Sept 22, Colombo: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, along with First Lady Shiranthi Wickremasinghe Rajapaksa, left the country this morning on a five-day visit to New York to participate in the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) at the UN headquarters in New York.
During the visit, President Rajapaksa will participate in the general debate of the UN General Assembly and he is scheduled to address the Assembly on Tuesday, September 24. This is the sixth time the President is attending the UNGA. Presidentís first address to the UNGA was in 2006.
President's visit to New York comes in the wake of the sweeping victory of the main Tamil Party, Tamil National Alliance, at the Northern Provincial Council polls held Saturday.
In addition to taking part in the UNGA, President Rajapaksa is also scheduled to participate in a number of bilateral discussions with world leaders.
He is expected to hold discussions with the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma and several heads-of-state from Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
During the week in New York City, the President will also take part in a high-level political forum on sustainable development and host a dinner for African leaders.
The Minister of External Affairs Prof. G.L. Peiris, Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Management Nimal Siripala de Silva, Minister of Youth Affairs and Skills Development Dullas Alahapperuma, Monitoring MP of the Ministry of External Affairs Sajin De Vaas Gunawardena, Member of Parliament Lohan Ratwatte and Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga are accompanying President Rajapaksa on the visit.