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Lasting peace, Govt’s aim - President

President Mahinda Rajapaksa assures that his Government will leave no stone unturned, to realise Sir Arthur C. Clarke’s 90th Birthday wish of bringing ‘a lasting peace in Sri Lanka’.

President Rajapaksa gave this assurance when he addressed the prestigious occasion to felicitate the world-renowned Space Guru, Futurist, Science Visionary, Vidya Jyothi, Sahithyaratna and Sri Lankabhimanya Sir Arthur C. Clarke’s 90th Birth day at the Central Bank Auditorium in Colombo yesterday.

“In his remarks today too, Sir Arthur displayed the same love for this country, as he listed among his three wishes, his desire ‘to see lasting peace in Sri Lanka as soon as possible’. Sir Arthur has been fortunate to see many of his dreams come true.

“I can give no guarantees on your first two wishes, but I assure you Sir Arthur that my administration will do all within its power to seek to make a reality of your third wish, a lasting peace in Sri Lanka”, President Rajapaksa said.

President Rajapaksa opined that the multi-faceted Sir Arthur was well known as the most famous non-national who has lived amomg us for over 50 years since 1956, and has done yeoman service to the nation in the spheres of education and higher education, science, marine environment, film industry and culture among others, in the post-independance era.

He had also immenesely contributed by his extensive writing and broadcast, to promote Sri Lanka’s image as a tourist destination.

His choice and selection to make Sri Lanka, his adopted land, per se, bore ample testimony for the same.

When in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami, the international community had expressed their concern on Sir Arthur’s safety and whether he would continue to live in Sri Lanka, Sir Arthur’s spontaneous response in the affirmative, had focussed international attention on the need for a tsunami warning system.

“Sir Arthur’s passion for Sri Lanka, his adopted home, had been displayed in abundance by this”, the President added.

Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama, Former Russian Astronaut and first man to walk in space outside a spacecraft in 1965, Dr. Alexey Leonov, NASA’s Solar System Exploration Member Dr. Michael Zolenesky, former Chairman Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Prof. U.R. Rao and the Principal Engineer of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory Dr. Sarath Gunapala also addressed the occasion.

 

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