Statement made at the Parliament by His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa on 25th August 2011

Spanish Translation

As the President who has participated most in the affairs of Parliament since the Executive Presidency was established, I am in Parliament today to further demonstrate by determination that there should be closer links between Parliament and the Presidency. 

From the time I was elected President I have presented all budgets in Parliament. I was able to obtain the continuous support of Parliament for the economic and development programmes presented in these budgets. I participated at the conclusion of the last budget debate to further widen the cooperation between Parliament and the State.

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It is unreasonable to expect a complete remedy in a short span – Prof. Peiris

Minister of External Affairs Prof. G.L. Peiris said yesterday that it was unreasonable for the international community to expect a complete remedy for all issues in the short span of two and a half years since the Lankan conflict ended. 

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Lessons from global economic crisis:

Need to build new financial order to better face future crises – President  

“Essential that globally influential economies act in a globally responsible manner” 

The global economic crisis taught us many lessons that varied across nations. All countries learnt both common and individual lessons, from this crisis, which left behind a trail of serious damage across nations and shook the very foundations of the financial structure of the world. It is therefore, clear that if we are to safeguard the world economy in the future, we would need to build a new financial order and a model that will better equip us to face crises of this nature, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his inaugural address to the 49th South East Asian Central Bank Governors’ (SEACEN) Conference, in Colombo today (25).

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Change attitudes for true freedom & progress– President at Independence celebrations

‘Inconvenient and difficult decisions also necessary for nation’s progress’

The people of our country must change their attitudes about future progress of the country, similar to the manner in which they began to think afresh about achieving victory over the forces of terror. There is the need for an enormous attitudinal change from children to adults to achieve national development, stated President Mahinda Rajapaksa addressing the nation at the 63rd celebration of Independence in Kataragama today (4 Feb). 

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Sri Lanka pursues nation-wide agenda of renewal – President

‘International Humanitarian Law should reflect reality of non-state actors in conflicts’

The entire focus of our nation, is now on building a lasting peace; healing wounds, ensuring economic prosperity and guaranteeing the rights of the whole nation to live in harmony, stated President Mahinda Rajapaksa addressing the United Nations General Assembly at the UN Headquarters in New York today (Sep 23). 

We are pursuing a nation-wide agenda of renewal. Sri Lanka has already returned over 90% of the internally displaced persons to their original villages that were previously riddled with landmines, he further said.  

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Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris states that the G15 has a crucial role to play in the contemporary world

President Mahinda Rajapaksa took over the Chairmanship of the G- 15 from President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran at the 14th G-15 Summit in Tehran, Iran on 17th May 2010, the Minister of External Affairs, Prof. G. L. Peiris stated at a media briefing held at the Ministry of External Affairs on 18th May 2010.

The Minister stressed that the G-15 has a critical role to play in the contemporary world and has the inherent strength to do so, comprising as it does 33% of the world’s population, 25% of the world’s crude oil producers and 27% of world exports in developing nations. The Membership of the G-15 also includes India, Brazil and Mexico: 3 of the 10 largest economies in the world. 

Several themes dominated the 14th G-15 Summit and the Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, which preceded it, said Prof. Peiris. The primary thrust of the discussions was that the developing world collectively has to pool its resources and strengths to further the interests of the people of these countries. 

The Minister stated that at this critical moment in international affairs, when there are long awaited signs of the beginning of recovery from the recent global economic crisis, developing countries have priorities of their own and their challenge is to organize themselves effectively in order to formulate and implement policies of relevance to their populations in the broader international context. The Minister highlighted that some important priorities of the developing world include uplifting the quality of life of rural populations and the role of the small and medium enterprises sector in this regard. 

Prof. Peiris noted that several delegations in their remarks at the Summit paid tribute to the singular achievements Sri Lanka has made at a practical level in regard to enhancing rural prosperity. For instance, the Central Bank makes seed capital available at affordable rates of interest to energize the rural economy. This is a good example of how Sri Lanka has achieved in a very practical way a goal which could be viewed as a G-15 priority.

Discussions at the 14th G-15 Summit made it clear that developing countries would like to shift their focus away from development assistance and focus instead on trade access to international markets, said the Minister. Many G-15 member States have human resources of a high calibre, and produce goods and services of a high quality. They therefore want equitable access for their products in international markets.

The Minister stressed that G-15 countries consider that the time is appropriate for restructuring the Bretton Woods Organizations. 

G-15 countries would also like to highlight the link between preservation of the environment and economic development. This need for models of economic development that are also environmentally sustainable was featured prominently both at the recent SAARC Summit and now at the 14th G-15 Summit too. The Minister noted in this regard that many delegations present paid tribute to Sri Lanka’s achievements in the emphasis on utilization of sustainable energy resources such as solar, wind and hydro energy. 

Another important area of concern at the G-15 Summit was intellectual property rights. Given the vibrant human resources of G-15 countries, the global Intellectual property rights regime needs to be restructured to cater to the priorities of G15 countries, said the Minister. 

In conclusion, the Minister stated that all G- 15 Member States are confident that the G-15 will move forward vigorously under the leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. In this connection, the Minister stressed that the collective recipe for G-15 has been successfully implemented in Sri Lanka to the optimal satisfaction of the people of Sri Lanka leading to resounding successes for President Rajapaksa in the recent Presidential and General Elections, on the outcome of which he was warmly congratulated by many delegations including the outgoing Chair of the G-15, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of the Islamic Republic of Iran.


Ministry of External Affairs
Colombo

18th May 2010

Build new structures to achieve full potential of SAARC - President

“Let us within our own grouping be bold enough to introspect. We must take measures to improve the existing mechanisms through review, rationalisation and reinvigoration. If there is a need, we should not hesitate to build new structures and mechanisms, to enable SAARC to reach its full potential,” said President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his address to 16th SAARC Summit at Thimphu, Bhutan today. 

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“Intelligence lists” of NGO activists, non-existent

In response to well coordinated series of statements and web comments on alleged government plans to ‘arrest NGO activists and to suppress and intimidate its opponents and critics’, the Office of the President states that it has not found evidence of any ‘intelligence lists’ of NGO activists prepared by the State Intelligence Service as stated on Lanka News Web, or by any other law enforcement authority.

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62nd Independence Day message of Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs

Wednesday, 03 February 2010

Rising from the shackles of colonialism 62 years ago and annihilating an almost three decade long grip of terrorism from our shores eight months ago, we celebrate this anniversary of Independence in 2010, with a great sense of oneness and pride.  Nearly half of our country’s contemporary independent history has witnessed a struggle against the brutal forces of terrorism which sought to tear asunder the very sovereignty of our great nation gained by our forefathers.

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President Mahinda Rajapaksa wins a historic and resounding victory

Statement following the election of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to a second term 

President Mahinda Rajapaksa won a historic and resounding victory in the Presidential Election held yesterday (26), the first free and fair election in which the entire country could participate  in nearly three decades, and also the first such election since the defeat of terrorism in Sri Lanka in May last year.   

The people of Sri Lanka have spoken and they have voted for an end to division, an end to terrorism, and for a new beginning of peace and prosperity.

We are proud at this demonstration of the vitality of our democracy.

President Rajapaksa, who called this election two years before the end of his first six year term, to get a fresh mandate from the entire country, thanks those who supported him to achieve this massive victory, and also thanks all those who voted for the other candidates in the spirit of, and belief in democracy; helped ensure a peaceful election; and for their commitment to the democratic process. He is proud at being the first President for almost three decades who can rightly claim to have the widest mandate from all of Sri Lanka.

Following this unparalleled victory, the President assures that he will work with utmost vigour on behalf of the people of Sri Lanka, considering himself as the leader of all Sri Lankans, and expresses his determination to make this to be Sri Lanka’s decade.  

Amidst the new surge of democratic feeling, President Rajapaksa sees the need to put behind the challenges of the past, driven by violence and division, and continue the work already initiated to heal those wounds of the past and give ear to the new needs and aspirations of the people.  

The results of this election marks an exciting time for Sri Lanka, for many reasons. Firstly, it endorses Sri Lanka’s commitment to peace. President Rajapaksa intends to ensure that we build on the peace already achieved and move towards a full reconciliation programme, and that our land is respected around the world for justice and equality of rights. 

Indeed, across Sri Lanka, one already sees the fruits of securing peace, in enhanced development, new investment both Sri Lankan and foreign, new infrastructure development and the rise of entrepreneurship. There is an upswing in the economy endorsed by international financial institutions.

Emergency measures taken to defend the country and people against terrorism will be dismantled, not hastily but in due course, and in keeping with the proper security considerations.

President Rajapaksa conducted this election campaign with the promise of taking the country to a prosperous future. Therefore, the policies of government in the years ahead, will lead to Sri Lanka embracing prosperity. No one will be left out, or left behind in the new prosperity of the country.

The mandate given to the President by the people has also taken note that for many years, international observers have regarded our economy to be a success despite significant problems faced. Now, we will be an even greater success because we have resolved the most pressing problems.

For those in the north and east of our country, including many who have been displaced, President Rajapaksa acknowledges the hardships they have experienced; and is determined to ensure that they are supported to rebuild their lives. In the period ahead, areas that were once populated by mines and characterised by fear, will be filled with crops, new skills, and characterised by hope.

The President has a detailed programme to improve the whole of Sri Lanka, building on the steady economic foundation developed by the Government in the last four years. The country’s factories will be modernised and workers will begin producing higher value goods; the service sector will be improved, markets will be expanded and new areas of economic activity explored. The country’s energy supply will be brought up to 100% removing power shortages from the country once and for all, and new and sustainable sources of energy will be developed and harnessed.

New homes, roads, airports and ports are being built and new water supplies, both for drinking and irrigation are being developed, bringing the evidence of progress, peace and prosperity for all to benefit from.

The policies of the President are aimed at bringing the world to come and experience the real Sri Lanka. Tourism will have and important place in economic planning and investment. In other fields, too, investors will see the opportunities available because of Sri Lanka’s highly skilled workers, significant resources and proud work ethic. The expansion of Information Technology will be actively encouraged, and the New Sri Lanka will see more jobs for youth, better training, better services, and improved quality of life.

Sri Lanka will quickly move from a country known for brain-drain, to one of brain-gain, with the new incentives by Government, and new economic activity that will draw Sri Lankans back to their motherland.  

There were many, both in Sri Lanka and abroad, who criticised President Rajapaksa’s policies to bring an end to violence and terrorism that threatened our own people, as well as our region. They alleged that the measures taken by the government undermined democracy.  

The overwhelming mandate given to President Rajapaksa in this election has given the answer to these critics.   The people of Sri Lanka, democratically and very clearly, have shown that they are now free of threats, free of fear, free of terrorism – and they have shown they support the measures which have freed them.

Today, the President says to all those who have criticised him and his policies in this regard,  often out of ignorance, that it is the time to set aside these differences and join in helping Sri Lanka to achieve its  goals of progress through democratic means.

President Rajapaksa’s call at this moment of electoral victory is for all Sri Lankans to set aside their differences, and come together to help build the nation on the firm foundation of the peace achieved, and strengthened by the people’s own faith in democracy, in the oldest democracy in Asia.  He calls upon all to transcend differences of ethnicity, religion and politics to join in the great task of nation building, and also invites all friends of Sri Lanka to join in this admirable venture. 

   

Presidential Secretariat
Colombo 

January 27, 2010

 

Message from Foreign Minister Bogollagama on the occasion of the Commemoration of SAARC Charter Day

I am delighted to issue a message to commemorate SAARC Charter Day. It is noteworthy that during the last twenty-four years of its existence, SAARC has moved forward steadily from a declaratory to an implementation stage, with considerable progress in realizing several of the important objectives set out in the Charter.

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Message from Prime Minister of Sri Lanka on the occasion of the Commemoration of SAARC Charter Day

It gives me great pleasure to extend greetings on the twenty-fourth anniversary of the signing of the Charter that established the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation.   

SAARC reflects the determination of the Governments and peoples of South Asia to work together towards finding solutions to their common problems in a spirit of amity and cooperation based on mutual respect, equity and shared benefits.

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Message from President of Sri Lanka on the occasion of the Commemoration of SAARC Charter Day

It is a great pleasure for me, as the current Chair of SAARC, to extend warm greetings and best wishes of the Government and people of Sri Lanka to the Governments and people of South Asia on the occasion of the commemoration of the SAARC Charter Day.

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“Human rights have to be protected and advanced for their own sake, not for political gain.” – Sri Lanka’s President Rajapaksa at the 62nd UN General Assembly in New, on September 25, 2007

· “We all became members of an organization that was created to let all our voices be heard, to avoid trying to resolve problems through violence, revenge and blame. And yet we see a trend to find fault, to place countries in the dock and penalize those who do not fall in line. Instead of seeking solutions through cooperation, we have often created suspicion and built walls between ourselves through double standards.”

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Address by His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa on his State visit to Maldives on 11th February 2007.

 
Excellency Mr. Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, President of the Republic of Maldives, and Madam Gayoom,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies & Gentlemen,
 
I am deeply touched by the attention bestowed upon my delegation by Your Excellency and the friendly people of Maldives. I must express my deep appreciation of the warmth of your welcome on the occasion of my first state visit as the President of Sri Lanka, to your beautiful country.
 
There are many similarities that unite our two nations, apart from being located in the great Indian Ocean. We both are proud inheritors of rich cultural traditions which date back to more than two millennia. We also have many similarities in our languages.
 

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STATEMENT BY HIS EXCELLENCY MAHINDA RAJAPAKSA, THE PRESIDENT OF SRI LANKA MADE AT THE INAUGURAL CEREMONY OF THE SRI LANKA DEVELOPMENT FORUM 2007 GALLE, SRI LANKA

I have been looking forward to this Development Forum being held in our historic port city of Galle. Two years ago, this city and several other areas of Sri Lanka were damaged by the Tsunami. We take modest pride in the fact that this city and other areas so affected have now returned to near normalcy and that we have been able to hold this forum in this city with the participation of our development partners. The same speed of recovery that we are witnessing in the south could have been seen in the North and East as well, and we could have probably organized this forum in Trincomalee, if not for the violence and terrorist activities of the LTTE. Nevertheless, on the whole, the country has made satisfactory progress in the Tsunami recovery process and has been able to utilize a substantial amount of  assistance extended by our development partners.
 

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Address by H. E. President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the ceremonial inauguration of the Moragahakanda Reservoir construction, on January 25, 2007

Most Venerable Members of the Maha Sangha
Members of the clergy of other religions
Hon. Prime Minister
Hon. Maithripala Sirisena and all
Hon. Ministers, Governors, Chief Ministers,
All representatives of the people
Friends

It is our immense privilege to witness another great victory of irrigation in Sri Lanka. Personally, today I have the satisfaction of having carried out a great responsibility placed upon me by history. The pleasure I feel today is the same as what I felt as a child when I walked behind by father and relations at the chena, the paddy field, the threshing floor, and jumped over bunds and sluices of the paddy fields. The wind that brings the scent of the cocoa and cardamom fields of Matale to me today is the same as the winds that blew over the “kurahan” fields of Weeraketiya.

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Speech of His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa, President of Sri Lanka, at the XIVth Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in Havana, Cuba

Mr.President, Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen.

It gives me great pleasure to be in Havana today and speak on behalf of my country – Sri Lanka.

Our country has been a member of the Non-Aligned Movement from its very inception, 45 years ago. Sri Lanka’s association with the Movement, in fact, precedes the Belgrade Conference. We take modest pride in having played a role in the very founding of the Non-Aligned movement as one of the 5 convenors of the Afro-Asian Conference in Bandung in 1955, - a meeting which indeed inspired the birth of our Movement.

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