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
"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
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
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