FOREIGN MINISTER TYRONNE FERNANDO VISITS
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
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
04 October 2003