SL govt spending thousands of dollars to boost image:UK-based website reports

SL govt spending thousands of dollars to boost image:UK-based website reports

Written by News 1st

25 Oct, 2014 | 8:52 pm

The Independent news website based in the UK reports that the Sri Lankan government is hurriedly trying to boost the country’s image by spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to hire corporate lobbyists as it awaits a UN report into alleged war crimes.

A report in the US says Sri Lanka has recently agreed a contract with its eighth lobbying firm this year to change the way the country is perceived internationally adding that it also wants the companies to improve contact between Sri Lankan officials and members of the US government.

According to the article published on The Independent website, quoting a report in The Hill newspaper, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka had recently agreed a contract with the Liberty Group, a Washington-based lobbying organisation owned by a former Congressman from Florida.

The article adds that the lobbying groups have claimed their work is valid because the “current international media focus on Sri Lanka is unbalanced” and that it is necessary to have a re-calibration of US policy, based on a wider and fairer information base, leading to a mulch-dimensional and more balanced engagement with Sri Lanka.”

The Independent goes on to say that different parts of the Sri Lankan government have contracted with different lobbyists, with some being retained directly by the Foreign Ministry, others by the Sri Lankan Embassy in Washington

The Independent quoting Michael Kugelman, a South Asia expert at the Wilson Centre, a Washington think-tank, says that it was not unusual for foreign countries to retain lobbyists in the capital, though the number hired by Sri Lanka was striking.

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