President Mahinda Rajapaksa arrived at Myanmar's Nay Pyi Taw International Airport last afternoon to participate in the BIMSTEC Summit.
The President was received at the airport by Myanmar's Minister of Labor, Mr. U Aye Mint, Deputy Foreign Ministers Mr. U Tin Oo Lwin and Mr. U Thant Kyaw, Sri Lanka's Ambassador to Myanmar.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa has written to the new Nepali Prime Minister Sushil Koirala to congratulate him on his assumption of office this month.
“Your election is a reflection of your wide acceptance by the Nepali people to lead the country at this critical juncture in its political and constitutional history,” President Rajapaksa wrote in his message. “You bring to this high office extensive experience from your long and illustrious career in politics.”
The UN Assistant Secretary-General and Assistant Administrator and Director, Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Mr. Haoliang Xu called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees yesterday evening (Feb 12). Commending Sri Lanka’s achievements in obtaining high levels in human development indicators, Mr. Haoliang said the country’s success stories should be highlighted and that his organization would help do so. Other topics discussed during the meeting included development work in the North, overall provincial development, education and further strengthening the partnership between the UN system and the Sri Lankan Government.
Pope Francis on Saturday told a group of Sri Lankan immigrants living in Italy that he welcomes the invitation to visit Sri Lanka and said, “I think the Lord will grant us the grace.”
The group had come to Rome on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the consecration of the Church in Sri Lanka to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The same duties I performed in the past for the country and the people will be performed by me today and tomorrow as well, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The development program of the government is not for one province but for the entire country, he said. The government will take action to hold Deyata Kirula National Development Exhibition in the Southern Province next year, he added.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa has written to congratulate the new Prime Minister of Latvia Laimdota Straujuma. Extending his best wishes, President Rajapaksa described the appointment of the country’s first female prime minister as “a landmark event in the history of Latvia.” A long-serving civil servant, Prime Minister Straujuma was nominated by Latvian President Andris Berzins and confirmed last month.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa today called upon all countries to join hands in the path to democracy, development, national freedom and the strengthening of human rights.
Speaking at Independence Day celebrations in Kegalle this morning, President Rajapaksa said, “People in our country who belong to all religions and speak different languages are moving together in unity and strength towards reconciliation and development. With utmost goodwill I call upon all countries to join hands with us in the path to democracy, development, national freedom and the strengthening of human rights.”
He pointed out that if the terrorism was not eradicated in 2009, children in North could not have attended school or enter the universities freely as they do today. But today people in the North enjoy wide ranging freedom. You can see this when you visit North“We Sri Lankans who were born in this country, were brought up in this country and live in this country have every desire to protect the peace and unity of our country much more than any others from outside. We have to recall the bitter memories of the past because when baseless allegations are leveled against us,” the President said.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa said baseless allegations are being levelled against the government by certain elements with vested interests, aimed at creating an uncertainty about the census on missing people which will be held in due course.The President was addressing the gathering after opening the Sanasa University complex at Kegalle yesterday. The President commissioned several development projects including an Outer Circular Road, an indoor stadium, a swimming pool and a infrastructure projects.
Secretary to the President Mr. Lalith Weeratunga yesterday apprised the permanent representatives of the United Nations in Geneva the efforts that went into restoring normalcy to the lives of those who were affected by the 30 year terrorist conflict.
The Secretary to the President stressed that the Sri Lankan government has done all that was humanly possible to implement the National Plan of Action to carry out the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) since it was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers in July 2012.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the visiting President of the Maldives Abdullah Yameen agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation in many fields including trade, economy, banking and finance, fisheries, agriculture, education, defence and maritime and culture.
The two leaders, after identifying the areas of cooperation at the bilateral talks held at the Presidential Secretariat today (January 22), advised the Joint Economic Commission to take follow up action on all areas of cooperation.
“Sri Lanka has made a remarkable transformation since the end of the conflict,” President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson told President Mahinda Rajapaksa during a conversation yesterday. “More time is needed to address remaining issues. Setting time frames does not yield results.”
The President of Iceland made these comments during a bilateral discussion that took place this afternoon at the Emirates Palace Hotel with President Rajapaksa who was in Abu Dhabi for a one-day visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). President Grímsson, recalling his two previous meetings with President Rajapaksa, said he is pleased to meet the Sri Lanka President again.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa held talks this afternoon with Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum who is the vice president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the ruler of Dubai. During the discussion, Sheikh Mohammed assured President Rajapaksa of UAE’s support to Sri Lanka.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who arrived in Abu Dhabi yesterday (Jan. 20) for a one-day visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), attended the 2014 Zayed Future Energy Prize Awards Ceremony yesterday evening at the Emirates Palace Hotel. Many other leaders from countries within the region and other parts of the world were also present on the occasion.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa left this afternoon on a one-day visit to Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. One of the main events on the President’s agenda will be attending the Zayed Future Energy Prize Awards Ceremony, taking place this evening.
According to the Prize website, the annual award “celebrates achievements that reflect impact, innovation, long-term vision and leadership in renewable energy and sustainability.” Among the finalists for this year’s award include multinational companies such as General Electric (GE) and Walmart, among others. On the visit, President Rajapaksa will also hold several bilateral meetings with officials in the country and meet with the Sri Lankan community living in the emirate.
During the bilateral talks between President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this afternoon (Jan. 08) at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, Sri Lanka and Israel agreed to expand bilateral relations in a number of sectors, including trade, agriculture and water.
President Rajapaksa arrived in Jerusalem from Bethlehem Wednesday morning together with First Lady Shiranthi Wickremasinghe Rajapaksa for the final stop in their visit to three Middle Eastern countries. President Rajapaksa is the first Sri Lankan head of State to visit Israel since its inception.