Honorary Consuls have proactive role in Lanka’s economic revival: Prof. Peiris

Honorary Consuls have proactive role in Lanka’s economic revival: Prof. Peiris

June 15, 2010   04:45 pm


Honorary Consuls representing foreign Governments in Sri Lanka have a pivotal role to play in strengthening Sri Lanka’s relations abroad, stated Minister of External Affairs, Prof. G.L. Peiris.



Prof. Peiris was addressing the Honorary Consuls in Sri Lanka, at the Ministry of External Affairs on Monday, where he noted that after over twenty years, there were opportunities for economic revival in the country and the Honorary Consuls should identify their areas of priorities in attracting investment and tourism into Sri Lanka, states the Foreign Ministry.



The External Affairs Minister recalled the successful visits undertaken by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to Indiaand his own visit to the United States.



Minister Peiris stated that following discussions, the Government of India had agreed to build 50,000 houses for the Internally Displaced persons (IDPs) as an outright grant in the Northern and Eastern Provinces. The Minister also referred to the establishment of a joint venture for building a 500 MW coal-fired power plant at Sampur, Trincomalee incorporating environmentally friendly technologies between the two countries, while also extending assistance for the rehabilitation of Palaly Airport and Kankesanthurai Harbour.



He also stated that Indiawould also help in renovating the Duraiappah Stadium and construct a Cultural Centre in Jaffna. He further stated that the reconstruction of the Madu-Talaimannar railway line and concessionary credit facilities amounting to about US$ 800 million were also offered by India for the railway projects in Sri Lanka.



Referring to his visit to the United States and his meeting with US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, External Affairs Minister, Prof. Peiris noted that Ms. Clinton has reiterated the United States’ strong support for the political and ethnic reconciliation in Sri Lanka. He stated that Ms. Clinton had also reaffirmed the support of the United States for the creation of the ‘Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission’ and had described it as “a promising opportunity to move forward”.



During his address to the Honorary Consuls, Minister Peiris highlighted the importance of the role played by the Sri Lankan diaspora. He stated that they were a significant and vocal segment and called on the Honorary Consuls to engage with them positively in order to re-orient and enable them to play a meaningful role in the reconstruction of the north and east of Sri Lanka.



The Minister pointed out the need to revive the economy of Sri Lanka and to highlight the improving business environment to the international community and potential investors. Minister Prof. Peiris also noted positive developments such as the forthcoming visit of the Ambani brothers, internationally renowned business magnates from India, who were due to visit Sri Lanka shortly to explore possible investment opportunities in the country.



The Minister called upon the Honorary Consuls to participate in this process and work in partnership with the Ministry of External Affairs to increase investment, tourism and business opportunities in Sri Lanka in an era of peace and tranquility. 



Photo caption: Prof. G.L. Peiris addressing the Honorary Consuls. (Pix by: Indika Ranawaka)

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