Aug 17, Colombo: Sri Lanka is ready to host the 58th annual conference of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) in Colombo next month with the participation of Speakers from over 54 countries and representatives from179 CPA branches, Sri Lanka Speaker and current CPA Chairman Chamal Rajapaksa said .
Sri Lanka will hold the 58th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference from September 7 -15 under the theme 'Ensuring a Relevant Commonwealth for the Future'.
Addressing a media briefing on the CPA Conference Thursday, the Speaker said participation of over 600 delegates including speakers and parliamentarians together with more than 100 observers is a clear indication of Sri Lanka's return to normalcy after three decades of battling terrorism.
The CPA conference will help convince those belong to the Commonwealth that the values of CPA and the Commonwealth organization are well-preserved and will set the background for Sri Lanka to hold the 2013 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), the deputy speaker Chandima Weerakkody said at the press briefing.
The conference participants are free to take tours in anywhere in the country, including the conflict-affected North and East, Weerakkody said adding that it will give the participants an opportunity to firsthand see the post-war development in Sri Lanka.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa will be the chief guest at the opening session, the Speaker said. The opening ceremony is to take place at Nelum Pokuna Mahinda Rajapaksa Performing Arts Theatre in Colombo.
The conference will have workshops on several topics including Access to Health and Education, Democracy and Human Rights, Conflict Resolution and Peace Building and Youth Unemployment.
Sri Lanka is hosting the CPA conference for the third time. Colombo has hosted the CPA Conference in 1974 and 1995.
The CPA is an Association of Commonwealth Parliamentarians aiming to promote good governance, democracy and protection of human rights in member countries.