New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says Sri Lanka is experiencing an incredibly tumultuous period as island-wide protests continue amid an economic crisis.
Prime Minister Ardern said “In terms of the foreign policy implications for New Zealand that’s where I am looking to receive an additional briefing over the coming 24 hours from the Ministry.”
New Zealand Sri Lankans are meanwhile signing a petition calling for the New Zealand government to condemn the actions of the Sri Lankan leadership.
When asked if she condemned Sri Lanka’s leadership, Ardern stopped short but acknowledged the growing frustration of Sri Lankan people.
She said, “It is a very tumultuous time politically and domestically in Sri Lanka.”
New Zealand Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta also weighed in, saying: “New Zealand strongly upholds democratic values and institutions, including free speech and the right to peacefully protest.”
She said Aotearoa New Zealand was monitoring the unfolding economic, political and security situation in Sri Lanka closely – and encouraged all parties to continue to work on a peaceful solution.
The protests are drawing attention from around the world with the diaspora also taking to the streets in the US, Australia and New Zealand.