of Spain

The leader of The People’s Party, Mariano Rajoy, has secured a second term as the Prime Minister of Spain, after winning a confidence vote in parliament. The victory follows a ten month political deadlock during which time Spain did not have a formal government.

The Prime Minister will head a minority government, and aims to build a new cabinet that will focus on developing cross-party support and implementing a programme of reform.

Malaysia establishes cooperation with China over South China Sea

The governments of China and Malaysia have signed a memorandum of understanding establishing defence cooperation in the South China Sea. The memorandum was signed during a meeting in Beijing between Malaysian Prime Minister, Najib Razak, and the Premier of the Chinese State Council, Li Keqiang.

Premier Keqiang stated that the memorandum does not specify details on the terms of cooperation, but focuses on naval collaboration.

Iraqi forces make first push into Mosul

Iraq’s Joint Operations Command has stated that following two weeks of combat, its elite troops have managed to breach the eastern suburbs of Mosul, ISIS’s last major urban stronghold in Iraq.

This is the first time since 2014 that Iraqi troops have entered Mosul. Commanders have stated that it could take months to take control of the city, and retaking Mosul would be crucial in defeating ISIS.

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