Oct 25, Colombo: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa says the expenses incurring by the government to host the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Colombo next month will be an investment for the future of the country and the people.
Addressing a function held Thursday to declare open the face-lifted Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH), the main venue for the Commonwealth summit, the President said the Opposition's misleading propaganda on the government's spending on development will be proven wrong when people start reaping the benefits in the future.
Most of the main conference activities and sessions of the Commonwealth Heads of the Government meeting (CHOGM) will take place at the BMICH from November 10 to 17.
The President appreciated China's assistance to renovate the facility which was built by China in the 1970's as a gift to the then government of Sirimavo Bandaranaike in memory of late Prime Minister S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike.
BMICH was the venue for the 5th Non-Align Movement Summit when Sri Lanka hosted the event from 16–19 August 1976.
The refurbishment of the BMICH at a cost of over Rs. 2 billion was started in 2010 with the funding from China.
Since its construction in 1973, this is first time the BMICH has gone through a major refurbishment and completely renovated from floor to the ceiling.
(Photos by Sudath Silva)