Friday, July 29, 2011


Help Lanka’s peace journey

  • Friday, July 29, 2011
  • Arunthathi Kanagaratnam
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  • Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa called on commonwealth Parliamentarians to lend Sri Lanka their support to consolidate the country’s hard won peace and take the country towards economic prosperity and development. Addressing the 57th annual Conference of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) in London the Speaker said: “This is the most appropriate time that we need the support, cooperation and understanding from our Commonwealth friends to make our endeavours a success.

    “Therefore I would like to make this an opportunity to earnestly request our Parliamentary colleagues from the Commonwealth to give us your support to consolidate this hard won peace and take the country towards economic prosperity and development.”

    The Speaker said: “At the very outset, I wish to thank all the distinguished delegates, who are present here today, for electing me as your President for the coming year. “The Sri Lanka Branch of the CPA is honoured and privileged to host the 58th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in Colombo, Sri Lanka from September 7 to 15, 2012.

    I also take this opportunity to convey felicitations of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the President of Sri Lanka and the people of my country to all my colleagues from the respective Parliaments of the Commonwealth countries.

    “This will be the third CPA Conference, which is being hosted by Sri Lanka the first one being in 1974 and the second in 1995. We are pleased to host the CPA Conference next year particularly, as Sri Lanka is enjoying peace and tanquility once again after winning the war against terrorism which plagued our country for nearly three decades. Sri Lanka has gone through an immensely difficult and challenging period over the past 3 decades and is now steadfastly marching towards national reconciliation and achieving sustainable development,” he said.

    “I would also like to express my sincere appreciation to Speaker Bercow for his contribution to the CPA in his capacity as the President of the Association, Speaker Bercow’s leadership undoubtedly contributed to the CPA achieving greater heights as a vibrant forum bringing together, diverse. But democratic Parliaments of Commonwealth Countries. I also wish to thank the CPA UK Branch and more specifically the CPA 2011 Team for the excellent arrangements made for the Centennial Conference. Thank you for making our stay in London comfortable, eventful and memorable,” Speaker Rajapaksa said.

    “Let me also take this opportunity to thank Dr William F Shija, Secretary General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, who has rendered yeoman service to our Association”.

    “Dr Shija has worked tirelessly, with commitment and dedication to ensure that the CPA remains relevant and well attuned to the modern trends of democratic governance and providing an effective forum to discuss current issues and challenges, faced by Commonwealth Parliaments. I must also thank the Directors and Staff of the CPA Headquarters for the dedication and excellent work they perform behind the scenes throughout the year.

    They too have immensely contributed to making this Conference a great success. They are a dedicated team, small in number but effective in performance,” he said. “In conclusion, I wish to avail of this opportunity, to extend a warm welcome to all of my Commonwealth Parliamentary Colleagues to visit my country, Sri Lanka for the 58th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference. We, as the host Branch, are awaiting eagerly to receive you in Colombo with our customary hospitality and I assure you that you will have a memorable stay in Sri Lanka,” the Speaker said.

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