Sept 02, Colombo: The International Institute for Middle-East and Balkan Studies (IFIMES) presented a high award for "special contribution to stability and peace in the Region" to Sri Lanka's Minister of External Affairs Prof. G. L. Peiris.
Member of the IFIMES Advisory Board and former President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Slovenia Prof. Dr. Ernest Petrič presented the award to the Sri Lankan Minister on August 29 in Ljubljana.
Presenting the award, Dr. Petrič stressed the Sri Lankan Minister's contribution to the academic community and diplomacy, his role in the peace process in Sri Lanka and his efforts to establish stability and peace in the region.
"As a reputable lawyer and professor he has contributed to strengthening the rule of law in his country, and as a statesman and diplomat he has contributed to cooperation in the region and beyond," Dr. Petrič said.
The IFIMES International Institute especially stressed Minister Peiris's role in ending the almost 30-year-long armed conflict and his contribution to the development of Sri Lanka into a successful and equitable multiethnic, multicultural, multi-religious and multilingual country.
At the award ceremony a speech was delivered by the Director of the IFIMES Institute Zijad Bećirović. A letter was also read from the President of the IFIMES Advisory Board.
Former Foreign Minister of the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia Budimir Lončar stressed that Minister's selfless dedication has clearly shown that it is possible to overcome the differences and reach agreement even on the most difficult issues if we are ready to overcome the differences in our position and life.
Minister Peiris thanked for the award and delivered an extensive speech in which he presented the role Sri Lanka plays in regional and international relations, stressing that his country will continue its active role in promoting co-operation in the region as well as reconciliation and coexistence in Sri Lanka and the international community.
Besides the Institute's management the ceremony was attended by numerous personalities from the political, business and public life from Slovenia and the region, including the Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia Dr. Milan Brglez.