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Sri Lanka pursues nation-wide agenda of renewal -– President at the UNGA

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

Mr. President

Excellencies

I have great pleasure in congratulating Your Excellency Joseph Deiss, on your assumption of the Chair of the sixty fifth Session of the General Assembly.

I also take this opportunity to extend our appreciation to the President of the sixty fourth Session, His Excellency Dr. Ali Abdussalam Treki, for his effective stewardship of the General Assembly.

Mr. President, Excellencies,

That the United Nations is now in its sixty fifth year serves to underline the durability of this organisation. It is an important mechanism in ensuring co-operation between States and a forum for discussion between sovereign nations. We must never under-estimate the importance of this organisation based as it is, on the principle of equal treatment of countries big and small.

It is in this spirit that I address you at a crucial juncture in the history of my own country. In two months, I will be assuming office for my second term.

My mandate will be very different from my last. For my second term as President, my promise to my people, is to deliver sustainable peace and prosperity to all and ensure that terrorism will not be able to raise its ugly head again.

In 2005, I was elected by my people on a promise to rid my country of the menace of terrorism. I say that Sri Lanka is now at peace, peace that was only a dream a few years ago.

Over the past year, much has been reported and much has been said regarding my country’s liberation from terrorism. However, far less has been said of the suffering we had to undergo and the true nature of the enemy we have overcome.

The rapidly forgotten truth is that we had to face one of the most brutal, highly organised, well funded and effective terrorist organisations, that could even spread its tentacles to other countries.

Many of the atrocities of terrorism that the West has come to experience in recent times, the people of Sri Lanka were themselves the victims of, for nearly 30 years, losing almost one hundred thousand lives, among them being a President of Sri Lanka, a visionary leader of India and scores of intellectuals and politicians.

The LTTE was an organisation so brutal, that even those it claimed to represent, the Tamil community of Sri Lanka, were as much victims of its terror as the rest of the population of our country.

Read more: Sri Lanka pursues nation-wide agenda of renewal -– President at the UNGA

 

Media Release

The arrival of the vessel MV Sun Sea with 490 illegal migrants on board has drawn much focus in Canada and especially in the Canadian media. This human smuggling operation with links to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is an issue which needs to be seriously addressed.

In order to justify the organized crime, certain elements are now making wild allegations against the Government of Sri Lanka without any basis and with mala-fide intensions to project the impression that people are fleeing Sri Lanka as the conditions prevailing in the country are deplorable and that Tamils are being persecuted etc.

The adverse critics of the Government of Sri Lanka may note that there is complete peace in Sri Lanka since the three decades long conflict ended with the defeat of the secessionist terrorist outfit in May 2009. Approximately 300,000 people who were held as a human shield by the LTTE and rescued by the government were accommodated and provided with required facilities, with the assistance of the international community. Over 80% of these Internally Displaced People (IDPs) have been resettled and the remaining 30,000 IDPs live in the welfare villages and their early resettlement have been ensured. They have the freedom to move in and out of the welfare villages. The Government of Sri Lanka is addressing issues pertaining to the resettlement process such as clearing of 1.5 million land mines planted by the LTTE, livelihood for the IDPs and infrastructure development in the areas destroyed due to the conflict, etc.

Read more: Media Release

 

Sri Lanka and Canada on alert over a ship suspected to be carrying illegal immigrants from Sri Lanka

There have been reports in the media on ‘M/V Sun Sea’ which is reportedly heading towards the East Coast of Canada carrying over 200 illegal immigrants from Sri Lanka.

The Sri Lanka High Commission in Ottawa and the relevant Security Agencies in Colombo have been in close contact with the relevant authorities in Canada on this issue.

The High Commissioner in Ottawa met with Mr. Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism of Canada and discussed mutual concerns on illegal immigration and human smuggling from Sri Lanka which are linked to LTTE operations outside the country.

Read more: Sri Lanka and Canada on alert over a ship suspected to be carrying illegal immigrants from Sri Lanka

 

Great joy to celebrate Poson in unity - President

Poson Poya is a most revered festival for the entire Buddhist population of Sri Lanka as it reminds us of the advent to Sri Lanka of Arahat Mahinda with Buddha's message of the Dhamma. Celebrating this historic, two thousand three hundred and eighteenth Poson Festival in unity with the entire nation brings us great joy, states President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a Poson message.

The Dhamma preached by Arahat Mahinda led our society and culture to a new path. It showed us the way to live in co-existence as citizens of one country regardless of ethnic or religious differences.

Inspired by the spirit of loving kindness and compassion, we resolved as a nation to build a society based on morals and non-violence.

It was due to the path of peace and serenity enunciated by Arahat Mahinda that we lay claim to a proud history among the countries of the world.

The country, today, is united to build a righteous nation based on the teachings of Arahat Mahinda. Success must be achieved by working resolutely. Based on love and kindness we usher in co-existence. We should not forget that the divisions make us the losers.

Our State policy is always guided by the path of Dhamma.

'Dhammo have Rakkathi Dhammachari'

Let us reflect upon these words of the Enlightened One taught to our nation by Arahat Mahinda which means 'One who lives with the Dhamma is protected by the Dhamma' and make the Poson season more meaningful by aligning ourselves to build a New Sri Lanka.

May the Triple Gem Bless you!

 

Address by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on the 62nd anniversary of Independence

Today we celebrate the anniversary of Independence after the liberation of the entire country from terrorist threat for the first time in 30 years. I am proud to proclaim that we are in a position to raise the flag of Sri Lanka with dignity in the entire country.

In 1815, Variyapola Sumangala Thero hoisted our flag on this historic land after lowering the Union Jack. I wish to pay my respect to the venerable monks as well as the revered clergy of all religions for their dedication and commitment displayed to preserve this freedom.

 

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When I unfurled the national flag today, I remembered those heroic soldiers who sacrificed their lives and limbs for the freedom of the country and all those who worked with dedication for the liberation struggle.

Read more: Address by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on the 62nd anniversary of Independence

 

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