President Mahinda Rajapaksa left for South Africa this afternoon to attend the memorial service for former South African President Nelson Mandela. The President will arrive in South Africa this evening and attend funeral services on Tuesday (Dec. 10) and Wednesday (Dec. 11).
Senior Japanese diplomat Mr. Yasushi Akashi called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa this morning at the President’s House. The President and Mr. Akashi discussed a number of matters including progress on the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), the overall reconciliation process and general bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and Japan.
Sri Lanka's first-ever Multi-sectoral Action Plan on Nutrition was launched by Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa on December 06.
The three-year Action Plan aims to reduce maternal and child malnutrition in the country.
The plan sets targets and milestones to reduce the prevalence of under-nutrition, anemia and stunting amongst key population groups, as well as to improve food security and provide access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene to households-at-risk.
The Ambassador of Norway to Sri Lanka Ms. Grete Løchen paid a courtesy call on President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the President's House in Colombo this morning.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa, in a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin, offered his condolences to the families who lost loved ones when a passenger airliner crashed in the Russian city of Kazan earlier this week.
In a phone conversation this evening, Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated President Mahinda Rajapaksa on the assumption of the Commonwealth Chair in Office.
President Putin also reiterated his government’s desire to continue the strong bilateral relations with Colombo, a sentiment that President Rajapaksa reciprocated.
• Expects to reduce budget deficit to 3.8%• Rs. 1200 cost of living allowance for state sector employees• Nation building tax of 2% will be extended to banks and financial institutions.• Foreigners can obtain land in Sri Lanka only on lease agreements from 2014 while an initial tax of 15% of the value will be levied
Views cannot be arrived at about a country on the basis of films made available by individuals or from information on computer screens with the aid of information technology, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga said. Addressing media on the final day of CHOGM at BMICH, the Secretary said: "There are a lot of people who cricise Sri Lanka from abroad and this is not fair".
President Mahinda Rajapaksa opened the first stage of the Mihindusenpura Housing Scheme for unauthorized dwellers in the Colombo city at Dematagoda yesterday.
This housing project named Mihindusenpura will consist of 500 housing units.
The Government has planned to construct 70,000 housing units with better facilities for these families. Over 60,000 housing units will be built in the Colombo North and East areas, and 10,000 housing units in the Colombo South area.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa celebrates his 68th birth anniversary today having assumed the position of Chairman of the Commonwealth of Nations.
This birthday marks the continued commitment of the President to the tasks of nation building, with emphasis on post-conflict reconciliation and development. This is combined with his new leadership in guiding the Commonwealth towards Sustainable, Inclusive and Equitable Development.
David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom , who is now in Sri Lanka to attend CHOGM 2013 met with President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Memorial Exhibition Centre this evening (Nov. 15).
Prime Minister Cameron expressed his satisfaction on the manner CHOGM 2013 has been organized. He said he did not believe the idea of boycotting the meeting as some proposed.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa urged the Commonwealth to focus, as a matter of priority, on development challenges, confronting the majority of our member nations. “I see a compelling need for those who guide the destiny of the Commonwealth to give serious thought to practical modalities, focusing on social and economic issues. This will greatly enhance the relevance and value of the Commonwealth,” he said and posed the question, “Shouldn’t we be addressing more vigorously the issue of ‘common poverty’ before we talk about ‘common wealth’?”
Inaugurating the 22nd Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Colombo today (November 15) President said, “If the Commonwealth is to remain relevant to its member countries, the Association must respond sensitively to the needs of its peoples and not let it turn into a punitive or judgemental body.”
President Mahinda Rajapaksa assumed the position of the Commonwealth Chairman-in-Office succeeding the Australian Prime Minister for the next two years, at the 22nd Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) held in Colombo today (15).All the 53 member-countries were represented at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa hosted the Prince of Wales and Duke of Cornwall Sir Charles Philip Arthur George at the President's House yesterday (14).
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall Lady Camilla Parker Bowles are currently in Sri Lanka to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2013. Before the meeting, a small celebration took place in honor of Prince Charles' 65th birthday, which he was celebrated in Sri Lanka yesterday (14).
Prince Charles will be attending the opening ceremony of CHOGM on Nov. 15 and is also scheduled to visit Kandy and Nuwara Eliya during his stay in Sri Lanka.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa said the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting is a prime opportunity for Sri Lanka as it assists the Commonwealth to discuss the common interests and priorities of the world.
Addressing a press conference, together with Commonwealth secretary General Kamlesh Sharma in Colombo today (November 14), President rajapaksa said the Commonwealth is a unique organization and under his chairmanship he would discuss with the member countries and take steps necessary to ensure the continued relevance of the organization for commonwealth citizens.