Australian Foreign Minister appoints new envoy to Sri Lanka

Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong has appointed Paul Stephens as Australia’s next High Commissioner to Sri Lanka.

Wong said that Stephens will also be accredited to Maldives pending the establishment of a resident Australian High Commission in Malé.

The Australian Foreign Minister said that as island nations and Indian Ocean neighbours, Australia and Sri Lanka’s strong and enduring relationship is based on their aspirations for a peaceful, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific.

“As we mark 75 years of diplomatic relations in 2022, our close friendship is underpinned by extensive bilateral cooperation and people-to-people links. Australia’s Sri Lankan community of 170,000 people makes a significant contribution to our society,” she said.

The Australian Foreign Minister said that the bilateral relationship encompasses development cooperation, education and close collaboration on countering people smuggling.

She said Australia also supports Sri Lanka as it makes progress towards meaningful reconciliation.

“Australia is committed to supporting Sri Lanka face its worst economic crisis in 70 years. Our $50 million contribution will help Sri Lanka meet urgent food and healthcare needs. We will continue to work with Sri Lanka in response to these exceptional circumstances,” Penny Wong said.

Stephens is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and was most recently Assistant Secretary, India and Indian Ocean Branch.

He previously served overseas as Australia’s Ambassador to Sweden and in Thailand, Brazil and at Australia’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations, New York.

Penny Wong thanked outgoing High Commissioner David Holly for his contributions to advancing Australia’s interests in Sri Lanka since 2019. (Colombo Gazette)

2 COMMENTS

  1. Mate you have all the flavours of a bullshit artist.
    Now we have read all your rubbish, now pull the flush.

  2. Australians have been betrayed.

    I am Antany Peter, I have an Australian business degree and postgraduate education in human resources management. I have the ability to accommodate everyone for the betterment of Australia. I could have easily saved billions of dollars to provide shelter for every homeless person in Australia. I have a solution for the farmers, refugees and homeless people, but the successive Australian Governments are not interested. The current government’s priority is releasing the Sri Lankan family from a detention centre but it is not interested in releasing its citizens. I am in an open-air prison due to my writings and Julian Assange is in a maximum-security prison in the United Kingdom for exposing America’s war crimes. Currently, Australian farmers do not have enough farm workers. Since 1998, I have been asking successive governments to allow the refugees to work in the agriculture sector until their cases have been finalised, instead of locking them up in detention centres at the expense of taxpayers’ hard-earned money. The previous government has been wasting billions of dollars on offshore detention centres. It has created rifts with China and lost billions of dollars worth of exports. It has wasted billions of dollars by voluntarily cancelling the submarine contracts with France because it has failed to do proper research before signing the contract. It also created rifts with Serbia by deporting Novak Djokovic. I strongly believe that the government should have implemented a system to check people’s documents before issuing visas through the Australian High Commission all around the world. Recently, Serbia has revoked the exploration licences of Australian companies. Once again Australia is losing billions of dollars. Clearly, we see ignorance due to a lack of accountability. It is not the politicians’ salaries or superannuation funds, but taxpayers’ hard-earned money that has been wasted. Above all, the government has encouraged a nuclear-armed race in Australasia.

    The knowledge makes a man unfit to be a slave, but the Australian political elites think differently so. I spend most of my time in the libraries to enhance my knowledge to help the people of Australia, but the government never allowed me to help its people but used every opportunity to isolate me through disinformation. For more than two decades I have been making awareness of the Aboriginal Australians’ and refugees’ hardships and giving the best options to treat them humanely. My approach will create winners on both sides and be cost-effective. However, the political elites do not like Asian questioning their policies, especially their rapes inside of the Parliament House. Due to my writing, I am constantly isolated, I cannot get a professional job to utilise my knowledge and skills to help people. Text messages and emails have been blocked by government officials. The political elites have been destroying my life. A Sri Lankan Tamil family’s hardships have been deliberately exposed by the political elites and Murdoch media to increase the voting bank in the name of ‘Border Protection.’ However, the same government and media have been covering up my hardships as a writer. I have lived in North America, Europe and New Zealand. I also travelled extensively to other parts of the world. Based on my experience the Australian political elites are far more brutal than the other westerners. They do not hesitate to practise their criminal heritage. Julain Assange has a family because he has been living in Europe. I felt I had to prepare more than Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Junior or Nelson Mandela to fight against the ugly minds. I knew I needed a brilliant mind much greater than a revolutionary mind. My mind, body and soul were dedicated to dealing with the ugly minds of Australian political elites. I have read day and night, most of the knowledge I have gained by spending time in brilliant North American libraries. On top of my undergraduate and postgraduate studies, I have read more than 15,000 hours. I will continue to enlighten the world. Eventually, the ugly minds of Australian political elites will pay a huge price for insulting knowledgeable Australians.

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