Foreign Minister Fernando underlines the wider benefits of the peace process to Sri Lanka's economy,
the country and the world at large

Minister Tyronne Fernando, Minister of Foreign Affairs, visited Los Angeles from September 30 - October 4, 2003 to participate in a series of events organized to promote US-Sri Lanka trade and investment. During the visit Minister Fernando met with US business executives, members of the Sri Lankan community residing in Los Angeles and members of the academic community.

Address at the Investors Forum

'The Peace Process is good news not only for Sri Lanka's apparel industry but also for the entire economy, entire country, its people as well as the world at large' remarked Foreign Minister Tyronne Fernando at the Investors Forum, 'The Peace Process- Good News for Sri Lanka's Apparel Industry.' The Minister made this observation to underline the wider benefits of the Peace Process. The Investors Forum was jointly organized by the Sri Lanka -America Business Council and the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation in collaboration with the Office of the Sri Lanka Consulate General in Los Angeles.

Pointing out that the "LTTE's temporary withdrawal from the peace talks did not mean resumption of war," the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister highlighted to the Business Council representatives, the dividends that have accrued during the past twenty months of the ceasefire such as the robust growth of the Sri Lankan Economy, the bullish sentiment at the Colombo Stock Exchange, the increased flow of investments and the marked revival in tourism.

"People's support and involvement, sustained engagement as well as consistent support of the international community," he said, were crucial factors to carry the process forward.

Minister Tyronne Fernando invited the Los Angeles Business Community to take advantage of the generous incentives offered to investors by Sri Lanka, its business friendly environment and the strategic location. He recalled that California was the fifth largest economy in the world.

Two Sri Lankan business executives, Ajith Dias, Chairman of Brandix Garments Pvt. Ltd. and Anil Hirdaramani, Director of the Hirdaramani Group of Companies, made presentations at this event.

Bruce S. Berton, Director, International Business Consulting, Stonefield Josephson Inc. gave insights to the participants on the structure and requirements of the apparel industry in the West Coast.

Religious Observances held at the Consulate Office

Hon. Tyronne Fernando attended the religious observances held at the Sri Lanka Consulate Office. The Chief Sanganayaka in the USA, the most Ven. Piyananda Walpola, and Rev. Fr. Damian Fernando addressed the gathering and blessed the Hon. Minister. The most Ven. Ahangama Dhammarama, Chief Incumbent, Pasadena Temple and the Ven. Ambalantota Kolitha from Sarathchandra Buddhist Center also graced this occasion. The Ven. Ambalantota Kolitha handed over a donation for flood relief to the visiting Minister.

Book Launching Ceremony

Following religious observances, the Minister attended a book launching ceremony. Dr. Ananda W.P. Guruge, (author and a former Sri Lanka Ambassador to the USA), the Dean of Academic Affairs, Hsi Lai University, presented two books titled "Free at last in Paradise" and its sequel "Serendipity of Andrew George" to Minister Fernando.

Luncheon Meeting with the World Affairs Council

The Minister addressed a luncheon meeting Chaired by the President of the World Affairs Council, Mr. J. Curtis Mack II. Minister Fernando expressing his views on the future of the United Nations and the Security Council said, "we need to look beyond Iraq and pursue collective efforts to restore the UN 's role as a premier force for peace and security, through consensus."

Embassy of Sri Lanka
Washington DC

04 October 2003

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