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Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Samaraweera visited Australia in April 2016 to discuss the Sri Lankan Government’s reconciliation and reform agenda and expanding bilateral trade opportunities.
Sri Lankan State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene visited Australia in October 2016 to discuss strategic and defence issues and counter people smuggling cooperation.
Consequently, it remains a criminal offence under Australian law to use or deal with assets owned or controlled by the LTTE, or to provide assets to the LTTE, whether directly or indirectly.
In November 2015, the Sri Lankan Government de-listed eight of the 16 diaspora organisations it had banned in March 2014 under UNSCR 1373 for purported links to the LTTE.
We have common interests in security and sustainable development in the Indian Ocean region.
Australia and Sri Lanka cooperate closely to counter people smuggling through the Australia-Sri Lanka Joint Working Group on People Smuggling and Other Transnational Crime and the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime.
In 2014, Australia donated two Bay Class vessels to Sri Lanka to strengthen the Sri Lankan Navy’s existing capability to intercept people smuggling ventures originating in Sri Lankan waters.
Under the Australia-Sri Lanka Memorandum of Understanding concerning Legal Cooperation against the Smuggling of Migrants (December 2009), Australia and Sri Lanka are working to strengthen people smuggling legislation to prevent criminals exploiting gaps in legal frameworks.
Successive Australian Governments have consistently and strongly opposed all forms of terrorism, including terrorist acts by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
Two-way trade is growing strongly at 9.5 per cent year-on-year to $951 million (2015).