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US lobby firm needed to combat ‘Tamil diaspora and international media’ says Central Bank

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) condemned the Tamil diaspora and international media for carrying out an alleged “extraordinary and vicious campaign” against the country, in a statement justifying the hiring of United States-based lobby firm.

The Central Bank reportedly signed a $760,000 agreement with Liberty International Group LLC “to provide an accurate account of the Sri Lankan political and economic environment to US leaders... to keep them abreast of the true situation in the country”.

The contract will run until July 2015.

In a statement released on Monday, CBSL stated that it “regularly faces many challenges due to various erroneous and mischievous statements that are also publicized by many persons, both local and international.”

It went on to say,

“Since the end of the conflict in May 2009, the Central Bank has observed with deep concern, that well-organized and well-funded sections by certain members of the Tamil Diaspora and the local and international media, have been trying to convey inaccurate stories which are detrimental to Sri Lanka.”

Earlier this year, reports stated the Sri Lankan government had spent over $100 million on US-based lobby firms, in an attempt to improve its international image following the launch of an UN inquiry into mass atrocities.

The Central Bank noted that its recent hiring was in co-ordination with the Sri Lankan government strategy, adding,

“Central Bank efforts have complemented and supported the activities of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who have also been implementing many programmes in the face of the extra ordinary and vicious campaigns carried out by sections of the Tamil Diaspora in the USA.”

See their full statement here.

Also see our earlier posts:

Central Bank of Sri Lanka hires US lobby firm (18 August 2014)

Govt spends over $100m on US lobby firms (28 July 2014)

SL spends over US $100,000 a month lobbying the US (26 January 2014)

SL Washington embassy hires firms to lobby US govt (15 April 2013)

British PR firm wrote Rajapaksa's UN speech (05 December 2011)

 

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