Sri Lanka is expanding its diplomatic presence in Africa with plans to set up new missions in 15 countries, a move that comes after Colombo got support from African nations at the UN human rights council vote on a castigating resolution.
A government official said today that Sri Lanka is keen to revamp its diplomatic service and establish more diplomatic missions in the continent.
In March, when the UN Human Rights Council voted on a resolution asking Sri Lanka to investigate alleged abuses during the final phase of war with Tamil rebels, the country lost the vote 24-15, with 8 nations abstaining.
While Uganda and Congo were two African nations that had supported Sri Lanka at the vote, Angola, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Djibouti and Senegal had abstained.
Government spokesman and minister Keheliya Rambukwella said Mauritania, Malawi, Burkina Faso, Chad, Djibouti, Central African Republic, and Niger are some of the countries, where Sri Lanka is planning new missions.
Rambukwella pointed out that out of the 62 countries that are in the African region, Sri Lanka only maintains residential missions with four of them -- Egypt, Kenya, South Africa and Libya.
The US-backed resolution which was adopted on March 22 asked Sri Lanka to investigate alleged war abuses, an issue Colombo considers an internal matter.
Source : business-standard.com