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* Japanese peace envoy, President discuss current developments in Sri Lanka
Mon, Dec 9, 2013, 09:03 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 09, Colombo: Yasushi Akashi, the representative of the Government of Japan for Peace-Building, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction and Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa Monday held discussions on Sri Lanka's current developments.

Akashi, who arrived in the Island on Sunday on a six-day official visit from 8th to 13th December, met Sri Lankan President this morning at the President's House.

The senior Japanese diplomat and the President discussed a number of matters including progress on the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), the overall reconciliation process and general bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and Japan.

The Government of Japan has decided to send Akashi to Sri Lanka following the successful conduct of the first Northern Provincial Council Elections in Sri Lanka, which was welcomed by Japan as a significant step forward in the national reconciliation process after many years of conflict, a Japanese Embassy statement said.

This is Akashi's 23rd visit to Sri Lanka since he assumed the post as peace envoy in 2002.

According to a President's media release, the last time Akashi met President Rajapaksa was in Japan during the President's official visit to the East Asian country earlier this year. Following that meeting, Akashi has said that "the post-conflict development in Sri Lanka was phenomenal."

"I think everyone tends to judge situation from his or her own background," Akashi has further commented while in Japan.

"That is why I feel that it is rather unfair for some developed countries, which have much more resources than Sri Lanka, to express impatience with Sri Lanka and its development. This is not fair, and this is not objective. Certainly, I am sure that the government and people of Sri Lanka would wish to move much more rapidly, but with Sri Lanka's limited resources, what it has done by itself is amazing," Akashi was quoted as saying. During his stay, Akashi is also scheduled to meet government officials and representatives of the ruling and opposition parties as well as members of civil societies. The peace envoy in his discussions will reiterate the importance of acting continuously to establish sustainable peace and national unity, the Embassy said. Ambassador of Japan in Sri Lanka Nobuhito Hobo accompanied the Japanese envoy at discussions with the President. Minister of External Affairs Prof. G.L. Peiris, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to the Ministry of External Affairs Karunatilaka Amunugama and Sri Lanka's Ambassador in Japan Admiral (Rtd.) Wasantha Karannagoda were present for the meeting.

(Photos by Sudath Silva)

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