High Commission of Sri Lanka in India

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.
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
May 22, 2010

President's condolence message to the Indian Prime Minister on the air crash in Mangalore PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Saturday, 22 May 2010 09:26


H.E the President Mahinda Rajapaksa sent a condolence message to the Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh on the  air crash that took palce at Mangalore, India earlier today.

The full text of the message

22 May 2010

H.E. Dr. Manmohan Singh
Prime Minister of the Republic of India
New Delhi

The news of the grievous loss of life arising out of the aircraft crash in Mangalore early this morning has deeply saddened me and the people of my country.

On behalf of the Government and people of Sri Lanka, I offer sincere condolences to the families who lost loved ones in this accident. Our thoughts and prayers are with those injured and all the people of India on this difficult day.

Please accept Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.

Mahinda Rajapaksa
Sri Lanka is ready to welcome IIFA Awards Ceremony PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Thursday, 20 May 2010 12:11

Addressing the third in a series of Press Meetings organized in New Delhi today (May 20th) to announce the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards in Sri Lanka, Deputy Minister of Economic Development Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said that with the dawn of new era Sri Lanka has great potential in expanding vistas in investment, tourism and other sectors that will immensely contribute towards the rapid development drive initiated by the government.

High Commissioner Prasad Kariyawasam, Sri Lanka’s envoy to India addressing the meeting said that Sri Lanka and India are bound by a common civilization. Sri Lanka just like India is a multi ethnic and multi cultural nation where four major religions and a number of ethnic groups now live harmoniously. He expressed the confidence that the IIFA in Sri Lanka will be a successful event and reassured that Colombo is ready to welcome the IIFA and said it is a grand home-coming for this mega event. 

Indian Cinema Super Star Anil Kapoor said that the IIFA’s journey over the last ten years has opened many doors for the Indian industry in the host country. He is excited about visiting Sri Lanka, for the first time, for the forthcoming IIFA Awards. Since the two nations share a lot in common, he expected that visiting Sri Lanka would be like a home-coming.

Sri Lankan Airlines Chairman Nishantha Wickramasinghe who  addressed the meeting said that the national carrier is proud to have been nominated as the official airline of the event.Legendary Sri Lankan cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan, Director of Sri Lanka Cricket Suraj Dandeniya and Managing Director of Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau Dileep Mudadeniya also attended the meeting.



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