Sept 26, New York: The Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma called on Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa in New York City Wednesday on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly currently taking place in New York City.
Much of the conversation between the two leaders focused on the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2013.
"There is a very positive feeling about CHOGM and what we hope to achieve," Sharma said adding that Sri Lanka's theme of "inclusiveness, equity and fair mindedness has very good resonance everywhere."
The theme for this year's conference is "Growth with Equity; Inclusive Development."
It was inspired by President Rajapaksa's vision of bringing development to all segments of the population and to all parts of the country.
"We have to deliver something practical or it will be just another meeting," President Rajapaksa said.
Sharma told the President that representatives of many countries who visited Sri Lanka as a part of the advance visits during the past couple of months were very satisfied with the planning underway in preparation for the summit.
"Sri Lanka has gone out of its way to accommodate countries that couldn't make it for the advance visits," Sharma said.
The delegation from the Commonwealth Secretariat that met President Rajapaksa consisted of the Director of the Office of the Commonwealth Secretary-General Simon Gimson, Director of Political Affairs Amitav Banerji, Director of Communications and Public Affairs Richard Uku and the Head of the Asia Division of Political Affairs Ms. Nishana Jayawickrama.
The Minister of External Affairs Prof. G.L. Peiris, Monitoring MP of the Ministry of External Affairs Sajin De Vass Gunawardena, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga, Additional Secretary to the Ministry of External Affairs Mrs. Kshenuka Seneviratne and Director General of Europe and Americas of the Ministry of External Affairs Mrs. Himali Serasinghe also participated in the meeting.
(Photos by Sudath Silva)