FOREIGN MINISTER APPEALS TO SRI LANKAN
EXPATRIATE COMMUNITY TO PROMOTE THE CAUSE OF SRI LANKA IN THE
Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama, has emphasised
the important role played by diaspora communities in promoting
their home countries, and has appealed to the Sri Lankan expatriate
community living in the U.S., to promote Sri Lanka’s interests
in Washington, as well in important states in the U.S. with even
The Minister made these observations during interactions
with various Greater Washington based Sri Lankan groups during
his three day visit to Washington.
Officials of the Sri Lanka associations and community
groups invited for the meeting included the Sri Lanka Association
of Washington D.C.(SLAWDC) Ranga Kala Kavaya (RKK), Friends of
Sri Lanka in the U.S. (FOSUS), Coalition of Sri Lankans in America
(COSLA), Sri Lanka Medical Association of North America (SLMANA),
Sri Lanka Young Professionals Association (SLYPA), Serendipity
Group, Sri Lanka Catholic Association, the Sri Lankan University
Students Organisations and representatives of the Buddhist, Hindu,
Muslim and Christian religious groups.
The Minister briefed them on the current thinking
of the government with respect to seeking a negotiated political
settlement to the conflict and the challenges faced by Sri Lanka
due to terrorism. He said that during his meetings with Secretary
of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice, U.S. administration, congressional
leaders, as well as opinion makers he had sought to apprise them
of developments in Sri Lanka, and the U.S. being a longstanding
friend of Sri Lanka he sought its support. The Minister said,
while appreciating the action taken by the U.S. to proscribe the
LTTE, he had drawn attention of the administration to the fact
that the LTTE continues to operate in the U.S. through various
front organisations and sought U.S. action against such organisations.
He thanked the participants for the support
extended to the Sri Lanka Embassy in Washington in carrying out
its activities. Noting that the Sri Lanka expatriate community
was regarded as an important instrument in projecting of Sri Lanka’s
interests, the Minister appealed to them to continue their good
work both in Washington as well as in important states in the
U.S. with even greater vigour.
The Minister also visited the Washington Buddhist
Vihara and the International Buddhist Center in Wheaton and participated
in a special Pooja which were also attended by members of the
The Ven. Katugastota Vidura conducted the religious
observances at the Washington Buddhist Vihara.
Ven. Katugastota Uparathana conducted religious
observances at the International Buddhist Center in Wheaton, Maryland.
Ven. Ethalvatuna wewe Ghanatilleke, Chief incumbent of the Mirisavetiye
Viharaya of Sri Lanka, who is on a visit to Washington at present
delivered the anusasana.
The Minister offered atapirikara at
Associated with Minister Bogollagama at these
meetings were Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in the US, Bernard
Goonetilleke, Foreign Secretary Palitha Kohona, Director General/
Public Communications of the Foreign Ministry, Ravinatha Aryasinha
and Media Advisor to the Foreign Minister Lalith de Silva.
Embassy of Sri Lanka
19 March 2007