- Published on Thursday, 14 June 2012 12:14
- Hits: 1071
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa's recent visit to the United Kingdom as a head of state of a member country of the Commonwealth to attend the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II was 'extremely successful', Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga said on Wednesday morning at the meeting with the heads of all electronic and printed media and chief editors at the President's office.
He also said President was provided with heavy security and his visit to England has been termed as the top most state level visit made by a Sri Lankan Leader in the country’s history. Although the Pro-LTTE Tamil diaspora in England tried to disrupt his visit, the President received maximum diplomatic honour and the visit could be considered as a landmark in UK – Sri Lanka relations, he said.
President Rajapaksa had successfully attended seven special events during his visit in Britain out of seven scheduled. The Commonwealth Business Forum the President was scheduled to address was cancelled by a decision taken by the organizers of the event due to security reasons. Weeratunga told the media personnel.
Sri Lankan High Commissioner to UK, Dr Chris Nonis speaking on the President’s visit, said “This could be considered a substantial advance in UK- Sri Lanka relations. The President had also attended an event at Marlborough House where he had engaged with the Queen, and Prince Charles he added. Dr Nonis also described the discussion between the President and British Premier Cameron as extremely fruitful. The High Commissioner said the British Prime Minister has personally expressed his regrets to the President on the agitation conducted by the pro-LTTE group in front of the hotel where the President was staying.
Parliamentarian Sachin de Vass Gunawardena who accompanied the President on his tour of England said that the President's visit had conveyed a strong message to the pro-LTTE Tamil diaspora regarding the country's unyielding spirit against continually emerging international threats and that the government never follows a policy to flee with fear from their activities
Secretary to the External Affairs Ministry Karunatilaka Amunugama and President's Media Director Bandula Jayasekara were also present at the briefing.
(Photos by Chandana Perera)