Hon. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India welcomes Hon. Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka on 19th January 2015 at the Official residence of the Prime Minister in New Delhi.
The visit of Your Holiness gives me an opportunity to receive your blessings as I commence my term of office, said President Maithripala Sirisena welcoming the Holy Father at Bandaranaike International Airport this morning (Jan. 13).
The President, wishing the Pope a most fruitful and memorable journey in Sri Lanka sought the blessings of the Holy Father on the people of Sri Lanka and requested his prayers for the peace progress and prosperity of the people.
The new Cabinet of Ministers was sworn in before President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat this afternoon (12 January).
27 Cabinet Ministers, 10 State Ministers and 8 Deputy Ministers were sworn in.
President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday announced that he will crusade for an economic, social and political transformation in the country as pledged in his election manifesto.
The President while stressing that he does not have any intention to contest for the second term of office, added that he is committed to build a society where freedom, democracy, people’s sovereignty and law and order reign.
Mr. Maithripala Sirisena was sworn in as the seventh Executive President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka at Independence Square this evening.
He was sworn in before Justice K J Sripavan of Supreme Court.
United National Party leader Ranil Wickremasinghe was sworn in as the new Prime Minister.
Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya has announced that following the Presidential election held yesterday that the Common Candidate of the opposition Maithripala Sirisena has been elected as the new President of Sri Lanka.
The newly elected President is to take oaths this evening.
Sri Lanka's 7th presidential election which commenced at 7am this morning concluded at 4pm. According to the Election Secretariat the election was held in a free and fair manner. Counting of postal votes has commenced and. the ballot boxes are now being dispatched to relevant counting centers.
On the invitation of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, His Holiness Pope Francis will pay a State Visit to Sri Lanka from 13th to 15th January 2015. The Government and people of Sri Lanka are looking forward to warmly welcoming His Holiness and his delegation.
All arrangements for the visit are in place and the required constructions are progressing on schedule including the altar at Galle Face Green where the Special Mass and the canonization of Blessed Joseph Vaz, which will take place on Wednesday 14thJanuary.
Statistics released by Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) Tuesday showed that Sri Lanka had met its tourist arrival target of 1.5 million for the year 2014.
According to SLTDA figures, Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals rose 16.1 percent in December last year compared to the same period in 2013 with the arrival of 178,672 tourists compared to the 153,918 arrived in December 2013.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa said the wish in this New Year is a commitment to work with determination and patience to safeguard the Motherland we have built, and take it further to heights of world-winning achievements.
In a New Year message he said that his wish is that the people will have strength and courage to make this a year of victory for the nation.
Distancing from the politics of hate that gives strength to separatism, should be high among our New Year resolutions, the President said.
The world today that faces the enormous challenges of economic imbalance, poverty, environmental threats and terrorism could greatly benefit from the Christian message of love and tolerance, which began with the Star over Bethlehem that heralded the birth of Christ,stated President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his message for Christmas.
“The life of Christ saw a total commitment to the liberation of people from the bonds of the beliefs held at that time, and showed the way to freedom from poverty and spiritual liberation through the spread of love, and the spirit of sharing and forgiveness that underlines the teachings of Christianity,” he further said.
Yesterday, the United Nations General Assembly adopted by consensus, a resolution, spearheaded by Sri Lanka, declaring 15th July as the World Youth Skills Day. Sri Lanka initiated this resolution, with the assistance of the G77 & China, to highlight at a global level, the importance of youth skills development. The goal is to achieve better socio-economic conditions for today’s youth, including as a means of addressing the challenges of unemployment and under employment. This is the only resolution promoted by Sri Lanka at the UN in New York since 1999.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa mooted the idea of a UN Youth Skills Day in his address to the 68th Session of the UNGA in 2013. The proposal to designate a day for youth skills development was endorsed by both the youth and the policymakers, including Ministers, at the World Conference on Youth held in Colombo in May 2014. The ‘Colombo Declaration’ which was adopted by consensus, after detailed debate, called upon the United Nations to designate a day to highlight youth skills development to draw attention to the critical need for marketable skills. The successful adoption of this resolution by the UN General Assembly is a fulfillment of a commitment that was made by Sri Lanka to all youth around the world.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa had appointed another international expert to advise the Presidential Commission to Investigate into Complaints Regarding Missing Persons.
The Japanese expert, a former international judge Motoo Noguchi has been appointed as the sixth foreign adviser to the Commission, Chairman of the Commission retired High Court Judge Maxwel Paranagama said.
Noguchi is a former International Judge of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia and the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims of the International Criminal Court.
Six experts from Western and Asian countries have been appointed to the Commission at several stages. They are Sir Desmond de Silva of UK (Chairman), Sir Geoffrey Nice (UK), Prof. David Crane (USA), Mr. Avdhash Kaushal (India) and Mr. Ahmer Bilal Soofi (Paksitan) and Judge Motoo Noguchi (Japan).
The Advisory Council was appointed in July 2014 to advise the Commission on matters pertaining to its work, including legal aspects.
The Missing Persons Commission has conducted eight public sittings up to now and 19,761 complaints had been received including more than 5,000 from the families of the Security Forces.