Oct 02, Colombo: Sri Lanka's President Mahimda Rajapaksa arrived in the country Wednesday after a successful visit to New York during which he addressed the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly held in United Nations Headquarters in New York.
The President, delivering his speech to the UN Assembly on 24 September, attributed the growing agitations in the world to the policies of few countries and told the assembly that the world needs no policing by a few States, particularly when the UN is mandated to ensure international security, through multilateral engagement.
During the visit, President Rajapaksa met with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Prime Minister of Kuwait Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, Amir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Commonwealth Secretary-General Mr. Kamalesh Sharma, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, and UN Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth Ahmad Alhindawi.
During bilateral talk the President had with UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon a range of topics including the post-conflict developments in Sri Lanka, the elections that were recently held in the Northern Province, the implementation of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) and the ways in which Sri Lanka and the United Nations can continue work together were highlighted.
The Secretary-General welcomed the extensive reconstruction, rehabilitation, and restoration work carried out by the government in the Northern Province. He suggested that this work should be undertaken in a holistic manner. The Secretary-General also commended the measures taken to implement the recommendations of the LLRC.
In response to a question with regard to allegations of religious tensions in Sri Lanka, the President explained that some incidents highlighted by the media as motivated by religious concerns actually had their origins in common criminal activity. "Sri Lanka would not tolerate hatred based on religion," the President said.
The President also attended a breakfast briefing with the Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU) on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly sessions.
(Photos by Sudath Silva)