Sri Lanka and Australia successfully conclude Second Round of Senior Officials’ Talks

The Second Round of Senior Officials’ Talks between the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade concluded in Canberra on 16th November 2017.

The Senior Officials’ Talks is a structured platform to review the bilateral relations between the two countries and to discuss regional and international issues of common interest and concern. Given the number of high level visits that took place between the two countries in 2017, which also marks the 70th anniversary since the establishment of formal diplomatic ties, the Second Round of Talks provided an opportunity to discuss the progress made in the understandings reached during those visits.

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Deepavali celebrations in Canberra

The Sri Lanka High Commission celebrated Deepavali on 9 November at the High Commission premises with the participation of the Canberra Sri Lankan community and the Sri Vishnu Shiva Mandir.

The celebration commenced with a pooja conducted by Pandith Pradeep Bhat to invoke blessings, followed by devotional songs performed by Ms Jeyanthi Kumaranayakam. Former lecturer at University of Jaffna, Mrs. Yogeswary Ganeshalingam spoke about the significance of Deepavali.

Addressing the gathering High Commissioner Somasundaram Skandakumar said “if our thoughts when in a place of worship are matched by our deeds when we are outside it, the essence of Deepavali which is triumph of good over evil and light over darkness will prevail everywhere.”

The Sri Lankan Hindu community in Canberra helped in decorating the High Commission with lights and traditional adornments signifying the Festival of Lights.

Sri Lanka High Commission

10 November 2017

Australian Prime meets Sri Lankan Prime Minister at Temple Trees


Press Release

Prime Minister Turnbull admired the decision taken by the Sri Lankan Government towards establishing a Parliamentary Budgetary Office and assured Sri Lanka of Australia’s support towards the initiative. Premier Wickremesinghe informed his counterpart that the preliminary steps towards this have been taken and that the Hon. Speaker of the Sri Lankan Parliament would handle co-ordination with the Australian Government in this regard. Read More »

Sri Lankan Airlines adds Melbourne to its global route network

Launch of daily direct services to Colombo

Colombo October 29, 2017: SriLankan Airlines took yet another decisive step forward in extending its route network with the launch of daily non-stop services toMelbourne on 29th October 2017, providing global travelers with a convenient option to visit Australia and travelers from Down Under the opportunity to travel the world via rapid connections in Colombo.

Ajith Dias, Chairman of Sri Lanka’s National Carrier, said: “We at SriLankan Airlines are delighted to launch this new service, which we have no doubt would be of great convenience to all segments of travelers, including the large number of Sri Lankans domiciled in Australia, the many Australians who love to travel overseas and people throughout Asia who visit Down Under.”
Sri Lankan expatriates and students form a large and significant community in Australia, and frequently travel back to their native land. Many of them reside in Melbourne, and other cities in the state of Victoria and neighbouring New South Wales, with smaller numbers throughout the rest of Australia and New Zealand.

Captain Suren Ratwatte, CEO of SriLankan Airlines, said: “We have been extending our route network in a systemic manner throughout Asia – from the Middle East to the Far East – and can now provide Australian travelers excellent options in connectivity, with one-stop journeys to the most popular destinations via Colombo.”

A member of the prestigious oneworld global airline alliance, SriLankan offers convenient connections to 14 cities throughout India, nine in the Middle East and other destinations such as Male and Gan Island in the Maldives, and Seychelles. SriLankan also operates one-stop twice-daily services between Sri Lanka and Australia with itscodeshare partners Qantas and Malaysia Airlines.

Passengers will enjoy the comforts of the airline’s modern Airbus A330 aircraft between Melbourne and Colombo, with flatbeds in Business Class, sophisticated in-flight entertainment and world class service provided by SriLankan’s award winning cabin crew.

The flight schedule is as follows (all times local):

Route Frequency Flight Departing Arriving Departure Time Arrival Time
Colombo-Melbourne Daily UL604




MelbourneColombo 23:50





SriLankan has appointed Sri Lankan Aviation Group Pvt Limited as its General Sales Agent in Melbourne. The SriLankan office is located at Suite 546, 1, Queens Road, Melbourne VIC 3004.


Telephone 03 8400 4353


Corporate Communications
SriLankan Airlines

Tourism Promotion Talk on ‘Natural Capital of Sri Lanka’

A tourism promotion talk on ‘Natural Capital of Sri Lanka’ with special emphasis on birds and mammals was held at the High Commission on 21st September to a gathering of Australian wildlife enthusiasts. The event was organised by the High Commission as part its tourism promotion initiatives, together with Aarunya Vacations – a Sri Lankan tourism promotion company based in Canberra.

Ecologist and Nature Photographer Rahula Perera made a presentation with information and images portraying the natural beauty, different ecosystems and the integrated wildlife of Sri Lanka.

Rahula Perera has more than twenty years’ experience as a field biologist, trainer, nature photographer and nature based tourism product developer. Explaining the close relationship between nature and Sri Lankan culture, he also explained how animals and birds, and their movements, are reflected and incorporated in stone carvings and traditional dances of Sri Lanka, while elephants in particular are an integral part in major cultural pageants.

High Commissioner Skandakumar welcoming the participants at the commencement explained that the High Commission hopes to have more presentations of a similar nature focussing on different aspects of Sri Lankan culture and tourist attractions. The informative talk was followed by an interactive session during which Mr. Perera answered questions ranging from bird and animal behaviour as well as the Sri Lankan flora and climatic conditions which impact on wildlife.

The participants included members of photographic societies, wildlife and bird enthusiasts, students and those interested in visiting Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka High Commission


22 September 2017

IMG_8498 IMG_8519 IMG_8520 IMG_8522 IMG_8517


Address by President Maithripala Sirsena at the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly



ශ්‍රී ලංකා ජනාධිපති අතිගරු මෛත්‍රිපාල සිරිසේන මැතිතුමන් විසින් එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ මහා මණ්ඩලයේ 72 වැනි සැසිවාරය අමතා කරන ලද කථාව

2017 සැප්තැම්බර් මස 19 වැනිදානිව්යෝර්ක්


ඔබ සියලු දෙනාටම සුභ සන්ධ්‍යාවක් වේවා!

ගෞරවනීය සභාපති තුමනි,

සියලුම රාජ්‍ය නායකයිනි,

එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ සංවිධානයේ  ගෞරවනීය  මහ ලේකම් තුමනි,

සියලුම ආරාධිත අමුත්තනි,

නෝනාවරුනි/ මහත්වරුනි,

මා ඉතාමත්ම සතුටු වෙනවා 72 වන සමුළුවේ විශේෂයෙන්ම නව මහ ලේකම් වරයෙක්, මහ ලේකම් තුමෙක් පත්වූ අවස්ථාවේ එතුමාට සුභ පතමින් මගේ කතාව ආරම්භ කිරීමට ලැබීම පිළිබඳව.  විශේෂයෙන්ම ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ රාජ්‍ය නායකයා ලෙස තුන්වන වරටත් මේ ගරු සභාව ඇමතීමට ලැබීම පිළිබඳව මා ඉතාමත් සතුටු වෙනවා.

මේ 72 වන සමුළුවේ ප්‍ර‍ධාන තේමාව වන්නේ  තිරසර ලොවක් මත සෑම මිනිසකුටම වැදගත් ජීවිතය සහ සාමය සඳහා ප්‍රයත්නය යන්නයි.  අද ලෝකය තුළ පවතින, ජාත්‍යන්තරය තුළ පවතින විවිධ තත්ත්වයන් සැලකිල්ලට ගත්විට මෙය ඉතාමත් කාලෝචිත වූ තේමාවක් වශයෙන් හැඳින්වීමට පුළුවන්.  2015 වසරේ ජනවාරි මාසයේ ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ ජනාධිපතිවරයා ලෙස පත්වූ මා, එසේ පත්කරවීමට පෙර මගේ රටේ ආදරණීය ජනතාවට මා දුන් පොරොන්දු ප්‍ර‍තිඥා කිහිපයක් තිබෙනවා.  එහිදී විශේෂයෙන්ම සදහන් කළේ ලෝකයේ කිසිම රටක කිසියම් නායකයෙකුට නොතිබුණු අසීමිත බලයක් ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ විධායක ජනාධිපතිවරයාට තිබුණු බැවින්  මා බලයට පත්වීමෙන් පසු එම  අසීමිත   බලය    ජනාධිපති ධූරයෙන් ඉවත් කර,   පාර්ලිමේන්තුව සඳහා පවරනු ලබන බවයි. බලයට පත්වූ නායකයෙක් විදිහට එවැනි අසීමිත බලතල රාශියක් සිය ආණ්ඩුක්‍ර‍ම ව්‍යවස්ථාව තුළ, සිය තනතුර තුළ  තිබියදී එම බලය බලයේ සිටින අවස්ථාවේ තමා විසින්ම අත්හළ පාර්ලිමේන්තුවට පැවරූ නායකයෙක් විදිහට මගේ රටේ ජාතික දේශපාලනයටත්, ජාත්‍යන්තර දේශපාලනයටත්  බලය අත්හැරීම පිළිබඳව ආදර්ශය මා විසින් දී තිබෙනවා.  ප්‍ර‍ජාතන්ත්‍ර‍වාදය සුරැකින, පෝෂණය කරන රටවල් ලෙස ප්‍ර‍ධාන වශයෙන්ම බලයට පත්වන බොහෝ නායකයින් ප්‍ර‍ජාතන්ත්‍ර‍වාදය ආරක්ෂා කිරීමත්,  බලය නිසි ලෙස පාවිච්චි කිරීමත්, සාධාරණ සමාජයක් ගොඩනැගීම සඳහා සිය බලය භාවිතා කිරීමත් ඉතාමත් වැදගත් වෙනවා.  නමුත්, ගෙවී ගිය දශක කිහිපයත් ලෝක ඉතිහාසයත්  ගත් විට පෙනී යන්නේ බලයට පත්වන නායකයින් බලයෙන් යෑමට, බලයෙන් ඉවත්වීමට තිබෙන්නාවූ අකමැත්ත තුළ, එම තමාගේ රට තුළ සාමය බිඳීම සාමය නැතිවීම මෙන්ම ජාත්‍යන්තර වශයෙන්ද විවිධ බෙදීම්, අසමගිකම් සඳහා බලපාන බවයි.  එවැනි ‍ ‍ඓතිහාසික සිද්ධාන්ත, තොරතුරු ජාතික වශයෙන් වගේම අන්තර්ජාතික වශයෙන් අපට අවබෝධයන් රාශියක් තිබෙනවා.  මේ සියලු තත්ත්වයන් තුළ මගේ රටේ ප්‍ර‍ජාතන්ත්‍ර‍වාදය තහවුරු කරමින්, ආඥාදායක ගමනක් ගිය, තනි බලයක් පාවිච්චි කරමින් අසීමිත  බලයක් ගිය දේශපාලන කණ්ඩායම් ඉවත් කර රට තුළ ජනතාවගේ නිදහස, ප්‍ර‍ජාතන්ත්‍ර‍වාදය සහතික කරමින් මානව හිමිකම් ආරක්ෂා කරමින්, මූලික අයිතිවාසිකම් පෝෂණය කරමින් ගෙවීගිය අවුරුදු දෙක හමාරක කාල සීමාව ඉතා සාර්ථක ගමනක් පැමිණි බව විශේෂයෙන්ම මේ ගෞරවනීය උත්තරීතර සභාවට ප්‍ර‍කාශ කරන්නට ඕනෑ.

2017 මේ  වර්ෂය අපේ රටේ සංවර්ධනය තුළ නම් කරනු ලැබුවේ දුගී බවෙන් නිදහස් වීමේ වර්ෂය වශයෙන්.  දුගී බවෙන් නිදහස් වීම සදහා අපේ රට මෙන්ම, මගේ රට මෙන්ම අද මුළු මහත් ලෝකය විශාල ප්‍ර‍යත්නයක, ව්‍යායාමයක යෙදී සිටිනවා. දුගී බවෙන් නිදහස් වීමේ වර්ෂය වශයෙන් 2017 වර්ෂය නම් කරමින් මේ වර්ෂය මගේ රට තුළ දේශීය ආර්ථිකය ශක්තිමත් කිරීමේ සංවර්ධන ව්‍යාපෘති රාශියක් ආරම්භ කරනු ලැබුවා.  ඔබත්, මුළු ජාත්‍යන්තරයත් දන්නා පරිදි ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ අවුරුදු 30 කට ආසන්නව තිබූ අභ්‍යන්තර යුද්ධය රටේ ආර්ථිකය බිඳ හෙළනු ලැබුවා, රටේ ආර්ථිකය දුර්වල කරනු ලැබුවා.  රට තුළ රට බෙදීමට සටන් කළ ත්‍ර‍ස්තවාදී ව්‍යාපාරය, අපට පුළුවන් කම ලැබුණා ඒ ත්‍ර‍ස්තවාදීන් පරාජය කරලා  රටේ සාමය ඇති කරලා, ප්‍ර‍ජාතන්ත්‍ර‍වාදය තහවුරු කරලා, නිදහස් සාමකාමී රටක් විදියට මගේ රට ගෙනයෑම සඳහා. මේ යුද්ධයෙන් ලැබූ ආර්ථක අවාසිය ආර්ථික පසුබැසීම් සමග රට තුළ ඇතිවූ පසුබෑම්, ඒ සියල්ලෙන් ලබාගත් පාඩම් සමග තිරසර සංවර්ධන ඉලක්ක කරා යමින්, මගේ රටේ දේශීය ආර්ථිකය ශක්තිමත් කිරීමට, දේශීය කෘෂිකර්මාන්ත, දේශීය කර්මාන්ත, දේශීය කාර්මීකරණය තුළ තව පිටුවක් අප විසින් පෙරලනු ලැබුවා.

ප්‍ර‍ධාන වශයෙන්ම තිරසර සංවර්ධන ඉලක්ක සම්පූර්ණ කිරීමේදී පරිසර සංරක්ෂණයට මුල්තැන දීම මගේ රජයේ ප්‍ර‍මුඛ කාරණයක් බවට පත්වුණා.  විශේෂයෙන් මෙහිදී සදහන් කරන්නට ඕනෑ, අද මගේ රට වගේම මුළු ලෝකය වශයෙන් ගත්විට අද ඇමෙරිකා එක්සත් ජනපදය පවා  කාලගුණික, දේශගුණික විපර්යාසයන් සමග ඉතාමත්ම බරපතල තත්ත්වයන්ට මුහුණ දී  තිබෙනවා. ඒ තුළ, පැරිස් සමුළුවේ ඇතිකරගන්නාවූ එකඟතාවයන්, ගිවිසුම් එම ප්‍ර‍කාශනයට අත්සන් කිරීමෙන් අප ජාත්‍යන්තර වශයෙන් ලබාගත් එකමුතුව සම්මුතිය ක්‍රියාත්මක කිරීමේ වැදගත්කම විශේෂයෙන්ම අද  මුළු ලෝකය හමුවේ අපි  මුහුණ දෙන ඉතා වැදගත් ඉලක්කයක් බව මෙහිදී සඳහන් කරන්නට ඕනෑ.   ඒ නිසා කාලගුණික, දේශගුණික වෙනස්වීම් සම්බන්ධයෙන් පැරිස් සමුළුවේ ඇතිකරගත් එකඟතාවය, මෙම ප්‍ර‍කාශයනට අත්සන් කිරීමෙන් ඇතිකරගත් සම්මුතිය ක්‍රියාත්මක කිරීම මුළු මහත් මානව සමාජයට මෙන්ම මුළු මහත් සත්ත්ව ලෝකයේ පැවැත්ම සඳහා ඉතා වැදගත් වන්නා වූ කාර්යයක් බව අප විසින් සිහියේ තබා ගැනීම  ඉතාමත්ම වැදගත් වෙනවා.

දුගී බවින් නිදහස් වීමේ ජාතික වැඩ සටහන තුළ  “ග්‍රාම ශක්ති” නමින් මම නව වැඩ පිළිවෙලක් මගේ රජය යටතේ මගේ රටේ විශේෂයෙන්ම ආරම්භ කරනු ලැබුවා.

ඒ වගේම 2025 වසර දක්වා පැහැදිලි ආර්ථික ප්‍ර‍තිපත්තියක් සහ සැලැස්මක් අප විසින් මේ වනවිට ප්‍ර‍කාශයට පත්කර තිබෙනවා.  දේශීය ආර්ථිකය ශක්තිමත් කරමින්, දේශීය කෘෂිකර්මාන්තය ශක්තිමත් කරමින් දුගී බවින් නිදහස් වීමේ ඒ පුළුල් ජාතික වැඩසටහනට නව ප්‍ර‍වණතාවයක් නව ගමන් මගක් සමග ඒ වැඩ පිළිවෙල හදුන්වා දෙමින් 2025 දක්වා අප ක්‍රියාත්මක කිරීමට බලාපොරොත්තු වන  ආර්ථික සැලැස්ම අපේ රටේ නව පිබිදීමක්, සමෘද්ධියක් ගොඩනැගීමට ඉමහත් සේ ඉවහල් වනු ඇතැයි මා විශ්වාස කරනවා.

ඒ වගේම ගරු සභාපති තුමනි,   විශේෂයෙන්ම මා මෙහිදී සදහන් කරන්නට ඕනෑ මගේ රටේ මෙන්ම මුළුමහත් ලෝකයේ සියලු රටවල්වල අද දරුවන්  ප්‍ර‍ශ්න රාශියකට මුහුණ දී තිබෙනවා.  මගේ රට තුළ දරුවන් ආරක්ෂා කිරීම පිළිබඳව  “දරුවන් සුරකිමු” යන තේමාව යටතේ පුළුල් ජාතික වැඩ සටහනක් ආරම්භ කර තිබෙනවා.  මත් ද්‍ර‍ව්‍යවලින් දරුවන් බේරා ගැනීම, අපචාරවලින් දරුවන් බේරා ගැනීම, ඒ වගේම දරුවන් අපචාරවලට ලක්වීමෙන් වලක්වා ගැනීම,  මෙවැනි කරුණු මත මුළු මහත් මානව සමාජය අද දරුවන් ආරක්ෂා කිරීම පිළිබඳව ජාතික වශයෙන් වගේම අන්තර්ජාතික වශයෙන් ඉතා වැදගත් ව්‍යාපෘති, වැඩසටහන් ක්‍රියාත්මක කිරීමේ ඉලක්ක සහගත අවශ්‍යතාවයේ  ව්‍යාපෘතීන් පැහැදිලිවම දකිනවා.

කාන්තා අයිතීන් සුරැකීම පිළිබඳව අද  මුළු මහත් ලෝකය එදා වගේම දැඩි අවධානයක් යොමු වී තිබෙනවා.  කාන්තාවන්ට සම තත්ත්වයක් ලබාදීමේදී තවමත් ඇතැම් සමාජ තුළ විවිධාකාරයේ  කාන්තාවන්ට නොසලකන තත්ත්වයක් ලෝකයේ ඇතැම් රටවල් වල පෙන්නුම් කරනු ලබනවා.  මගේ රටේ ජනගහණයෙන් සියයට පනස් දෙකකට වැඩි සංඛ්‍යාවක් කාන්තාවන්. කාන්තාවන්ගේ අයිතිවාසිකම් සුරක්ෂිත කිරීම ආණ්ඩුක්‍ර‍ම ව්‍යවස්ථාවේ අලුත් සංශෝධන මගින් සහතික කර තිබෙනවා වගේම, මැතිවරණවලට ඉදිරිපත් වන අපේක්ෂකයින්ගෙන්  අනිවාර්යයෙන්ම අපේක්ෂිත ලැයිස්තුව තුළ  25% ක් කාන්තාවන් ඇතුළත් විය යුතු යන්න මගේ ආණ්ඩුක්‍ර‍ම ව්‍යවස්ථාවේ අලුත් සංශෝධනවලට ඇතුළත් කර තිබෙනවා.  දරුවන් ආරක්ෂා කිරීම, කාන්තා අයිතිවාසිකම් සුරක්ෂිත කිරීම, ඒ වගේම මුළු මහත් සමාජයට බරපතල ප්‍ර‍ශ්නයක්ව පවතින මත්ද්‍ර‍ව්‍ය මර්දනය පිළිබඳව අප ජාතික වශයෙන් ආරම්භ කර ඇති වැඩ සටහන් වගේම එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ  සංවිධානය විදිහට මුළු මහත් මානව සමාජයේ යහ පැවැත්ම සඳහා මත්ද්‍ර‍ව්‍ය මර්ධනය පිළිබඳව පුළුල් ජාත්‍යන්තර වැඩ පිළිවෙලක අවශ්‍යතාවය ඔබ අප සෑම කෙනෙක්ම පැහැදිලිව දන්නා වූ කාරණයක්.  ඒ අනුව, ලෝකයේ සෑම රටකම, සෑම සමාජයකම පාසැල් දරුවාගේ සිට මත්ද්‍ර‍ව්‍ය මර්දනය, මත්ද්‍ර‍ව්‍ය වැලැක්වීම, මත්ද්‍ර‍ව්‍ය නිවාරණය යන කරුණු පදනම් කරගෙන සමාජයට බරපතල අභියෝගයක් වී තිබෙන මත්ද්‍ර‍ව්‍ය විනාශ කිරීම සඳහා මුළු මහත් මානව සමාජයේ පොදු එකඟතාවයක්, පොදු වැඩපිළිවෙලක්, පොදු සම්මුතියක් එක ගමනක් යෑම් සදහා ඉතාමත් අත්‍යවශ්‍ය කාරණයක් හැටියටයි මා දකින්නේ.

ඒ වගේම, මෙහිදී මා සඳහන් කරන්නට ඕනෑ අවුරුදු තිහකට ආසන්න කාලයක් දීර්ඝ යුද්ධයකට මුහුණ දුන් මගේ රටේ, 2015 මගේ රජය බලයට පත්වන විට ප්‍ර‍ධාන ප්‍ර‍ශ්න දෙකක් තිබුණා.  ඉන් ප්‍ර‍ධාන එක් ප්‍ර‍ශ්නයක් තමයි  විශාල වශයෙන් විදේශීය ණය අවුල.  විදේශයන්ට තිබෙන ඉතාමත් අසීමිත වූ ණය ගෙවීමක්, මුදල්වල හිඟයක් බරපතල ලෙස පෙන්නුම් කරනු ලැබුවා.

ඒ වගේම තමයි යුද්ධය පැවති කාලය තුළ  සිදුවුණා යැයි කියනු ලබන මානව හිමිකම් කඩ කිරීම සම්බන්ධයෙන් ඇතිවූ එක්සත් ජාතින්ගේ සංවිධානයේ මානව හිමිකම් කොමිෂන් සභාව විසින් ඉදිරිපත් කරන ලද යෝජනා තුළ ප්‍ර‍ධාන වශයෙන් ඒ සදහා මුහුණදීම පිළිබඳව බරපතල ගැටළු එවකට තිබූ රජයට තිබුණා.  එහෙත් ප්‍රධාන වශයෙන්ම දේශීය ආර්ථිකය ශක්තිමත් කිරීමේ නව වැඩ පිළිවෙල තුළ විදේශ ණය ගෙවීම සඳහාත්, ඒ වගේම විදේශ ආයෝජන ලබාදෙන මගේ රටේ නව ආර්ථික සම්මුතියක් ඇති කිරීම සඳහාත් අද ගෙනයන වැඩ පිළිවෙල තුළ විදේශ ණය විශාල වශයෙන්, ඒ තුළින් නිදහස් වීම පිළිබදව ඉලක්ක සහගත  වැඩ පිළිවෙලක් මේ වනවිට අප ක්‍රියාත්මක කර තිබෙනවා. ඒ වගේම එක්සත් ජාතින්ගේ සංවිධානයේ මානව හිමිකම් කොමිෂන් සභාව විසින් ප්‍ර‍ධාන වශයෙන්ම මා පෙර කී පරිදි යුද්ධය තිබුණු කාලයේ ඇතිවූ තත්ත්වයන් පිළිබඳව ඉදිරිපත් කර ඇති යෝජනා පිළිබඳව අපි රජයක් විදිහට සැලකිල්ලට අරගෙන ඒ සදහා ඒ කරුණු වලට ප්‍ර‍මුඛතාවයක් දීලා එම කරුණු නිරවුල් කිරීමට, විසඳීමට මගේ රජය කැපවී සිටිනවා.  ප්‍ර‍ධාන වශයෙන්ම ප්‍ර‍ජාතන්ත්‍ර‍වාදය තහවුරු කිරීම, මානව හිමිකම් ආරක්ෂා කිරීම, ජනතාවගේ මූලික අයිතිවාසිකම් ආරක්ෂා කිරීම, භූෂණය, මේ කියන කරුණු පදනම් කරගෙන මගේ රජයේ ගෙවී ගිය අවුරුදු දෙක හමාරක කාලය තුළ රට තුළ සාර්ථක ප්‍ර‍ජාතන්ත්‍ර‍වාදී සමාජයක් ගොඩනැගීමේ කාර්යය ඉටු කර තිබෙනවා සේම ඉදිරි කාලය තුළ  ඉතාමත් පැහැදිලිව එම කරුණු ශක්තිමත් කිරීමට රජයක් විදිහට ක්‍රියා කරන බව විශේෂයෙන් මෙහිදී සඳහන් කරන්නට ඕනෑ.  ජාතික සංහිඳියාව ශක්තිමත් කරමින්, මගේ රටේ ජීවත් වන විවිධ භාෂාවන්, විවිධ ආගම් කතා කරන, මේ සෑම කෙනෙකු තුළම, සහෝදරත්වය ගොඩ නගමින් සැකය, අවිශ්වාසය, වෛරය, ක්‍රෝධය ඉවත් කරමින්, සෑම කෙනෙකුටම නිදහසේ සතුටෙන් එක සමානව ජීවත් විය හැකි සමාජයක් ගොඩ නැගීම සඳහා මගේ රජය කැපවී සිටින බව විශේෂයෙන් මෙහිදී සඳහන් කරන්නට ඕනෑ.  ඒ අනුව, ප්‍ර‍ධාන වශයෙන්ම දේශීය ආර්ථිකය ශක්තිමත් කිරීම සදහා අප ගෙන ඇති පුළුල් වැඩපිළිවෙලවල් තුළ අපේ රටේ ආර්ථික සමෘද්ධිය ඇති කරනවා මෙන්ම සමාජය තුළ ආධ්‍යාත්මික වශයෙන් යහපත් සමාජයක් ගොඩනගන්න, විනය ගරුක සමාජයක් ගොඩනගන්න, හික්මීමක් ඇති සමාජයක් ගොඩ නගන්න මගේ රජය කැපවී සිටිනවා.

විශේෂයෙන්ම මෙහිදී නීතියේ ආධිපත්‍යය තහවුරු කිරීම තුළ ප්‍ර‍ධාන වශයෙන්ම ඉතාමත්ම සාධාරණ සමාජයක් ගොඩ නැගීමේ මූලික කාර්යයට මගේ රජය ප්‍ර‍ධාන වශයෙන්ම කැපවී සිටිනවා.

එවැනි පසුබිමක ගරු සභාපති තුමනි, මා මෙහිදී ප්‍ර‍කාශ කරන්නට ඕනෑ ප්‍ර‍ජාතන්ත්‍ර‍වාදය ශක්තිමත් කරමින්, මානව හිමිකම් ශක්තිමත් කරමින්, මූලික අයිතිවාසිකම් ශක්තිමත් කරමින්, ජාත්‍යන්තර හොඳහිත දිනාගැනිමෙන් අප රට සමඟ   මිත්‍ර‍ශීලී භාවයෙන් ඈත්ව තිබූ ලෝකයේ රටවල් ඒ සියල්ල මිත්‍ර‍ රටවල් බවට පත්කරගනිමින්, ජාත්‍යන්තරයේ හොඳහිත දිනාගනිමින්, ඉතාමත් යහපත් රාජ්‍ය පාලනයක් ගෙනයන මේ අවස්ථාවක එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ සංවිධානයේ ඉතාමත් කාරුණික වූ සහයෝගය මගේ රට ගොඩ නගන්න ඉදිරියට ගෙනයන්න මා ඉතාමත් ගෞරවයෙන් බලාපොරොත්තු වෙනවා.

එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ සංවිධානයේ සාමාජික රටක් වශයෙන් අපි අවුරුදු 62 කට ආසන්න කාලයක් කටයුතු කරලා තිබෙනවා.  එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ සංවිධානයේ නීති රීතිවලට එකඟව ප්‍ර‍ඥප්තීන්ට එකඟව, එකඟතාවයන්ට එකඟව, ගිවිසුම්වලට එකඟව කටයුතු කරන රටක් විදිහට එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ සංවිධානය විසින් ගන්නා වූ සියලු තීන්දු තීරණවලදී    ශ්‍රී ලංකා රජය සාමාජික රටක් වශයෙන් ඒ සිය බැඳීම් තහවුරු කරමින් කටයුතු කරන බව විශේෂයෙන් මෙහිදී සඳහන් කරන්නට ඕනෑ.  ඒ අනුව, මගේ රටේ ස්වාධීනත්වය ස්වෛරීත්වය සුරකිමින් අපි ක්‍රියාකරන්නා වූ ගමනේදී අපට එල්ල වී ඇති විවිධ චෝදනා, ඒ වගේම යෝජනා, අප විසින් ක්‍රියා කළ යුතු ආකාරයන් පිළිබදව අපට නිදහස් රටක් වශයෙන්, සාමකාමී රටක් වශයෙන් සෙමින් ගමනක් ගොස් පැහැදිලි, ජයග්‍රාහී ඉලක්කයක් කරා යන්නට  සියලු දෙනාගේම ගෞරවනීය සහයෝගය ඉල්ලා සිටිනවා.

ඇතැම් අන්තවාදී පිරිස් වේගවත් ගමනක් බලාපොරොත්තු වෙනවා.  ඇතැම් අන්තවාදී පිරිස් වේගවත්, කඩිනම් විසඳුම් බලාපොරොත්තු වෙනවා.  ඇතැම් අන්තවාදී පිරිස් ඉතාමත් කෙටිකාලීන විසඳුම්  බලාපොරොත්තු වෙනවා.   නමුත්, අවුරුදු 30 කට ආසන්න කාලයක් යුද්ධයක් තිබූ රටක් විදියට රට අභ්‍යන්තරයේ ජනතාවගේ බෙදීම් ඇති වී තිබෙන රටක් විදිහට රට තුළ ජනතාවගේ සමගිය ඇති කරලා, ඒ සමගිය තුළ සහෝදරත්වය ගොඩනගලා, අවිශ්වාසය, සැකය, බිය, වෛරය, ක්‍රෝධය ඒ සියල්ල ඉවත් කරලා මගේ ආදරණීය රටත්, මගේ ආදරණීය ජනතාවත්, මගේ ගෞරවනීය මාතෘභූමියත් ගොඩගන්නට, ශක්තිමත් කරන්නට, සමෘද්ධිමත් ආර්ථිකයක් කරා ගොස්, ප්‍ර‍ජාතන්ත්‍රවාදී රටක් විදියට ඉදිරියට ගන යන්නට ඔබ සියලු දෙනාගේ  ගෞරවනීය සහයෝගය ඉල්ලා සිටිනවා.  ඒ නිසයි මා මෙහිදී ඉතා පැහැදිලිව කියන්නේ අපි සෙමින් යන සාර්ථක ගමනක් සඳහා අපිට අවශ්‍ය කාරුණික සහයෝගය දෙන්න කියලා.

වේගවත් ගමනක් අනතුරු සහිතයි කියන එක අපි සෑම කෙනෙක්ම දන්නවා.  ඒ නිසා ඇතැම් අන්තවාදී කොටස්වල, ඔවුන් බලාපොරොත්තු වන වේගවත් ලෙස, කඩිනම් ලෙස, ක්ෂණික ලෙස විසඳුම් දීමේ අසීරුතාවයන් මුළු මහත් සමාජය තුළ තිබෙන්නා වූ සංකීර්ණ ස්වභාවයන් සමග ඔබ ගෞරවනීය ලෙස සෑම කෙනෙක්ම පිළිගනු ඇතැයි මා විශ්වාස කරනවා.  ඒ නිසා මගේ රට තුළ නැවත යුද්ධයක් ඇති නොවන්නට, මගේ රට තුළ සියලු ජාතීන් අතර සමගියක් ඇති වන්නට, මගේ රට තුළ සියලු ජනවර්ග කොටස් තුළ සහෝදරත්වයක් ඇති වන්නට, මගේ රට තුළ සියලු ආගම්, සියලු භාෂාවන් කතා කරන සියලු දෙනාම එකම සහෝදරත්වයකින් බැඳී ඇති රටක් ලෙස සියලු දෙනාම ඉදිරියට  ගෙනයන්නට මගේ රජය ගෙන ඇති  වැඩපිළිවෙළට ගෞරවනීය එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ සංවිධානයත්, ඒ වගේම ලෝකයේ සියලුම රාජ්‍යන්හි සහයෝගයත් මා ඉතාමත් ගෞරවනීය ලෙස බලාපොරොත්තු වෙනවා.  ආර්ථික සමෘද්ධියක් ඇති කරමින්, යහපත් සමාජයක් ගොඩනගමින්, ප්‍ර‍ජාතන්ත්‍ර‍වාදය තහවුරු කරමින් මගේ රට තුළ නැවත යුද්ධයක් ඇති නොවන ලෙස කටයුතු කරමින් ලෝකයේ සමෘද්ධිමත් ආර්ථිකයක් සමඟ විශේෂයෙන්ම ප්‍ර‍ජාතන්ත්‍ර‍වාදය තුළ ආදර්ශමත් රටක් විදිහට මගේ රට ඉදිරියට යන්නට ඔබ සියලු දෙනාගේම ගෞරවනීය සහයෝගය  ඉල්ලා සිටිමින්, ගරු සභාපති තුමනි ඔබ තුමාටත්, නව මහ ලේකම් තුමාටත් සුබ පතමින්, ස්තූතිවන්ත වෙමින් මාගේ කථාව අවසන් කරනවා.  ස්තූතියි.  තෙරුවන් සරණයි.


English Translation


Address by H.E. Maithripala Sirisena
President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
General Debate of the Seventy-Second Session
of the United Nations General Assembly

19 September 2017 – United Nations, New York


A very good evening to all of you!

His Excellency the President of the General Assembly
His Excellency the Secretary General of the United Nations
Distinguished Guests
Ladies and Gentlemen

It gives me great pleasure to be able to commence my address to the 72nd Session of the General Assembly while congratulating the newly appointed President and Secretary-General of the Organisation. In fact, it gives me great pleasure to address this august Assembly for the third time as the Head of State of Sri Lanka.

The theme of this 72nd Session of the General Assembly is ‘Focusing on people: striving for peace and a decent life for all on a sustainable planet’.

Today, when we take into consideration the prevailing conditions in the world, this theme is extremely timely.

I was elected President in January 2015. Before being elected, there were a number of promises and pledges that I gave to the beloved people of my country. What I particularly mentioned at the time was that, since the Executive Presidency in Sri Lanka had been vested with more power than that which has been vested in any leader in any other democratic system in the world, once I am elected, I would remove those excessive powers from the Presidency and entrust those powers to the Parliament.

Once I was elected to the Presidency, I have taken steps, while holding office and while enjoying the right to exercise those powers, to in fact shed those powers and transfer those powers to the Parliament. I have thus set an example both to national politics in my country and to international politics, as a leader who has shed power while holding office.

As countries that promote, protect and nurture democracy, it is very important that leaders who are elected to office in democracies take steps to strengthen and protect democracy, exercise power with great responsibility, and use one’s authority to build a righteous society.

However, when one observes recent history in the past few decades, one witnesses situations where the reluctance of leaders to leave office has led to the breakdown of peace within those countries, even resulting in the breakdown of peace and the creation of division, disunity and discord between countries in the international arena as well. We have the benefit of several such examples from history.

I must inform this Assembly, that, in my country, we have succeeded in consolidating democracy, and removing from office political groups that wielded extreme, excessive power and autocratic governance. During the last two-and-a-half years, we have succeeded in our journey of re-establishing and restoring the freedom of the people, protecting human rights and nurturing fundamental rights.

In the development journey of our nation, this year, 2017, was named as the ‘Year for Alleviation of Poverty’. Just like my country, the entire global community is today engaged in efforts to eradicate poverty. Having named 2017 as the year for freedom from poverty, we initiated and launched development projects in Sri Lanka this year to strengthen the domestic economy. As all of you in the international community are well aware, the conflict that prevailed in Sri Lanka for 30 years affected our economy adversely and resulted in the weakening of our economy. We succeeded in defeating the separatist terrorist movement within our country and in initiating peace, establishing democracy and taking our country forward as a peaceful and free nation. For this purpose, drawing from lessons learned from the conflict and economic disadvantages of conflict, we turned a new page, towards a forward looking journey to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, and strengthening the domestic economy including local agriculture and industries.

In working towards realizing the Sustainable Development Goals, my government has accorded priority to conservation of the environment. I must make special mention of the fact that today, just as my own country, the entire world, including the United States of America, is facing difficulties and challenges as a result of climate change. In this context, it is essential that the international Agreement that we reached in Paris, and the unity that we achieved internationally by signing and ratifying the Agreement is carried forward through its implementation. This is an important goal that is before the world community today, that I must emphasise. It is vital that we bear in mind the importance of implementation of the Paris Agreement in the interest of humankind as well as the eco-systems and all living beings on this planet.

Under the national programme for alleviation of poverty, my government commenced a special programme named “Grama Shakthi” (“Strengthening the Villages”).

Similarly, we have launched a clear economic policy and plan up to the year 2025 named ‘Vision 2025’. Aimed at strengthening the local economy, local agriculture, and alleviation of poverty, it is our fervent hope that the economic development programme ‘Vision 2025’ will enrich our country, infusing it with new energy and prosperity.

Mr. President,

I must make special mention of the fact that both in my country and in countries all over the world, children are today faced with several problems and challenges. In my country, in order to protect children, we have initiated a broad national programme under the theme of “Protecting Children”. Protecting children from drugs and various forms of abuse is important, and must receive our special attention at national and international level. It is critical that such programmes are drawn up with clear targets for implementation at both national and international level.

The world is seized of the need for protection and promotion of Women’s Rights. Achieving gender parity is still a challenge in most countries and in most societies. Discrimination against women still remains a problem in most societies, that must be addressed. In my country, over 52% of the population are women. Women’s Rights are guaranteed through amendments to our Constitution. Similarly, my Government has included in the new Constitutional amendments, provision to ensure that 25% of the list of candidates at elections should comprise of women.

Protection of children, protection of women’s rights, and steps to combat drug abuse are programmes that we have started at national level. Similarly, it is important that the United Nations too pays attention to the need for an international, world-wide programme to eradicate illegal drugs and deal with the challenges of drug abuse. This is important in the interest of the entirety of humankind. Accordingly, all countries and all societies, from school children onwards should be made conscious of the need to combat and eradicate the scourge of drug abuse that poses a significant challenge to all of humanity. It is necessary to explore the possibility of reaching an international Plan of Action through consensus, towards this end.

When I was elected to office in 2015 after the end of a nearly three-decade long conflict, there were two main problems or challenges that we had to face. One of the main problems was the severe debt burden. The other problem was the issue that the previous government had faced in dealing with the implementation of Human Rights Council resolutions pertaining to allegations of violations of human rights during the conflict.

Through the programme that we have launched to strengthen the domestic economy, we have taken steps to establish target oriented measures for reducing the debt burden, including through attracting foreign investment. Similarly, my Government is committed to taking steps, as a priority, to find solutions to the matters of concern that have received the attention of the Human Rights Council. While we have taken steps towards consolidating democracy and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms during the last two-and-a-half years and successfully established a democratic society, we will continue to work in the future towards the further strengthening of these important attributes.

I must especially emphasise that my Government is firmly committed to strengthen national reconciliation, and ensure that all the people living in my country, speaking different languages, and of different religions are able to live in unity, without fear, suspicion, hatred and anger. We are determined to build a society where everyone is able to live with freedom and dignity as equal citizens. My Government is committed to achieve these ends in a holistic manner through the strengthening of the domestic economy and the creation of prosperity and taking steps to create a disciplined and righteous society. Consolidating the Rule of Law and righteousness are priorities to which my Government remains firmly committed.

Mr. President,

I must emphasise that, at this important time in my country’s journey, when we are taking progressive measures to strengthen democracy, human rights and fundamental freedoms, and we are moving forward forging friendships and closer engagement with the international community, we look forward to receive greater support from the United Nations Organisation for my Government to be able to succeed in our nation-building endeavour.

Sri Lanka has been a member of the United Nations for almost 62 years. I must stress that Sri Lanka, as a member of the UN, is firmly committed to abiding by its Charter, and the Conventions and Rules and Regulations and decisions of the United Nations at all times.

Accordingly, we seek the respectful support of all, as we take steps in a progressive manner, to address allegations and implement resolutions, while protecting the independence and sovereignty of my country. Some expect quick action and short-sighted, short-term solutions. As a country which has suffered an almost 30-year-long conflict, I urge the respectful support of all, in ensuring the success of the journey we have embarked upon to unite the people who were torn by division in my country, to build feelings of unity and compassion, to dispel fear, suspicion, anger and hatred and take forward the beloved people of my country and strengthen and rebuild my beloved motherland as a strong and prosperous democracy. Our path forward must be stable and progressive and not one of haste that may be destabilizing, considering the complex and sensitive nature of issues that we face.

I once again urge the United Nations and the international community to support and assist the journey that we have undertaken to ensure non-recurrence of conflict in my country, to forge unity and friendship among all communities in my country, to take my country forward as a nation that is reconciled and all citizens of all communities, speaking different languages, of different religions, are united and bound by feelings of humanity. I seek your support for the development efforts we have undertaken that are essential for the reconciliation efforts to succeed and ensure non-recurrence of conflict and our vision of a nation that is righteous, prosperous and democratic, to succeed, as an example to other countries that are also recovering from conflict.

Mr. President,

Mr. Secretary General,

I conclude my remarks, wishing you the very best and assuring you of Sri Lanka’s cooperation.

Thank you.

May the Triple Gem Bless You.

ஐக்கிய நாடுகள் சபையின் பொதுப்பேரவைக் கூட்டத்தின் 72ஆவது அமர்வில்இலங்கை சனநாயக சோசலிசக் குடியரசின் சனாதிபதி அதிமேதகுஎச்..மைத்திரிபால சிறிசேன அவர்களினால் ஆற்றப்பட்ட உரை


 2017 செப்தெம்பர் 19ஆந் திகதி

ஐக்கிய நாடுகள், நியூயோர்க்



அனைவருக்கும் இனிய மாலை வணக்கம்!


பொதுச்சபையின் மாண்புமிகு தலைவர் அவர்களே!

ஐக்கிய நாடுகளின் மேன்மைதங்கிய செயலாளர் நாயகம் அவர்களே!

மேன்மை மிக்க பேராளர்களே!

கௌரவ விருந்தினர்களே!

பெண்மணிகளே, கனவான்களே!


இந்த பொதுப்பேரவைக் கூட்டத்தின் 72ஆவது அமர்வில், விசேடமாக புதிய செயலாளர்நாயகமாகவும், தலைவராகவும் ஒருவர் பதவிப்பிரமாணம் செய்திருக்கும் இச் சந்தர்ப்பத்தில்அவருக்கு எனது மனமார்ந்த வாழ்த்துக்களை தெரிவித்துக் கொள்வதோடு, எனது உரையைஆரம்பிக்கவுள்ளதையிட்டு நான் மிகவும் மகிழ்ச்சியடைகின்றேன். இலங்கையின் தலைவர் என்றவகையில், மூன்றாவது முறையாகவும் இந்தக் கூட்டத்தில் உரையாற்றவுள்ளதையிட்டு நான் பெருமகிழ்ச்சியடைகிறேன்.

இந்த பொதுப்பேரவைக் கூட்டத்தின் 72ஆவது அமர்வின் தொனிப்பொருள், “மக்கள் மீது தீவிரகவனம் செலுத்துதல்: நிலைபேறான உலகில் அனைவருக்கும் சமாதானம் மற்றும்மரியாதைக்குரிய வாழ்வை வழங்க வழிவகுத்தல்” என்பதாக அமைந்துள்ளது. தற்போது உலகில்நிலவுகின்ற பிரச்சனைகளை கவனத்தில் எடுத்துக் கொள்கையில், இது காலோசிதமானதொனிப்பொருளாக அமைந்துள்ளது.

கடந்த 2015ஆம் ஆண்டு ஜனவரி மாதத்தில் இலங்கையின் சனாதிபதியாக நான் தெரிவுசெய்யப்பட்டேன். அவ்வாறு நான் தெரிவு செய்யப்படுவதற்கு முன்னர், எனது அன்பிற்குரியமக்களுக்கு என்னால் ஒருசில உறுதிமொழிகளும், வாக்குறுதிகளும் வழங்கப்பட்டிருந்தன. அந்தஉறுதிமொழிகளுள் விசேடமாக, உலகில் வேறெந்த சனநாயக முறைமையுடைய நாட்டுத்தலைவரும் கொண்டிராத அதீத அதிகார பலத்தை இலங்கையின் நிறைவேற்று அதிகாரம்கொண்ட ஜனாதிபதி கொண்டிருந்ததுடன், நான் சனாதிபதியாக பதவியேற்ற பின்னர் அப்பலத்தை இல்லாதொழித்து, பாராளுமன்றத்தின் வசம் ஒப்படைப்பேன் என்பதும் ஒன்றாகும்.

நான் ஜனாதிபதியாக பதவியேற்றதன் பின்னர், அதீத அதிகார பலத்தை சரியான முறையில்பயன்படுத்தியதோடு, அந்த அதிகார பலத்தை பாராளுமன்றம் வசம் ஒப்படைத்தேன். அதீதஅதிகார பலத்தை கைவிட்ட அரச தலைவர் என்ற வகையில், எனது நாட்டின் தேசியஅரசியலுக்கும், சர்வதேச அரசியலுக்கும் முன்னுதாரணத்தை வழங்கியுள்ளேன். ஜனநாயகத்தைபாதுகாத்து, ஊக்குவித்து வரும் நாடுகளாக, அதிகாரத்திற்கு வரும் தலைவர்கள் சனநாயகத்தைபாதுகாப்பதற்கும், வலுப்படுத்துவதற்குமான நடவடிக்கைகளை முன்னெடுக்க வேண்டியமையும்,அதிகாரத்தை பொறுப்புடன் பயன்படுத்துவதும், நேர்மையான சமுதாயத்தைகட்டியெழுப்புவதற்காக ஒருவரின் அதிகாரத்தை பயன்படுத்த வேண்டியமையும் மிகமுக்கியமாகும்.

எனினும், கடந்த சில தசாப்தங்களில் இடம்பெற்ற உலக வரலாற்றை கருத்தில் எடுத்துக்கொள்கையில், அதிகாரத்திற்கு வரும் தலைவர்கள் அதிகாரத்தை கைவிடவும், அதிலிருந்துவிலகவும் காட்டிய எதிர்ப்பானது, தத்தமது நாட்டினுள் சமாதானத்தை வலுவிழக்கச்செய்திருந்ததுடன், சர்வதேச அளவிலும் நாடுகளுக்கிடையே வௌ;வேறு பிளவுகளையும்,முரண்பாடுகளையும் ஏற்பட வழிவகுத்திருந்தன. வரலாற்றிலிருந்து அத்தகைய அனுபவங்களைநாம் கண்டுள்ளோம்.

எமது நாட்டினுள் சனநாயகத்தை உறுதி செய்து, அதீத பலத்தை வைத்திருந்து தவறானமுறையில் அதிகாரத்தை பயன்படுத்திய அரசியல் குழுக்களை வெளியேற்றுவதிலும் நாம்வெற்றியடைந்துள்ளோம். கடந்த இரண்டரை வருடங்களாக, மக்களின் சுதந்திரத்தை நிறுவுதல்,மனித உரிமைகளை பாதுகாத்தல் மற்றும் அடிப்படை உரிமைகள் ஆகியவற்றை மீளநிலைநாட்டுவதிலுமான எமது பயணத்தில் நாம் வெற்றி கண்டுள்ளோம்.

எமது நாட்டின் அபிவிருத்தியிலான எமது பயணத்தில், 2017 ஆம் ஆண்டு ‘வறுமையை தணிக்கும்வருடம்” என்பதாக பெயரிடப்பட்டுள்ளது. எனது நாட்டைப் போன்று, ஒட்டுமொத்த உலகசமூகத்தினரும் இன்று வறுமையை ஒழிக்கும் முயற்சிகளில் தம்மை ஈடுபடுத்தி வருகின்றனர். 2017 ஆம் ஆண்டு ‘வறுமையிலிருந்து விடுதலை’ என பெயரிடப்பட்டுள்ள நிலையில், இந்த வருடம்உள்நாட்டு  பொருளாதாரத்தை வலுப்படுத்தக்கூடிய வகையில் இலங்கையில் அபிவிருத்திதிட்டங்களை முன்னெடுத்துள்ளோம். இலங்கையில் கடந்த 30 வருடங்களாக இடம்பெற்றமோதல்கள், எமது பொருளாதாரத்தை பாரதூரமான முறையில் பாதித்ததுடன், எமதுபொருளாதாரத்தையும் வலுவிழக்கச் செய்திருந்தமை சர்வதேச சமூகத்தினர் அனைவருமேஅறிந்த விடயமாகும். எமது நாட்டினுள் நிலவிய பிரிவினைவாத பயங்கரவாத இயக்கத்தைமுறியடித்து, சமாதானத்தை கட்டியெழுப்பி ஜனநாயகத்தை நிறுவியதுடன், சமாதானமானதும்,சுதந்திரமானதுமான தேசம் என்ற குறிக்கோளுடன் எமது நாட்டினை முன்னோக்கி நகர்த்திச்செல்வதிலும் நாம் வெற்றி அடைந்துள்ளோம். முரண்பாடுகள் காரணமாக ஏற்பட்ட பொருளாதாரபிரதிகூலங்கள் தொடர்பில் நாம் பாடங்களை கற்றுக்கொண்டுள்ளோம். ஆகவே, நிலையானஅபிவிருத்தி இலக்குகளை அடைதல் மற்றும் உள்நாட்டு விவசாயம் மற்றும் கைத்தொழில்உள்ளடங்கலாக உள்நாட்டு பொருளாதாரத்தை வலுப்படுத்துதல் நோக்கி பயணிக்கும் நோக்கில்புதிய அத்தியாயத்தை ஆரம்பித்துள்ளோம்.

நிலையான அபிவிருத்தி இலக்குகளை எய்துவது நோக்கி பயணித்து வரும் எமதுஅரசாங்கமானது, சுற்றுச்சூழலை பாதுகாக்கும் நடவடிக்கைகளுக்கு முன்னுரிமை வழங்கியுள்ளது. இச்சந்தர்ப்பத்தில் மிக முக்கியமான விடயத்தை குறிப்பிடல் வேண்டும். அதாவது, எனது சொந்தநாட்டினைப் போன்று ஐக்கிய அமெரிக்கா உள்ளடங்கலாக முழு உலகுமே காலநிலைமாற்றத்தின் பிரதிபலன்களை அனுபவித்து வருவதுடன், சவால்களுக்கும் முகங்கொடுத்துவருகிறது.

இதன் அடிப்படையில், பரிஸ் நகரில் நாம் கைச்சாத்திட்ட சர்வதேச ஒப்பந்தம் மற்றும்செயல்முறைப்படுத்தல் ஊடாக முன்னெடுக்கப்படவுள்ள ஒப்பந்தத்தில் கைச்சாத்திட்டு உறுதிசெய்ததன் மூலமாக சர்வதேசளவில் நாம் பெற்றுக்கொண்ட ஒற்றுமை அத்தியாவசியமாகஅமைந்துள்ளது. இன்றைய உலக சமூகத்தினருக்கு முன்னால் இது மிக முக்கிய இலக்காககாணப்படுவதை நான் வலியுறுத்துகிறேன். மனிதாபிமானம், பசுமை முறைமை மற்றும் உலகின்மக்கள் அனைவரது நலன் கருதியும் இந்த பாரிஸ் ஒப்பந்தத்தின் செயல்முறைப்படுத்தல்தொடர்பான முக்கியத்துவத்தை நாம் உணர்ந்திருப்பது மிகவும் முக்கியமாகும். வறுமைதணிப்பிற்கான தேசிய திட்டத்தின் கீழ், எனது அரசாங்கத்தினால் ‘கிராம ஷக்தி’ (கிராமங்களைவலுப்படுத்தல்) எனும் பெயரில் விசேட நிகழ்ச்சித் திட்டமொன்று ஆரம்பிக்கப்பட்டுள்ளது. இதையொத்ததாக, நாம் ‘தொலைநோக்கு 2025’ எனும் தெளிவான பொருளாதாரக் கொள்கைமற்றும் 2025 ஆம் ஆண்டு வரையான திட்டத்தையும் அங்குரார்ப்பணம் செய்துள்ளோம். உள்நாட்டு பொருளாதாரம்;, உள்நாட்டு விவசாயம் ஆகியவற்றை வலுப்படுத்தல் மற்றும் வறுமைஒழிப்பு ஆகியவற்றை குறிக்கோளாக கொண்டுள்ள பொருளாதார அபிவிருத்தி திட்டமான‘தொலைநோக்கு 2025’ ஆனது புதிய ஆற்றலை ஏற்படுத்தி எமது நாட்டினை வளப்படுத்தும் எனநாம் எதிர்பார்த்துள்ளோம்.

மாண்புமிகு தலைவர் அவர்களே!

எனது நாட்டிலும், உலகின் ஏனைய நாடுகளிலும் உள்ள குழந்தைகள்; பல்வேறு விதமானபிரச்சனைகளையும், சவால்களையும் சந்தித்து வருவதை இந்நேரத்தில் நான் விசேடமாககுறிப்பிட விரும்புகிறேன். குழந்தைகளை பாதுகாக்கும் நோக்கில் எனது நாட்டில் ‘குழந்தைகளைபாதுகாத்தல்’ எனும் கருப்பொருளின் கீழ் விரிவான தேசிய நிகழ்ச்சித்திட்டத்தை நாம்முன்னெடுத்துள்ளோம். போதைப்பொருட்கள் மற்றும் பல்வேறு விதமானதுஷ்பிரயோகங்களிலிருந்து குழந்தைகளை பாதுகாப்பது மிக முக்கியமான விடயமாகஉள்ளதுடன், தேசிய மற்றும் சர்வதேச மட்டத்தில் நாம் விசேட கவனத்தை செலுத்துவதுகட்டாயமானதாகும். தேசிய மற்றும் சர்வதேச அளவில் இத்தகைய நிகழ்ச்சித்திட்டங்கள்தெளிவான இலக்குகளை கொண்டிருக்கின்றன.

உலகளவில் தற்போது பெண்களின் உரிமைகளை மேம்படுத்தல் மற்றும் பாதுகாப்பதற்கானதேவை நிலவுகிறது. பெரும்பாலான நாடுகளிலும், சமூகங்களிலும் பெண்களுக்கு சமஉரிமையை பெற்றுக்கொடுப்பது இன்னமும் மிகப்பெரிய சவாலாகவே காணப்படுகிறது. பெண்களுக்கெதிரான வன்முறைகள் பல சமூகங்களிலும் நடந்தேறி வருவதுடன், அவற்றைஅடையாளப்படுத்த வேண்டியது மிக முக்கியமாகும். எனது நாட்டில் 52 சதவீதத்தினர் பெண்கள்ஆவர். எமது அரசிலயமைப்பில் சீர்திருத்தங்களை ஏற்படுத்துவதனூடாக பெண்களின்உரிமைகளை உறுதி செய்து வருகிறோம். இதற்கிணையாக, தேர்தலின் போது வேட்பாளர்பட்டியலில் 25 சதவீதம் பெண்களின் பங்களிப்பை உறுதி செய்யும் வகையில் புதியஅரசியமைப்பு சீர்திருத்தங்களை எனது அரசு உள்ளடக்கியுள்ளது. குழந்தைகள் மற்றும்பெண்களின் உரிமைகளை பாதுகாத்தல் மற்றும் போதைபொருள் துஷ்பிரயோகங்களைஇல்லாதொழிக்கும் வகையிலான நிகழ்ச்சித்திட்டங்களை நாம் தேசிய மட்டத்தில்ஆரம்பித்துள்ளோம். சட்ட விரோதமான போதைப்பொருள் ஒழிப்பு மற்றும் போதைபொருள்துஷ்பிரயோகங்களினால் ஏற்படும் சவால்களை கையாளும் வகையில் சர்வதேச மற்றும்உலகளாவிய ரீதியிலான திட்டங்களை முன்னெடுப்பதற்கான தேவை குறித்து ஐக்கிய நாடுகள்கவனம் செலுத்தி வருகின்றமை மிக முக்கியமானதாக அமைந்துள்ளது. இதற்கமைய, உலகின்அனைத்து நாடுகளும், அனைத்து சமூகத்தினரும், பாடசாலை சிறுவர்கள் முதற்கொண்டுஅனைவருமே மிகப்பெரிய சவாலை ஏற்படுத்தியுள்ள போதைபொருட்களை ஒழிப்பதற்கானதேவையை உணர்ந்திருத்தல் வேண்டும். ஒருமித்த கருத்தின் ஊடாக, சர்வதேச நிகழ்ச்சித்திட்டத்தை பூர்த்தி செய்வதற்கான சாத்தியப்பாடுகள் குறித்து கண்டறிய வேண்டியமையும்அத்தியாவசியமாகும்.

அத்துடன் கடந்த மூன்று தசாப்தங்களாக போரினால் பாதிப்படைந்த எனது நாட்டில், 2015ஆம்ஆண்டு நான் சனாதிபதியாக பதவியேற்கும் சந்தர்ப்பத்தில் பிரதானமாக இரு பிரச்சினைகள்நிலவின. அதிகப்படியான வெளிநாட்டு கடனை கொண்டிருந்தமை அதில் மிக முக்கியமானபிரச்சனையாகும். யுத்த காலத்தில் இடம்பெற்றதாக குறிப்பிடப்படும் மனித உரிமை மீறல்கள்சம்பந்தமாக ஐக்கிய நாடுகள் சபையின் மனித உரிமை ஆணையத்தினால் கடந்த அரசாங்கம்முகங்கொடுத்த பிரச்சனை மற்றையதாகும். இந்த நிகழ்ச்சித்திட்டம் ஊடாக உள்நாட்டுபொருளாதாரத்தை நாம் வலுப்படுத்தியதுடன், கவர்ச்சிகரமான வெளிநாட்டு முதலீடுகள் ஊடாககடன் சுமையை குறைக்கும் வகையிலான இலக்கு சார்ந்த மதிப்பீடுகளை நிறுவுவதற்கானநடவடிக்கைகளை முன்னெடுத்துள்ளோம். மனித உரிமைகள் ஆணைக்குழுவின் கரிசனையைப்பெற்றுள்ள விடயங்கள் தொடர்பில் தீர்வுகளை கண்டறிவதற்கான நடவடிக்கைகளைமுன்னெடுப்பதில் எனது அரசாங்கம் அர்ப்பணிப்புடன் செயற்பட்டு வருகிறது. கடந்த இரண்டரைஆண்டுகளாக சனநாயகத்தை ஒன்றிணைத்தல், மனித உரிமைகள் மற்றும் அடிப்படைசுதந்திரத்தை பாதுகாப்பதற்கான நடவடிக்கைகளை நாம் முன்னெடுத்துள்ளதுடன், இந்தகாரணிகளை எதிர்காலத்திலும் வலுப்படுத்தும் வகையில் தொடர்ச்சியாக நாம்பணியாற்றவுள்ளோம்.

தேசிய நல்லிணக்கத்தை வலுப்படுத்தல், எனது நாட்டினுள் வௌ;வேறு மொழி மற்றும்சமயத்தைச் சேர்ந்த மக்கள் அச்சம்;, சந்தேகம், வெறுப்பு மற்றும குரோதம் இன்றிஒற்றுமையாக வாழ்வதை உறுதி செய்வதில் எனது அரசு அர்ப்பணிப்புடன் செயற்பட்டுவருவதை இச் சந்தர்ப்பத்தில் விசேடமாக வலியுறுத்துகின்றேன். சுதந்திரமாகவும், சம உரிமைகொண்ட குடிமக்களாக கண்ணியமாக அனைவரும் வாழும் சமுதாயத்தை கட்டியெழுப்புவதைநாம் உறுதிப்படுத்தியுள்ளோம். உள்நாட்டு பொருளாதாரத்தை வலுப்படுத்தல், நம்பிக்கையைஉருவாக்கல் மற்றும் மரியாதைக்குரிய சமுதாயத்தை உருவாக்குவதற்கான நடவடிக்கைகளைமுன்னெடுத்தல் ஆகியவற்றின் ஊடாக சிறந்த முறையில் இவ்விலக்கினை எய்துவது தொடர்பில்எமது அரசாங்கம் உறுதிப்பாட்டுடன் திகழ்கிறது. சட்டம் மற்றும் ஒழுக்கநெறி ஆகியவற்றைஒன்றிணைப்பதற்கு எனது அரசாங்கம் முன்னுரிமை அளித்து வருகிறது.

மேன்மை தங்கிய தலைவரே,

சனநாயகம், மனித உரிமைகள் மற்றும் அடிப்படை சுதந்திரம் ஆகியவற்றைவலுப்படுத்துவதற்கான முன்னேற்றகரமான மதிப்பீடுகளை முன்னெடுத்தல், சர்வதேசசமூகத்துடன் நட்புறவையும், நெருங்கிய உறவுகளையும் பேணல், எமது தேசத்தைகட்டியெழுப்பும் எனது அரசாங்கத்தின் பணியை வெற்றி பெறச்செய்வதற்காக ஐக்கிய நாடுகள்சபையின் ஒத்துழைப்பினை பெற எதிர்பார்த்துள்ளதை தற்சமயம் நான் வலியுறுத்துகின்றேன்.

இலங்கையானது 62 ஆண்டுகளாக ஐக்கிய நாடுகள் சபையின் உறுப்பினராகவுள்ளது. ஐக்கியநாடுகளின் உறுப்பு நாடு என்ற ரீதியில், அதன் உரிமை, மாநாடுகள் மற்றும் சட்டங்கள் மற்றும்ஒழுங்குவிதிகள் ஆகியவற்றுடன், அனைத்து நேரங்களிலும் ஐக்கிய நாடுகள் சபையின்தீர்மானங்களுக்கு இணக்கமாகவும் நாம் செயற்பட்டு வருகிறோம்.

இதன் காரணமாக, எனது நாட்டின் சுதந்திரம் மற்றும் இறைமையை பாதுகாப்பதுடன்,குற்றச்சாட்டுகளை அடையாளம் கண்டு அதற்குரிய தீர்வுகளை செயல்முறைப்படுத்தி வரும்இவ்வேளையில், அனைவரதும் ஒத்துழைப்பை பெற நாம் எதிர்பார்த்துள்ளோம். ஒருசிலர்துரிதமான பயணத்தையும், குறுகிய கால தீர்வுகளையும் எதிர்பார்க்கின்றனர்.

30 வருடம் யுத்தத்தினால் பாதிக்கப்பட்ட நாடு என்ற ரீதியில், அச்சம், சந்தேகம், கோபம் மற்றும்வெறுப்பு ஆகியவற்றை இல்லாதொழித்து மக்களை ஒன்றிணைத்தல், எனது நாட்டு மக்களைமுன்னோக்கி நகர்த்துதல் மற்றும் எனது தாய்நாட்டினை சக்திமிக்க தேசமாக மீள கட்டியெழுப்பிவரும் எமது பயணத்தின் வெற்றியை உறுதிப்படுத்தி, அனைவரும் ஒத்துழைப்பை வழங்குமாறுநான் கேட்டுகொள்கிறேன். இதன் காரணமாகவே நாம் தேடிச்செல்லும் வெற்றிகரமானபயணத்திற்கு உங்கள் ஆதரவினை வழங்குமாறு வேண்டி நிற்கின்றேன்.

எனது நாட்டில்; மோதல்கள் மீள நிகழாததை உறுதி செய்தல், எனது நாட்டில் அனைத்துசமூகத்தினர் மத்தியிலும் ஒற்றுமை மற்றும் நட்புறவை ஏற்படுத்துதல், வெவ்வேறு  சமயத்தினர்மற்றும் வெவ்வேறு மொழிகளை பேசும் அனைவர் மத்தியிலும் சகோதரத்துவத்தை ஏற்படுத்தும்எமது பயணத்திற்கு ஐக்கிய நாடுகள் அமைப்பையும் மற்றும் சர்வதேச சமூகத்தையும்ஒத்துழைப்பு வழங்குமாறு மீண்டும் ஒருமுறை வேண்டி நிற்கின்றேன். நல்லிணக்க முயற்சிகள்வெற்றி பெற அவசியமான நடவடிக்கைகள், முரண்பாடுகள் மீள நிகழாமலிருப்பதை உறுதிசெய்தல், எம்மைப் போன்று யுத்தத்திலிருந்து மீண்டெழுந்து வரும் ஏனைய நாடுகளுக்குமுன்னுதாரணமாக ஜனநாயகமும், இறைமையும் கொண்ட தேசத்தை கட்டியெழுப்பும் எமதுநோக்கம் உள்ளிட்ட அபிவிருத்தி முயற்சிகளுக்கும் உங்கள் ஒத்துழைப்பை நான்எதிர்பார்த்துள்ளேன்

கௌரவ தலைவர் அவர்களுக்கும், செயலாளர் நாயகம் அவர்களுக்கும் எனது நல்வாழ்த்துக்களைகூறி எனது உரையை நிறைவு செய்கின்றேன்.



Sri Lanka and Australia sign MOU enabling closer cooperation on counter people smuggling



Sri Lanka and Australia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on 6rth September enabling even closer cooperation between the two countries on counter-people smuggling. The MOU was signed at a ceremony in Canberra by Department of Immigration and Border Protection Secretary Michael Pezzullo and Sri Lankan Secretary for Defence Kapila Waidyaratne, on the sidelines of the Joint Working Group on People Smuggling and Other Transnational Crimes.

The agreement will facilitate the return to Sri Lanka of people who are involved in people smuggling activities. It also paves the way for enhanced information sharing on methods for tracking, intercepting and investigating people smugglers. The agreement will also see further cooperation between the two nations on countering human trafficking, stopping the movement of illicit goods and targeting money laundering and proceeds of crime. Training and cooperation in Australia and Sri Lanka will give officers from both agencies the opportunity to strengthen their skills across these areas and foster closer working relationships.

Australia and Sri Lanka have a long history of successful cooperation on people smuggling and a range of other transnational crimes.


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Sri Lankan Tea celebrated at the Australian Federal Parliament

Australian Members of Parliament, Senators, government officials and Tea industry specialists enjoyed teas from the seven tea growing regions of Sri Lanka at a Tea Party organised in the Main Committee Room of the Australian Parliament on Wednesday 6th September. The Tea Party was co-hosted by the Australia Sri Lanka Parliamentary Friendship Group and the Sri Lanka High Commission to celebrate the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries and the 150th anniversary of the Sri Lankan Tea Industry. Sri Lanka Tea Board was the main partner at the event and provided material support to make the event a success. Read More »

Address by Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana, Indian Ocean Conference 2017: 31 August 2017



Address by Hon Tilak Marapana

 Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka

Indian Ocean Conference 2017

 31st August- 1st September 2017, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Distinguished Guests,
Ladies & Gentlemen,

The Indian Ocean has historically been a powerful communication channel for the spread of culture, global trade and commerce. Today, the Indian Ocean’s traditional status as a major source of livelihood is more valid than ever before, as it remains an important international trade highway.

It is in this context that the 2nd Indian Ocean Conference assumes significance. Identifying common challenges and finding amicable solutions will help us, as a community of nations to grow, prosper and secure our future together. Sri Lanka stands ready to do whatever is necessary towards achieving peace, progress and prosperity in the Indian Ocean region.

As an island nation, Ocean Affairs is of vital significance to Sri Lanka. We have for many years participated prominently in many international and regional initiatives related to Ocean Affairs. More significantly, we were closely involved from the outset with the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea at which a new legal regime for the oceans was developed.

The situation in the world, particularly in the Indian Ocean, has undergone a major transformation since that time. The end of Cold War, and the shift towards globalization, benefitted the region’s economic thrust. However, several new challenges and threats to regional stability and security have emerged such as cross border issues, terrorism, piracy, drug trafficking, and environmental catastrophe. These challenges require the development of a common approach and commitment, by those who are present in the region. 

Our economies rely on the free and secure passage of maritime trade through the region. Therefore, we have a fundamental interest in fostering peace and security and ensuring a safe maritime domain for all. An Indian Ocean, Rules Based Order that respects the rights of all states to the freedom of navigation and over-flight, and ensures unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, in line with international laws and regulations, is essential for peace and prosperity in our region and beyond. A stable and secure Ocean order will not only build confidence and predictability among its users but also assist in combating maritime crime and ensuring the safety and security of our Sea Lanes of Communication. 

Sri Lanka’s National Economic Development policies have incorporated the Indian Ocean as a vital component in its Development Plan. The Blue-Green development strategy, outlined by President Sirisena, places the sustainable utilization of ocean resources at its centre. Our aim is to reap the benefits of Blue Economy by adopting environment friendly green development policies.

Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen, 

We attach great importance to maritime connectivity. We need to start linking up maritime expertise across the board in the Indian Ocean Region. Our future depends on sharing this wealth of experience and knowledge that will lead to a collective success story.

The challenge that confronts us is to find a structure on how to sustain and promote peace, progress and prosperity in the Indian Ocean Region.

Towards this end, I believe that

-Our economic drive should be matched by a commitment to protecting our environment particularly our oceans, and to manage ocean resources in a sustainable manner in order to ensure healthier oceans and a more prosperous society.

-Our political goals need to be matched by mutual respect and a strong determination to adhere to the laws and rules based systems that govern the seas.

Let us take home a commitment to direct our energy towards a sustainable ocean economy, together with better ocean protection as well as for maintaining peace in our oceans.

I thank you all.

Remarks by Prasad Kariyawasam, Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Panel on Peace in the Indian Ocean Region, Indian Ocean Conference 2017, Colombo: 1st September 2017


Remarks by Prasad Kariyawasam

Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,

Panel on Peace in the Indian Ocean Region

Indian Ocean Conference 2017, Colombo: 1st September 2017

Good morning to everyone and a warm welcome to Day 2 of the 2nd Indian Ocean Conference.

Shri S. Jaishankar, Foreign Secretary of India will deliver the Keynote Address of this session on “Peace in the Indian Ocean Region”, followed by three plenary sessions.

The first plenary that will focus on ‘Peace’ will have the Foreign Secretary of Australia Ms. Frances Adamson, Acting US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Ambassador Alice Wells, and Director General for Asia and Pacific of the Foreign Office of Germany, Ms. Ina Lepel.

A few words before I give the floor to Shri Jaishankar.

-First and foremost, I want to congratulate Shri Ram Madhav and the India Foundation, the Bangladesh Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies, and the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies of Singapore for organizing this important Conference in Colombo and for bringing all of you here to our island home.

-You have brought together, important policy makers, strategic thinkers, political leaders and academics from across the region here to Colombo for this important Conference on a subject that will have a determining impact on the future, not only of this region, but the world at large. In fact, having been the High Commissioner for Sri Lanka to India recently for a little over 4 years, I am very happy to welcome and meet again, some of the best minds in India who are here to join us in these deliberations.

-Yesterday evening, at the inauguration, among other important dignitaries, we had the privilege of hearing from the Minister of External Affairs of India, the Foreign Minister of Singapore, the Vice President of Seychelles and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, of their vision for a peaceful, prosperous, and stable Indian Ocean Region.

‘Peace and Stability’ in the Indian Ocean is essential for the development and progress of the Indian Ocean region, and the world at large; and this important subject of ‘Peace’ is the focus of this Plenary Session. As you know, nothing happens in isolation in the globalized world. Anything that happens in this region will have its impact on countries and peoples living far beyond this region. This, we all know to be true.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Indian Ocean is the world’s third largest body of water. Dominated by two immense bays – the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, this region encompasses such a vast diversity of cultures,  peoples, religions, ethnicities, languages, and political systems. This great Indian Ocean was the holder of mysteries and the keeper of secrets for our ancestors, as it still does for us in many ways. This Indian Ocean united people and cultures that lived oceans apart, as the fearless sea-farers of the ancient world traversed the Indian Ocean from Arabia, right across to China, sharing their ideas and philosophies, faiths, and knowledge with people in distant lands, while trading and engaging in sea-based commerce.

This Ocean has brought fame and fortune, tears and grief, conflict and peace, progress and prosperity, to people in the Indian Ocean nations at different times in history. The story of the Indian Ocean continues, and it is now our turn to write its next chapter and chart its course.

Our destiny is in our hands. What will we choose to do? It is our strong belief that we must choose Peace, sincerely, genuinely, and wholeheartedly. We must choose friendship, cooperation, and mutual benefit, shunning adversarial competition and conflict. We must take steps without delay, in the interest of all our people, to put in place a strong, transparent, inter-dependent and rules-based architecture that can secure for our people, the peace and prosperity that will benefit all.

I see no other means to lift the millions that live in our countries out of poverty and conflict, for meaningful prosperity.

The Indian Ocean Peace poses many challenges as well as opportunities in the present day. The Ocean keeps the networks of trading alive, providing livelihood and delivering prosperity to our people. At the same time, it also keeps the networks of terrorism, piracy, drug smuggling, and human trafficking, alive, which requires constant vigilance and action through cooperation, in our common interest.

Our desire is for a system in the Indian Ocean where all countries pursue their territorial claims and pursue their aspirations in accordance with international law.  A system that sees greater cooperation, including on natural disasters, maritime security, and for keeping the sea lanes open and safe. A system that enhances economic connectivity in the entire Indo-Asia-Pacific, ensuring the transfer of goods and services at faster speeds, greater volumes, and especially at lower costs.

Sri Lanka, located right in the middle of the orient, is ready to work with our partners in the region and beyond for this purpose. We seek an inclusive Indian Ocean that is peaceful, stable, and secure. Our Ocean, since time immemorial, not only drew the attention of the rest of the world, but benefitted from its interaction with those living beyond. Exchange of ideas, and goods and services within the region and those from afar, have enriched our lives and continues to do so. Establishing a Peaceful Indian Ocean Region, is essential for the long and short-term wellbeing of our region and the billions of people to whom this region is Home. We need to create conditions, processes and procedures for cooperation so that prosperity in the Indian Ocean Region will not remain just a dream for our people.

90% of the world’s population lives by the sea. As mentioned by many speakers yesterday, the seas remain the primary mode for the international transportation of goods, touching the lives of this large body of people, directly. The Indian Ocean Region is no exception. Statistics with regard to sea-borne transport has also been mentioned in this Conference and elsewhere. Therefore, it is evident that sustaining peace and stability in the Oceans including in the Indian Ocean is essential for peace and stability in the littoral. In this context, the proposal by the Hon. Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, to establish a Code of Conduct in the Indian Ocean, we believe, requires urgent attention. It is a win-win proposal that can create an inclusive architecture. We must think innovatively as to how we can work on this proposal, and the appropriate forum for doing so, with the participation of all stakeholders that live in this region and those connected to this region, from beyond.

I am sure that the discussion to follow will include thoughts and ideas of how we could move forward in this direction.

I now invite Shri S. Jaishanker, Foreign Secretary of India, to deliver the Keynote Address.

Register with the High Commission

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If you are a current/former Sri Lankan or an office bearer of a Sri Lankan community organisation we invite you to register with the High Commission.


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