High Commission of Sri Lanka in India

Sri Lanka contributes to the construction of Buddha Statue in Bhutan PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Wednesday, 26 May 2010 16:55

During the 16th SAARC Summit in Thimphu, Bhutan in April 2010, President Mahinda Rajapksa toured the construction site of Buddha Dordenma Statue at Kuenselphodrang in Thimphu.  Pleased with the ongoing progress of the construction of the statue, and as a manifestation of Sri Lanka’s support for this project in the context of the spiritual bonds between the two countries, President Rajapaksa offered a token financial contribution towards the successful completion of the project.

 The Buddha Dordenma is a 169 ft tall statue of the Shakyamuni Buddha under construction in a mountain top of Bhutan, overlooking the southern approach to Thimphu.  It is situated amidst the ruins of Kuensel Phodrang, the palace of Sherab Wangchuk, the 13th Desi Druk, a former statesman of Bhutan of the 18th century.  The statue, which symbolizes indestructibility, when completed is expected to house over one hundred thousand smaller Buddha Statues. 

On behalf of the President of Sri Lanka, Prasad Kariyawasam, non-resident envoy of Sri Lanka to Bhutan handed over a cheque of USD 10,000/- to Ambassador of Bhutan in New Delhi.

 
Let us all wish to be morally righteous Buddhists PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Wednesday, 26 May 2010 14:54

 

Prime Minister's  message for Vesak.

I consider it a privilege to address the Buddhists all around the world and most importantly in Sri Lanka, as the Minister of Religious Affairs and the Prime Minister at this glorious moment where we all celebrate the ‘Themangul’ Festival of Lord Buddha.

In this watershed moment where we inch closer towards the 2600th year of Lord Buddha’s passing away, we all should be determined to bring about a more morally righteous Buddhist society in Sri Lanka. The first challenge we face at this important juncture is to build a compassionate society illuminating the real Buddhist values where caste, creed, race and social class are not considered as determinants of human value.

The man, who perceives other human being’s pain as pain and joy as joy, can be defined as a real Buddhist. Never has he deemed caste, creed, race and social class as determinants of human value. A real Buddhist has the ability to clearly differentiate from what is wrong and right and it is such minds that we should plant in our society today.

Under the leadership of His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa we celebrate the first year of liberation of our country from the plague of terrorism, and the government has taken all measures necessary to lighten up the Viharas in newly liberated North and East areas of the country in a brilliant fashion for the ‘Themangul’ Festival of Lord Buddha.

I wish all of you may have the gift to understand the path of the Dhamma and be blessed with the Triple Gem, in this moment where North as well as South of the country is overwhelmed with Buddhist quintessence.
 
A Year After Defeating Terrorism, Sri Lanka Embodies Hope and Change PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Wednesday, 26 May 2010 02:54

Today is my first visit to Washington since my appointment as Sri Lanka's Minister for External Affairs. My visit marks a point of progress for Sri Lanka, following a difficult period in our history, one year on from the end of the Sri Lankan conflict.

After 26 years of conflict and daily acts of terror, we have witnessed our first year of peace. No-one who lived in Sri Lanka during the last thirty years would underestimate the magnitude of the change the country has undergone this past year nor the significance of our first anniversary of peace.

For almost three decades, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a terrorist group banned in over thirty democracies worldwide, including here in the US, had held the people of the Northern and Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka under their repressive control. Today, Sri Lankans can celebrate that the country will never have to face such internal conflict again. 'Change' and 'hope' are popular words in the modern political lexicon, but I cannot think of two words that better exemplify what is now occurring in our country.

We just had the first peacetime Presidential and Parliamentary elections where all Sri Lankans were able to exercise their vote freely, previously denied to many Tamil, Muslim and Sinhalese civilians in the North and East by the LTTE.

A year ago, Sri Lankans were unable to travel to the North and lived under the intimidation by the LTTE. One year on, the key A-9 artery road linking the North and the South of the country is once again throbbing with life and activity, reflecting the resumption of commercial and human contact with the North.

Internally displaced people have been returned to their homes as the land has been cleared of mines and infrastructure restored. A rich rice harvest will be produced from agricultural lands that had been indiscriminately mined by the LTTE. Companies from a diverse range of sectors from food processing, plastics and glass recycling, garments to ready-mix concrete are looking to establish a presence in the in the former conflict zones. The banking sector is flourishing, with several international names now operating in Jaffna, the capital of the North.

In the Eastern Province, the economy has been revitalised, with the investment of USD1.7bn. In this area, infrastructure has been restored, Tamils now form a bulk of the police force, all citizens participate in regional politics, employment is growing and tourism is thriving. In the North, we have initiated an accelerated programme of development, investing USD2.6bn over two years.

We are establishing a Commission to look at the lessons learnt from the conflict. The Commission will provide recommendations on actions that can be taken to boost reconstruction, rehabilitation and support reconciliation within Sri Lanka. President Rajapaksa has expressed his determination that no-one will be left behind in the new Sri Lanka, and the Commission will help achieve this important objective. We have a responsibility to ensure no future generation has to experience the anguish that we underwent during the last three decades.

In our external affairs we are committed to an open multilateral framework based on the principle of mutual respect. To that end, Secretary Clinton's message of congratulations and invitation to Washington when I assumed my role last month was warmly received. We look forward to many years of constructive engagement and dialogue with the United States as well as other Western nations.

But constructive engagement does not stop at a Government-to-Government level. I have instructed my embassies to engage with Tamil communities abroad, to boost dialogue within these communities and, we hope, improve understanding. We may not be able to bring all the former voices of the LTTE among Tamil expatriates to the table, but I hope we can bring the Tamil population with us, as an integral part of a united Sri Lankan people.

One year ago, Sri Lankans saw an end to terror, an end our people scarcely thought possible. A year on, our people are embracing the opportunities it brings. We are making steady progress. I believe the painful shared memories of the past era of terror will drive our country on to many more years of peace and prosperity. We welcome international support and assistance as we work towards this enduring goal.

Courtesy : The Huffington Post

 
Minister of External Affairs Prof G.L. Peiris visits New York PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Tuesday, 25 May 2010 15:12
The Hon. Professor G.L. Peiris, Minister of External Affairs, visited New York on 23 and 24th May, 2010. During his visit he met with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and a range of senior UN officials, including Chef de Cabinet, Vijay Nambiar and Under Secretary General Lynn Pascoe. He was also interviewed by Reuters, the BBC, the Wall Street Journal and the Press Trust of India.
 
During his discussions with the senior officials he addressed the issue of the appointment of the Commission of Inquiry by the Government of Sri Lanka, to address, among other things, the accountability aspect. The Minister emphasized that the Commission has been given wide powers, is constituted of extremely eminent Commissioners and has been provided adequate resources to perform its task. In the circumstances, there was no reason to cast doubt on the ability of the Commission to discharge its mandate adequately to the satisfaction of all concerned or prejudge its possible outcomes. He also emphasized that it was important to allow space for the Commission to perform its functions without being pressured unnecessarily by external elements. He noted that other governments, including the US had welcomed the appointment of the Commission as similar mechanisms had been found useful in other post conflict situations. He further noted that the ground situation has changed substantially in the last few weeks making any outside intervention utterly or the appointment of an extraneous panel unnecessary.
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Minister Peiris to meet US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Saturday, 22 May 2010 14:11

The Minister of External Affairs, Prof. G.L. Peiris is scheduled to leave for the USA on an official visit on 22nd May at the invitation of US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton. This will be the first bilateral visit undertaken by Minister Peiris since assuming duties as Minister of External Affairs.

During his visit, the Minister is scheduled to meet Mrs. Clinton on 28th May for talks in Washington D.C. Minister Peiris will also meet with a number of US Senators, Members of the House of Representatives and Senior Officials of the Administration. His programme further includes several interactions with the media and speaking engagements at the invitation of prestigious US foreign policy related think –tanks.

Prior to his visit to Washington, Minister Peiris is also scheduled to meet the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and other Senior UN Officials at the UN Headquarters in New York.

Ministry of External Affairs
Colombo
May 22, 2010

 


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