The meeting to elect office-bearers for the Sri Lanka – United Kingdom Parliamentary Friendship Association of the Ninth Parliament was held at the Parliament under the chairmanship of Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana recently.
Acting High Commissioner of United Kingdom in Sri Lanka Lisa Whanstall was present at the meeting as the Chief Guest. The Deputy Speaker Ajith Rajapakse, Ministers and Members of Parliament and the Secretary General of the Parliament Kushani Rohanadeera were also present.
State Minister Diana Gamage, Members of Parliament S.M.M. Muszhaaraff and Ashok Abeysinghe were appointed as the Vice Presidents of the Friendship Association. M. A. Sumanthiran was appointed as Secretary, Harshana Rajakaruna, as Assistant Secretary, and Sagara Kariyawasam as Treasurer.
Speaking on the occasion, Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana, the Speaker said that he would like to express his gratitude for all the support given to Sri Lanka through the bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom for seven decades. Furthermore, he also expressed gratitude for providing opportunities for Members of Parliament and Parliamentary staff through seminars, workshops and study tours through the Westminster Foundation for Democracy.
Addressing those present the Acting High Commissioner of the United Kingdom to Sri Lanka, Lisa Whanstall said that the United Kingdom is happy to support Sri Lanka through multilateral organizations such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the United Nations to overcome the economic crisis. Also, she added that she is ready to work with other lenders and the Government of Sri Lanka to restore debt sustainability.
Chandima Weerakkody, Member of Parliament, newly elected President of the Sri Lanka-United Kingdom Parliamentary Friendship Association, who spoke at the meeting expressed his gratitude for appointing him as president. He also stated that through this he hopes to further strengthen and develop the relations between the United Kingdom and Sri Lanka.