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CHOGM will enhance Lanka's stature in the world

CHOGM will enhance Lanka's stature in the world

The first and foremost advantage and benefit that the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting(CHOGM) brings to Sri Lanka will be international exposure, said External Affairs Minister Prof. G L Peiris at a press conference held at External Affairs Ministry yesterday. "Furthermore, CHOGM will enhance the country's stature in the world," the Minister said.

He said CHOGM sessions will be held in Colombo from November 15 to 17 with the participation of all 53 Commonwealth countries. 'Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth will be represented by the Prince of Wales,' said Prof. Peiris.

Speaking on the benefits which the country can derive from CHOGM, he said Sri Lanka will be able to present its case of political stability and tranquility as part of the process against all kinds of misinformation that has been spread by some elements looking to achieve their partisan objectives and aims by discrediting the country with false propaganda.

He said the theme of the summit is "Economic Growth with Social Equity".

The choice of the summit's theme was made in keeping with President Mahinda Rajapaksa's policy that the the theme must focus on the priorities of Sri Lanka.

He said Sri Lanka is at an advantage in terms of its political stability and tranquility in the subcontinent , without which there will be no investments.

He said, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has brought lots of benefits to the country with the construction of ports and airports and development in power and energy sectors. The country will be able to present its case to the world as a result of the forum.

"CHOGM is of enormous importance to Sri Lanka because it will enhance the the country's stature as part of its benefits. This is a significant international event that is taking place in Sri Lanka after 1972. An Asian country is hosting CHOGM after 24 years.

Assumption of Commonwealth leadership by Sri Lanka is going to put the country in the center of the world stage," he pointed out and added, "Meticulous preparations are under way, the entire government is involved in the activity . Three Cabinet committees has been appointed to cover the aspects of the summit."

"We are working very closely with the Commonwealth Secretariat in London. Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma visited this country on four occasions during last 7 months. We are also working with the Commonwealth Business Council in London."

Besides the main event , which is the meeting of the Heads of Government of the Commonwealth, there will be Commonwealth business Business Forum,"he said.

"A special feature of the business forum is that the participation for it will not be restricted to entrepreneurs and leading businessmen from within the Commonwealth countries. We have opened out the business forum to be participated by leading businessmen from countries that are close to Sri Lanka. We are also hosting the the Commonwealth Youth forum and the people's forum," the Minister said.

Explaining the recent advantages the country had because of the Commonwealth forum Prof Peiris said, when the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association was organized under the leadership of Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa, which was held with the participation of 700 delegates from different countries, we asked these delegates what part of the country they wished to to visit.

"There were many who said they would like to visit the North..Everyone who went there, who came to Colombo after their visit, was appreciative of the government. Their assessment was that great deal has happened in the North after the eradication of terrorism, considering magnitude of the challenges. They paid tribute to the range and the quality of progress that have been achieved on the ground within a relatively short time span of three and half years. They recognized it," he said.

"CHOGM is a great opportunity for high profile leaders, group leaders, community leaders , come to our country, and first hand, observe what has taken place in the country, the enormous strides made by the country since the eradication of terrorism."

Speaking on the economic dimensions of hosting CHOGM, he said the business forum of CHOGM, by any standards is a major event. And as was the case in Perth, Western Australia in the past, we are hoping to market Sri Lanka as a major hub, a shipping hub, an aviation hub, all of this, taking advantage of many sectors, entrepreneurial relations, investor friendly environment,mechanism for boarder investment, constitutional protection that has been given to investors among them.

"We encourage people to come and see for themselves, without being misled by propaganda unleashed by some elements for their partisan objectives and aims. We say come and be ignited by the evidence before their eyes.

Mass Media and Information Minister Keheliya Rmbukwella, Power and Energy Minbister Pavithra Wanniarachchi, Environment Minister Anura Priyadharshan Yapa and Provincial Minister Udaya Gammanpila were also present.

Courtesy : Daily News

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