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Tourist arrivals expected to be back to pre-pandemic levels next year

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pre-pandemic levels in 2022.” he said. The Minister said so at a press briefing where about 100 French media personnel and representatives of leading French travel companies were present. The minister said: “Covid-19 booster doses will have been administered to all personnel in the Tourism and Aviation sector in Sri Lanka by the end of this month, so the world can recognise Sri Lanka as a tourism destination that adopts all health protocols to effectively address COVID-19, and make the country a safe destination for foreign visitors. “Now, Sri Lanka is ready to receive tourists from all over the world. The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) and Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau have already implemented special promotional programmes to attract more French tourists to the country. As a result of a bilateral programme, Air France has commenced operating commercial flights to Sri Lanka from November 05. The company has agreed to operate three direct flights per week between France and Sri Lanka on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. This will facilitate more French tourists to visit Sri Lanka during the oncoming winter season.” According to the minister, an agreement has also been reached between Sri Lanka and France to introduce special leisure packages for passengers arriving in Sri Lanka on Air France. As per the agreement, these special packages are planned to be implemented in consultation with hotel owners in the country. Chairperson SLTDA Kimarli Fernando, Chairman of Airport and Aviation Services, Maj. Gen.(retd) G.A. Chandrasiri and Sri Lankan Ambassador to France Prof. Kshanika Hirimburegama also took part in the event. The Island News Friday 12th November, 2021 3 NOTICE OF RESOLUTION PASSED BY THE DIRECTORS OF NATIONS TRUST BANK PLC UNDER SECTION 4 OF THE RECOVERY OF LOANS BY BANKS (SPECIAL PROVISIONS) ACT NO. 4 OF 1990 In terms of Section 8 of the Recovery of Loans by Banks (Special Provisions) Act No.4 of 1990 it is hereby notifi ed that the following Resolution was unanimously passed by the Board of Directors of Nations Trust Bank PLC on 28/09/2021. Lunugama Widanalage Nadeesha Suraj Samitha Jayawickrama, Lunugama Widanelage Sunil and Lunugama Widanelage Shanaka Viraj Jayawickrama. WHEREAS by Mortgage Bond bearing No. 1535 dated 10th August 2018 attested by Upasaka Gedara Himali Pushpakanthi Pragnawardhana Notary Public of Polonnaruwa, Lunugama Widanalage Nadeesha Suraj Samitha Jayawickrama and Lunugama Widanelage Sunil and Lunugama Widanelage Shanaka Viraj Jayawickrama as the mortgagor and obligors, mortgaged and hypothecated the rights, properties and premises morefully described in the schedule hereto in favour of Nations Trust Bank PLC of No. 242, Union Place, Colombo 02 as securities for the due repayment of the fi nancial facilities obtained by the said Lunugama Widanalage Nadeesha Suraj Samitha Jayawickrama, Lunugama Widanelage Sunil and Lunugama Widanelage Shanaka Viraj Jayawickrama; And whereas the said Lunugama Widanalage Nadeesha Suraj Samitha Jayawickrama, Lunugama Widanelage Sunil and Lunugama Widanelage Shanaka Viraj Jayawickrama have made default in the payment due on the facilities secured by the said Bond; IT IS HEREBY resolved under the powers vested by Recovery of Loans by Banks (Special Provisions) Act No. 4 of 1990 that the rights properties and premises morefully described in the schedules, hereto be sold by Public Auction by Mr. L. B. Senanayake Licensed Auctioneer of No. 200, Hulftsdorp Street, Colombo 12 for the recovery of a sum of Rupees Forty Million Eight Thousand Three Hundred and Eighty Two and Cents Forty One (Rs.40,008,382.41) with further interest from 23/08/2021 as agreed on a sum of Rupees Thirty Million (Rs.30,000,000.00) being the capital outstanding on the Term Loan Facility as at 22/08/2021 together with attendant cost, statutory levies, costs of advertising and any other charges incurred less payments (if any) since received. THE SCHEDULE ABOVE REFERRED TO All that divided and defi ned allotment of land marked Lot 01 depicted in Plan No.00083 dated 12th April 2018 made by W. A. D. De Silva Licensed Surveyor of the land called HATHALISDEKEYAYA and DOSTARAWATTA together with everything standing thereon situated at Diyabeduma Village in the Grama Niladari Division of No. 28, Katukeliyawa within the Divisional Secretariat area of Elahera within the Pradeshiya Sabha Limits of Elahera and in the District of Polonnaruwa North Central Province and which said Lot 01 is bounded on the NORTH by Part of Lot 3619 in Topo P.P.25(LAND CLAIMED BY P.G.Samarawickrama) on the EAST by Lot 3625 in Topo P.P.25(Middle Class Land), on the SOUTH by Part of Lot 3619 in Topo P.P.25 (Reservation land for Government) and on the WEST by Lot 530 in Topo P.P.25(Lot 98 in Colony Highlands) and containing in extent ONE ACRE (A1-R0-P0) and Registered at the Polonnaruwa Land Registry under Volume Folio LDO/E 30/119. By Order of the Board 242, Union Place Theja Silva Colombo 02 Company Secretary NOTICE OF RESOLUTION PASSED BY THE DIRECTORS OF NATIONS TRUST BANK PLC UNDER SECTION 4 OF THE RECOVERY OF LOANS BY BANKS (SPECIAL PROVISIONS) ACT NO. 4 OF 1990 In terms of Section 8 of the Recovery of Loans by Banks (Special Provisions) Act No.4 of 1990 it is hereby notifi ed that the following Resolution was unanimously passed by the Board of Directors of Nations Trust Bank PLC on 31/05/2021. Edirisinghe Homes (Private) Limited WHEREAS by Mortgage Bond bearing No. 182 dated 20th February 2018 attested by Maddumage Niluka Dilrukshi, Notary Public of Colombo Edirisinghe Homes (Private) Limited as obligor and Samith Kumara Edirisinghe (a Director of Edirisinghe Homes (Private) Limited) as mortgagor mortgaged and hypothecated the rights, properties and premises morefully described in the Schedule hereto in favour of Nations Trust Bank PLC of No. 242, Union Place, Colombo 02 as securities for the due repayment of the fi nancial facilities obtained by the said Edirisinghe Homes (Private) Limited; And whereas the said Edirisinghe Homes (Private) Limited has made default in the payment due on the facilities secured by the said Bond; IT IS HEREBY resolved under the powers vested by Recovery of Loans by Banks (Special Provisions) Act No. 4 of 1990 that the rights properties and premises morefully described in the Schedule hereto be sold by Public Auction by Mr. I. W. Jayasuriya, Licensed Auctioneer of No. 369/1, Dutugemunu Mawatha, Lewella Road, Mawilmada, Kandy for the recovery of a sum of Rupees Fourteen Million Seven Hundred and Eighty Thousand Seven Hundred and Sixty Three and Cents Seventy Four (Rs.14,780,763.74) with further interest from 25/06/2020 as agreed on a sum of Rupees Eleven Million Eight Hundred and Seventy Five Thousand (Rs.11,875,000.00) being the capital outstanding on the Term Loan facility as at 24/06/2020 together with attendant cost, statutory levies, costs of advertising and any other charges incurred less payments (if any) since received. THE SCHEDULE ABOVE REFERRED TO All that divided and defi ned allotment of land marked Lot 22A (more correctly Lot 22) depicted in Plan No.5027 dated 02.08.2014 made by N B D Wettewa Licensed Surveyor from and out of the land called KARANDAWAKATENNEWATTA alias IMBULEGODAWATTA together with the building and everything standing thereon at Hurikaduwa and Walala Village in the Grama Niladari Division of 677 Hurikaduwa West and Divisional Secretary’s Division of Menikhinna Kundasale and in the Pradeshiya Sabha Limits Kundasale in the Pathdumbara Udugampala Korale in the District of Kandy Central Province and which said Lot 22A is bounded on the NORTH by Lot 23, on the EAST by Drain and Lot 30 (Pradeshiya Sabha Road), on the SOUTH by Lot 17 and on the WEST by Lots 18 and 21 and containing in extent TWELVE DECIMAL THREE PERCHES (A0-R0-P12.3) according to the said Plan No.5027 and registered under Volume Folio D 144/141 at the Kandy Land Registry. By Order of the Board 242, Union Place Theja Silva Colombo 02 Company Secretary PUBLIC NOTICE NOTICE is hereby given that in terms of Section 9(2) of the Companies Act, No. 7 of 2007 That MAHA CAPITAL (Private) Limited changed its name to ELYON GLOBAL (Pvt) Ltd in accordance with the Provisions of Section 8 of the Companies Act, No. 7 of 2007. Former Name of the Company: MAHA CAPITAL (Private) Limited The Company Number: PV17137 Registered Offi ce: No. 98, Havelock Road, Colombo 5 New Name of the Company: ELYON GLOBAL (Pvt) Ltd Name Changed on: 5th October 2021 Seccom (Private) Limited, Company Secretaries 8th November 2021 PUBLIC NOTICE Public Notice of Change of Name of Limited Liability Company pursuant to Section 9 (2) of the Companies Act No. 7 of 2007 Notice is hereby given that the following Company has Changed the Name in accordance with Section 8 of Companies Act No. 07 of 2007 on 30th October, 2021. Former Name of the Company: COLOMBO OFFICE SIX (PRIVATE) LIMITED Number of the Company: P V 114142 Registered Offi ce: LEVEL 26, EAST TOWER, WORLD TRADE CENTER, ECHELON SQUARE, COLOMBO 1. Name of the Company: I W G HOLDINGS LANKA (PRIVATE) LIMITED RNH Holdings (Private) Limited Company Secretaries ‘RNH House’, No: 622 B, Kotte Road, Kotte. Date: 8th November, 2021 By Saman Indrajith UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday told Parliament that an investigation should be conducted to find out what the intelligence units had been doing after receiving a warning on 04 April 2019 of an impending terror attack 16 days later on Easter Sunday. “There was a breakdown in intelligence services. That was why the disaster occurred. They received information on 04 April. What had the intelligence units been doing about that warning? It should be investigated,” Wickremesinghe said, adding that he was the country’s prime minister then but he had not been informed of the warning from Indian intelligence agencies. “It should be investigated what they did after receiving information about a possible attack on 4 April 2019. I was never informed about it. I was never informed of the impending attacks though the matter had been discussed at the Security Council during that time. There was a breakdown and we have to accept that. We never removed any intelligence officer. We appointed a Parliamentary Select Committee to find out why that happened as we had to make sure that the same thing would not happen in future,” Wickremesinghe said. The UNP leader said that there was information that some youth had gone to Syria to obtain ISIS training. They were under surveillance. None of those who had trained in Syria had been involved in Easter Sunday attacks, he said. Responding to an allegation by Public Security Minister Rear Admiral (retd.) Sarath Weerasekera that the then UNP government should be held responsible for the Millennium City Safe House raid in 2002, the UNP leader said that former Army commander General Balagalle was the one who should take responsibility for that. The then President Chandrika Kumaratunge had given clear instructions that no safe houses should be maintained close to the Colombo city. In violation of those instructions the army commander had been maintaining one at the Millennium City. He should have followed instructions. It is he who is responsible for what happened there,” the UNP leader said. By S VEnKat narayan Our Special Correspondent NEW DELHI, November 11: Eight countries that are neighbours of Afghanistan met here on Wednesday and pledged to combat terrorism emanating from that war-ravaged country. They called for an open and inclusive government in Kabul with representation from all sections of Afghan society. A declaration issued at the conclusion of the Delhi Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan emphasised respect for Afghanistan’s sovereignty and non-interference in its internal affairs. This was an apparent reference to Pakistan’s backing for the Taliban, which toppled an elected government and seized power on August 15. Hosted by India, the meeting was attended by top security officials from the eight countries. The security officials pitched for collective efforts to counter extremism, radicalisation, separatism and drug trafficking in the region. The meeting, chaired by India’s national security adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval, was attended by Iran’s supreme national security council secretary Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani, Russia’s security council secretary Nikolai Patrushev, and the security council heads of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. “We all have been keenly watching the developments in [Afghanistan]. These have important implications not only for the people of Afghanistan, but also for its neighbours and the region,” Doval said in televised remarks. “This is a time for close consultations amongst us, greater cooperation, interaction and coordination among the regional countries,” he said. This was the first regional meeting on Afghanistan convened by India since Kabul fell to the Taliban on August 15. However, the dialogue was the continuation of a mechanism whereby Iran hosted two meetings in 2018 and 2019. Pakistan and China were invited to the meeting but chose not to participate. Pakistan’s NSA Moeed Yusuf said last week he wouldn’t attend because India was being a “spoiler” in the region, while the Chinese side cited scheduling problems. The Delhi Declaration on Afghanistan, issued after the meeting, said the eight countries are committed to “combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including its financing, the dismantling of terrorist infrastructure and countering radicalisation, to ensure that Afghanistan would never become a safe haven for global terrorism”. It said that “Afghanistan’s territory should not be used for sheltering, training, planning or financing any terrorist acts”. The declaration stressed the need to form “an open and truly inclusive government that represents the will of all the people of Afghanistan and has representation from all sections of their society, including major ethno-political forces in the country”. The inclusion of all sections of Afghan society in the administrative and political structure is “imperative for the successful national reconciliation process”, it said. The eight countries said they backed a peaceful, secure and stable Afghanistan while emphasising “respect for sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity and noninterference in its internal affairs”. They expressed concern at the suffering of the Afghan people because of the security situation and condemned terror attacks in Kunduz, Kandahar and Kabul. By Ifham nIzam Extreme weather which caused countrywide floods and earth slips is expected to let up from today. It has already claimed the lives of 25 persons; seven others were injured and one is missing, according to the Disaster management Centre (DMC). DMC Deputy Director Pradeep Kodippili said that 222,590 people had been affected in 17 districts and more than 1,276 houses were partially damaged and 23 houses been destroyed. Kodippili said that of the 25 deaths, 12 were due to drowning. “Most of the deaths were due to people swimming or riding boats in the flood areas,” he added. Badulla, Nuwara Eliya, Matale, Gampaha, Colombo, Mannar, Ratnapura, Kalutara, Puttalam, Anuradhapura, Jaffna, Galle, Kegalle, Kurunegala, Kilinocchi, Mulaitivu and Vavuniya districts had been affected by the rains, floods, landslides and winds,” the DMC saidT he DMC said more than 12,000 people were still in relief centres. The latest data shows that around 222,590 people from 63,317 families have been affected by the inclement weather. Nearly 1,000 properties were damaged and valuations are being done by government agents and DMC officials to pay compensation. By Saman IndrajIth Former President and Polonnaruwa District MP Maithripala Sirisena said in Parliament yesterday that he was ready to resign as an MP if it could be proved that he had got three houses amalgamated to build his official residence. Making a special statement with the permission from the Chair, the former President said that Agriculture Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage had accused him of living in a luxury residence for the construction of which three houses had been amalgamated. “I regret that he made such a false statement. The house I am living now was given to me as provided for in the President's Entitlements Act passed in this House by President JR Jayewardene government. As per the Act, a former president is entitled to perks and privileges enjoyed by a Cabinet Minister. That house had previously been used by Minister Keheliya Rambukwella. When President Mahinda Rajapaksa retired I gave the house that I used as the Minister of Health. He uses that house situated at Wijerama Mawatha. Former President Chandrika Kumaratunge lives in a house opposite the DS Senanayake Statue at Torrington Avenue. The widow of President Ranasinghe Premadasa too has been given a house. The houses we are occupying including that of President Mahinda Rajapaksa are not luxury residences despite their looks. Built some 100 years ago, their walls have developed cracks. The house I am using was once given to Prime Minister D.B. Wijetunga, while President Premadasa was living at Temple Trees. It was Prime Minister Wijetunga who amalgamated two houses into one. While I was the President I added a conference hall. So, it was wrong to state that I made a house by combining three houses,” MP Sirisena said. “I also regret another lie that Minister Aluthgamage said in his speech. He said that I used to chat with ministers while drinking whiskey in that house. Anyone who knows me is aware of the fact that I am a teetotaler. I neither consume liquor nor smoke, and I am known as a person who fought hard against the two evils and I will continue to do so. It is regrettable that statements of this nature are made here because it is the duty of Members of this House not to tell lies.” Maithripala Delhi Regional Security Dialogue calls for inclusive government in Afghanistan Tourist arrivals expected to be back to pre-pandemic levels next year

By Sanath Nanayakkare

A project to revive Sri Lanka’s tourism was underway and in 2022 tourist arrivals would return to the pre-pandemic level, Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said in Paris on Tuesday (09).

“Since the reopening of Sri Lanka, more than 70,000 tourist arrivals have been reported so far. Despite Covid-19, Sri Lankan tourism industry earned US$ 130 million between January and October 2021. This will go up to 200,000 arrivals in the coming months because we see the enthusiasm of foreign visitors to explore Sri Lanka in their post-pandemic travel plans, therefore, I am confident that the performance of Sri Lanka tourism industry will reach pre-pandemic levels in 2022.” he said.

The Minister said so at a press briefing where about 100 French media personnel and representatives of leading French travel companies were present.

The minister said: “Covid-19 booster doses will have been administered to all personnel in the Tourism and Aviation sector in Sri Lanka by the end of this month, so the world can recognise Sri Lanka as a tourism destination that adopts all health protocols to effectively address COVID-19, and make the country a safe destination for foreign visitors.

“Now, Sri Lanka is ready to receive tourists from all over the world. The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) and Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau have already implemented special promotional programmes to attract more French tourists to the country. As a result of a bilateral programme, Air France has commenced operating commercial flights to Sri Lanka from November 05. The company has agreed to operate three direct flights per week between France and Sri Lanka on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. This will facilitate more French tourists to visit Sri Lanka during the oncoming winter season.”

According to the minister, an agreement has also been reached between Sri Lanka and France to introduce special leisure packages for passengers arriving in Sri Lanka on Air France.

As per the agreement, these special packages are planned to be implemented in consultation with hotel owners in the country.

Chairperson SLTDA Kimarli Fernando, Chairman of Airport and Aviation Services, Maj. Gen.(retd) G.A. Chandrasiri and Sri Lankan Ambassador to France Prof. Kshanika Hirimburegama also took part in the event.



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SL defenceless, warn experts

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New COVID variants

By Rathindra Kuruwita

Due to the lax testing at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA), there is a strong possibility that any new variant of COVID-19 entering the country, College of Medical Laboratory Science (CMLS) President, Ravi Kumudesh told The Island yesterday commenting on the detection of a new coronavirus variant spreading in South Africa.

Even a travel ban would be useless unless the country enhances its testing and surveillance capacities, Kumudesh said.

Kumudesh said that PCR tests were not conducted on passengers on arrival and that it was likely that even those not fully vaccinated were entering the country. “Gene sequencing in respect of those infected with COVID inside the country was at a minimal level, and therefore, there is no way we can find out whether a new variant has entered the country until it is too late.

“There are two state-of-the-art labs in the BIA but no tests are done there. We are not ready, at all. Several nations are imposing travel bans on travellers from South Africa and the region. Perhaps, we should follow suit. However, the fact that we don’t test those coming in means that even a travel ban might be useless,” he said.

Kumudesh added that the number of PCR tests conducted had dropped to such a low level that reagents used in some labs for PCR testing are now nearing the expiry dates. The attitude of health officials at the airport is such that everyone operates on the basis that testing of passengers is not important.

Executive Director of the Institute for Health Policy (IHP), Dr. Ravi Rannan-Eliya yesterday said the detection of the new South African variant was potentially very bad news for all countries, and certainly for Sri Lanka.

“We still don’t have sufficient data on this, but I am very worried. It was only discovered a few days ago, but the scanty evidence strongly indicates that this new variant is driving a rapid increase in infections in S Africa. Only 100 cases have been confirmed officially, but reports indicate it may be 90% of new cases since Wed in Johannusburg,” he said.

Dr. Rannan-Eliya said that his best guess was that three out of four South Africans had been infected by COVID during the pandemic. Thus, a large number of them had acquired natural immunity. Moreover, 25% of others have been vaccinated.

“So this rapid spread despite a lot of immunity is very disturbing. This really points to this new variant—B1.1.529—being both more infectious and also significantly immune resistant. Something that also matches with its particular mutations,” he said.

Dr. Rannan-Eliya said he was not surprised at the emergence of the new variant because contrary to many experts who drink the kool-aid, there is no scientific basis to think SARS-CoV-2 had matured in its evolution. It might still have a lot of potential to evolve greater immune evasion and virulence, and that we should act on that basis.

“Second, because most of the world is following the misguided strategy of just accepting the virus (hey you – USA, UK, Sri Lanka…), the virus has plenty of chances to keep on mutating more because the truth is more of the virus is circulating than ever before. Third, despite a lot of nonsense about how T-cell immunity is going to protect us, there’s really no evidence that either infection or current vaccines and boosters will ever give us long-lasting immunity. We simply don’t know.”

Countries like South Africa, Peru, etc., who had such high levels of infection that much of their population was infected more than once, still continue to suffer new waves of infection.

“So this is bad news for all of us humans on planet earth, but very definitely for us in Sri Lanka. Why? Because based on how our medical establishment and govt authorities think, we will be slow or refuse to put the necessary border controls in to prevent this entering. And when it does enter-which is inevitable if this variant spreads globally–we will be slow to detect its entry, we will refuse to sound the alarm, and we will do everything but actually attempt to stop it. That’s been our track record, so why would it change? Worth noting that if this starts a new wave in Southern Africa, it’s just three to four months after their third wave. So just as immunity starts waning appreciably from natural infection (or vaccines). That gives us a strong hint of what our future holds unless we end this pandemic.”

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Navy deploys lagoon craft at Kurinchankerny until construction of new bridge

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Residents waiting for the boat

Sri Lanka Navy began providing transport facilities at the Kurinchankerny lagoon following the recent tragedy that claimed several lives. This service will continue until the construction of a new bridge at Kurinchankerny, Kinniya in Trincomalee is completed.

This initiative was set in motion following the directives of Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Nishantha Ulugetenne. The Navy deployed a Lagoon Craft, capable of carrying 25 passengers safely at a time from Thursday (25) under the supervision of the Eastern Naval Command. The lagoon craft will be in service from 7.00 a.m. to 8.00 a.m. and from 12.00 noon to 2.00 p.m. each day. Further, the Navy erected a temporary jetty to allow passengers to board the vessel safely.

A schoolgirl on her way to the ferry
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UN Assistant Secretary General during talks with President pledges to work closely with Sri Lanka

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The United Nations will always work closely with Sri Lanka, said Khaled Khiari, UN Assistant Secretary General for Political, Peacebuilding and Peace Operations. Khiari made these remarks when he met President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat, on Thursday (25).

UN Assistant Secretary General Khiari is visiting Sri Lanka as a follow-up to the bilateral meeting with the President and the UN Secretary- General Antonio Guterres held in September this year on the sidelines of the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly. Khiari conveyed the best wishes of UN Secretary-General Guterres to President Rajapaksa and said that the UN is willing to engage in a constructive and positive engagement with Sri Lanka.

Expressing satisfaction over the President’s affection and interest in the environment, the Assistant Secretary General appreciated Sri Lanka’s commitment to achieving the Millennium Development Goals. The President explained that steps are being taken to plant 100,000 mangroves with the assistance of the Navy and actions are being taken to prevent climate change through environmental conservation programmes.

President Rajapaksa expressed gratitude to the UN agencies and donors that have assisted Sri Lanka through the COVAX facility to make the vaccination drive successful and in facing other challenges in the face of the COVID-19 epidemic.

The President pointed out that the government’s development programme implemented in the North and East after the end of the war in 2009 had brought about rapid development. The President recalled his invitation made while participating in the UN General Assembly to the diaspora to work together with all communities after visiting Sri Lanka. The President said that he hoped that the invitation would be met with positive initiatives.

The two sides exchanged views on unity and relations between communities. An environment where all communities can live freely has been made available in Sri Lanka. The President pointed out that the Minister of Justice is from the Muslim community, the Attorney General is from the Tamil community and many of those holding other key posts are of different communities. President Rajapaksa said the government has undertaken a great task in building unity among the communities and therefore, no one should have any doubt in this regard.

Both sides were of the view that education was fundamental to unity among the communities. President Rajapaksa said that the process by which South Africa has been able to end apartheid and move forward will be studied and the lessons that can be learned from it and what can be implemented will be looked into. The President also expressed hope that the United Nations will provide assistance in this regard.

Secretary to the President Dr. P.B. Jayasundera and Principal Advisor to the President Lalith Weeratunga, Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in Sri Lanka Hanaa Singer-Hamdy, and Political Officer at the UN Peace Operations Department’s Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Department Chiaki Ota were also present.

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