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Tuesday, 9 July 2013

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CHOGM in Sri Lanka: victory for country, says Asgiriya prelate

The selection of Sri Lanka as the venue of the CHOGM this year is a great victory achieved by the country which will silence its international critics, said Most Ven. Udugama Sri Buddharakkhitha Mahanayake Thera of the Asgiriya Chapter on July 6. The prelate expressed these sentiments delivering an anusasana when External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris called on him at the Asgiriya Viharaya and received his blessings.

Most Ven. Buddharakkhitha Mahanayake Thera said certain Sri Lankan ambassadors abroad had failed to carry out their duty of enhancing the country’s image and members of the LTTE diaspora abroad had made use of this shortcoming to paint a bleak picture about the country to mislead the international community. He said as such the CHOGM would provide the country with a good platform to counter all false propaganda about the country and enhance the international image.

Prof. Peiris said this is the first time CHOGM is being held in an Asian country for the last 26 years.

He said enhanced relations with Latin America and African countries had helped Sri Lanka be selected as the CHOGM venue this year.

Referring to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, Prof. Peiris said the social environment in Sri Lanka had changed immensely when compared to the time it was introduced 25 years ago.

“Therefore, it was imperative to amend it to suit modern day needs,” he said.

The minister said the argument that an amendment of the 13th Amendment at a time when Northern PC elections were to be held was unacceptable, baseless and an unfounded allegation.

“Such criticism erupted even when the government tried to amend it a year ago too,” Prof. Peiris said.

He said the government would highly value and appreciate if all Opposition parties attended the PSC on amendments to the 13th Amendment. “Their non-participation would be an injustice caused to the people,” the minister said. He said the government could not wait for ever without finding a lasting solution to this problem.

Prof. Peiris also called on the Most Ven. Tibbotuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Mahanayake Thera at the Malwatte Viharaya in Kandy and received his blessings. Earlier, he visited the Sri Dalada Malaigawa and paid homage to the Sacred Tooth Relic.

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