Friday, December 24, 2010

Pakistan - Sri Lanka Friendship Association Commemorates Dr. Allama Iqbal, the greatest poet of Pakistan

Pakistan - Sri Lanka Friendship Association Commemorates
Dr. Allama Iqbal, the greatest poet of Pakistan

The Pakistani Philosopher, Sage, and the Great poet, Dr. Allama Iqbal is a living legend in the minds of the people even-though he is no more, Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) Leader and Minister of Justice, Rauff Hakeem observed.  Minister Hakeem noted that Dr Allama Iqbal is a visionary in his day who foreseen the creation of Pakistan for the Muslim community which suffered enough under the colonial subjugation. Hakeem described Allama Iqbal as the philosopher of the 19th century.

The messages of the fame and yeoman service rendered by Dr. Allama Iqbal has reached even the tiny hamlets in Sri Lanka. Minister Hakeem said naming a village on Kantale Muttur road as Iqbal Nagar and another village as Asath Nagar is testimony to his legacy. Several books of Allama Iqbal have been translated in to various languages, Minister Hakeem added.  Addressing the Allama Iqbal day celebrations and the prize giving ceremony of Pakistan Essay Competition organized by the Pakistan - Sri Lanka Friendship Association, he said in today’s context Muslims need to get the trust of the majority community. Hence the thoughts of Allama guide us in this regards he further added.

Mr. Hakim who took part in the deliberations as the Chief Guest has further noted that, Dr. Allama Iqbal’s fame remains among the Muslims who live in countries such as India, Sri Lanka and Malaysia. In his poems he expressed the needs of the Muslims. In today’s context Muslims need to get the trust of the majority community. Hence the thoughts of Allama provide guidance in this regards he further added.

The winners of the Pakistan Essay competition received SL Rs. 10,000, Rs. 6000, and Rs 4000 as 1st, 2nd and 3rd positions respectively. These prizes were given to the successful winners in each of the categories of English, Sinhala and Tamil languages.

Addressing the event the Attorney General Mohan Peiris said that at the very outset Iqbal showed a remarkable leaning towards philosophy that had caught the attention of his teacher, Sir Arnold who took him to Cambridge University for higher education. Later went to Munich University in Germany from where he earned a PhD for his work on metaphysics.  Iqbal was an awakener of humanity. His message is universal and to the entire humanity. His rank among the immortals of history is unquestionable.  He holds the same place in the line of the world's greatest poets as has been held by Homer, Jalaludeen Rumi, Dante, Shakespeare, Milton and Goethe. The poet of Iqbal is a contribution to human thought and an embodiment of definite mission that is noble innovating.

While speaking on the occasion the Counsellor of Pakistani High Commission, Kaiser Chaudhary said that Allama Iqbal the academician, politician, lawyer, social reformer and a thinker, stressed the integrity not only in the country but also with every nation in the world.  Iqbal’s message of ‘Khudi’ (self actualization), ‘Mard – e - Momen; (The true Muslim) and Shaheen (The Eagle) Is so deep that each and every sense require lot of deliberation to understand the real meanings. But Iqbal’s message is not for the Muslims only. His vision about democracy, his message to the youth, his advice for national integration and his messages on many other aspects of life are for all the people and all the nations. He was not only a philosopher but also a politician and a social activist. He played conspicuous service not only to literacy but also to politics, he added.

Pakistan-Sri Lanka trade to reach US $ 500 m

Pakistan-Sri Lanka trade to reach US $ 500 m

(30.11.2010)       US $ 250 m export credit line to Sri Lanka:Anjana Samarasinghe and Charumini de SilvaThe Trade between Sri Lanka and Pakistan is to reach US $ 0.5 billion within the next five years. Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari addressing the Sri Lanka - Pakistan Business Forum 2010 yesterday said the two countries have had a good relationship as good friends and partners in the region.

“With the restoration of peace; the sky is the limit for Sri Lanka. This is a unique situation for Sri Lanka to recover. Sri Lanka will recover gradually and Pakistan will sincerely assist Sri Lanka,” he said.

He also called for a barter trade with Sri Lanka rather than depending on dollar-denominated trade.



Sri Lanka and Pakistan signed four agreements yesterday to enhance trade and investments between the two countries.  The Agreements were signed in the presence of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the visiting Pakistani President Mr. Asif Ali Zardari.  These agreements cover Visa abolition for holders of Diplomatic and Official Passports, Memorandum of Understanding on Agricultural Cooperation, Agreement on Cooperation and Mutual Administrative Assistance in Customs Matters, and Agreement on Cooperation in the field of Arts and Creative Studies between National College of Arts  of Pakistan and University of Visual and Performing Arts of Sri Lanka.

The signing of agreements was preceded by bilateral talks between the Sri Lankan and Pakistani delegations which focused on increasing trade and investment between the two countries, and cooperation in fields such as defence, agriculture, health and education. 
President Rajapaksa stated that it was a good omen that the Pakistani President was the first state leader to visit
Sri Lanka after the swearing in of his second term of office. He expressed his appreciation for the support given by Pakistan during Sri Lanka's war against terrorism. 
President Rajapaksa also stated that he hoped
Pakistan would recover soon from the devastation caused by floods and come out stronger. He noted that the two countries have common positions on many matters at regional and multilateral forums and relations can be strengthened through the Sri Lanka - Pakistan Parliamentarians' Friendship Association
Pakistani President responded stating that he can feel
Sri Lanka's pain as he too is a victim of terrorism. The Pakistani President recalled the unfortunate incident the Sri Lanka cricket team had to face in Pakistan and said that culprits have been punished. The Pakistani President also stated that he has instructed relevant authorities to resume Pakistan International Airline flights to Sri Lanka and is discussing the establishment of a branch of the Pakistan National Bank in Sri Lanka. He added that Pakistan looks forward to Sri Lanka being a foremost tourist destination in the world. 
The Sri Lankan delegation included Ministers Prof. G. L. Peiris, Dr. Sarath Amunugama, Bandula Gunawardena, T B Ekanayake, A H M Fowzie, Basil Rajapaksa, Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Secretary to the President Lalith Weerathunge, Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Treasury Secretary P B Jayasundara and other officials. 
The Pakistani delegation included the Minister of Defence, C H Ahmad Mukhar, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Makhdoom Qureshi, Minister of Finance/ Sindh Provicne Sayed Murad Ali Shah, High Commissioner of Pakistan to Sri Lanka Ms. Seema Baloch, Military Secretary to the President Brig. Syed Muhammad Adnan and other government and High Commission officials. 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Pakistan President Asif Ali Sardari's SRI LANKA TOUR

Pakistan President Asif Ali Sardari's  SRI  LANKA  TOUR

Pakistan President Asif Ali Sardari arrived in Sri Lanka this evening in a special flight on a four-day official visit from November 27-30.

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa welcomed his Pakistani counterpart at the Katunayake Bandaranaike International Airport.
Sri Lanka Army held an honor guard to welcome the Pakistan President.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Indian Credit line for Northern Railway

USD 416 Million Indian Credit line for Northern Railway

A Credit Agreement for USD 416 million for the construction of the Northern Railway line was signed between India and Sri Lanka .
This was signed in the presence of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and India's Minister of External Affairs, S M Krishna who arrived Thursday evening on a three day oficial visit to Sri Lanka. During the visit of Indian Minister two Indian consulates will be opened in Hambantota and Jaffna today and tomorrow respectively while a plaque with regard to
the Northern Railway is to be unveiled tomorrow. The ground breaking ceremony for the housing project will also take place in Ariyalai tomorrow.

The Managing Director of Exim Bank of India, Mr. Nadeem Panjetan signed the agreement for the Indian side while the Treasury Secretary P B Jayasundara signed for the Sri Lankan side.

The construction of the railway line will be carried out in three segments, from Madhu to Talaimannar, Madawachchiya to Madhu and Omantai to Palaly.

In addition, letters were exchanged between Treasury Secretary P B Jayasundara and the Indian High Commissioner, Ashok Kantha for the first phase of the 50,000 housing project for the IDPs funded by India, after the meeting between the President and the Indian Minister.

Initially 1000 houses will be constructed in a cluster format on land given by the Sri Lanka government.

The meeting between President Rajapaksa and the Indian External Affairs Minister was cordial and friendly where Minister Krishna felicitated the President on his assumption of duties for the second term.

It was decided that Kapilawasthu relics will be brought from India to Sri Lanka next May for the 2600 Sambudda Jayanthi celebrations.

The discussion was mainly based on the follow up of the Joint Declaration between India and Sri Lanka when President  Mahinda Rajapaksa visited India in June this year, which the Indian Minister termed as a landmark visit.

The President informed the Indian External Affairs Minister about the resettlement of IDPs which is progressing rapidly.

The Indian Minister noted that the two countries have a historic relationship with a conducive atmosphere to strengthen those relations. He added that the two countries have the ability to discuss any issue in a constructive manner and the President endorsed these sentiments.
Both sides expressed satisfaction on Sri Lanka's post-conflict reconstruction and economic progress.

The Indian delegation included the External Affairs Minister, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and Indian High Commissioner. The Sri Lankan delegation included Prof. G L Peiris, External Affairs Secretary Romesh Jayasinghe, Treasury Secretary P B Jayasundara, Secretary to the President Lalith Weerathunga and Minister for Power and Energy, Champika Ranawaka.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

visit of the Chairman Senate Mr. Farooq Hamid Naek and Mr. Saleem Mandaviwalla, Chairman BOI to where they participated in the swearing in ceremony

Visit of the Chairman Senate Mr. Farooq Hamid Naek and Mr. Saleem Mandaviwalla, Chairman BOI to where they participated in the swearing in ceremony 

In a special gesture of friendship and solidarity form the Government of Pakistan towards the Government of Sri Lanka, the Chairman Senate Mr. Farooq Hamid Naek   represented the Government of Pakistan along with Mr. Saleem Mandaviwalla, Chairman BOI in the swearing in ceremony of President Mahinda Rajapaksa who assumed the charged for the 2nd term of office in Colombo on 19th November, 2010.

In interaction with the Sri Lankan President Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Chairman Senate Mr. Farooq Hamid Naek handed over the congratulatory message from the President of Pakistan Mr. Asif Ali Zardari to the President of Sri Lanka Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa for assuming the charge for his 2ndtenure of Presidentship. He also conveyed the greeting and best wishes from the Government and people of Pakistan to the Government and people of Sri Lanka on the occasion.

The Chairman, Senate also had interaction with the Prime Minister of Bhutan, Speaker of the Maldives and other foreign envoys attending the ceremony and participated in the official lunch hosted by the President of Sri Lanka. 

Pakistan and Sri Lanka have continued to maintain strong, robust and reliable relations, through increased interaction at the highest political level and in the people-to-people domain. Record representation in trade activities by delegations from both countries have given the opportunity of reinforcing bilateral trade with impressive increase in the volume of trade between Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

During his stay in Sri Lanka, the Chairman Senate also held several high profile meetings with the top leadership of Sri Lanka. These interactions included a meeting between the Chairman Senate and the Speaker of Sri Lanka Parliament Mr. Chamal Rajapaksa. During the meeting, the two leaders agreed to further enhance the level of cooperation between the traditional allies and friendly countries of Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the spheres of trade, economic, political and diplomatic integration.  The Chairman Senate invited the Speaker and Sri Lankan Parliamentarian delegation to visit Pakistan in January, 2011.

The Chairman Senate also thanked the Chairman of Sri Lankan Parliament for his support in the reactivation of the Sri Lanka Pakistan Parliamentary friendship Association. The Sri Lanka Pakistan Parliamentary friendship association is a bipartition grouping of Sri Lankan Parliamentarian, which is aimed at enhancing the inter Parliamentary coordination and mutual support.

The Chairman, Senate also attended the official lunch with the members of Sri Lanka Pakistan Parliamentary Friendship Association which was hosted by the High Commission of Pakistan.

Monday, November 22, 2010

SLMC to sit with Govt Bench in Parliament today

SLMC to sit with Govt Bench in Parliament today
The Leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress Mr Rauff Hakeem said that all 8 Parliamentarians of his party will sit with the Government Benches at the time of the presentation of the Budget in Parliament this afternoon.
Mr Hakeem told that before that they would formally join the Cabinet when the new cabinet of ministers is sworn in by President at
the Presidential Secretariat forenoon today.

“As at present we have been offered one ministerial and a deputy ministerial portfolio” said Mr. Hakeem confirming their joining the

When asked whether they will cross over the chambers to the government side he said such a step looks awkward as by the time they may be  the
members of the Cabinet of ministers. Therefore, “there is no need for cross over but still some of our members will have to sit in the opposition side later as the seats in the government benches are already filled.” quipped Mr. Hakeem.

The New Cabinet Sworn in

   The  New  Cabinet Sworn in

Prime Minister D.M.Jayarathne , 09 Senior Ministers, 49 Cabinet Ministers & 31 Deputy Ministers were sworn in before the President this morning (22 Nov) at the Presidential Secretariat
Following is the list of Cabinet Ministers, Deputy Ministers  and their portfolios:
 Cabinet Ministers

1.Prime Minister
   D. M. Jayaratne                                             – Buddha Sasana & Religious Affairs

  Senior Ministers

 2.Mr. Ratnasiri Wickramanayake                    – Good Governance & Infrastructure Facilities

 3.Mr. D E W Gunasekara                                – Human Resources

 4.Mr. Hon Athauda Seneviratne                             – Rural Affairs

 5.Mr. P. Dayaratne                                          – Food & Nutrition

  6.Mr. A. H. M. Fowzie                                           – Urban Affairs

 7.Hon S. B. Nawinna                                       – Consumer Welfare

  8.Mr. Piyasena Gamage                                  – National Assets

  9. Prof. Tissa Vitharana                             – Scientific Affairs

  10.Dr. Sarath Amunugama                         – International Monetary Cooperation

Other Cabinet Ministers

11.Mr. Nimal Siripala                                       - Irrigation & Water Resources Management

12.Mr. Maithreepala Sirisena                            – Health

13.Mr. Susil Premajayantha                              – Petroleum Industries

14.Mr. Arumugam Thondaman                         - Livestock and Rural Community Development

15.Mr.Dinesh Gunawardena                            - Water Supply & Drainage

16.Mr.Douglas Devananda                  - Traditional Industries & Small Enterprise Development

17Mr. A. L. M. Athaullah                   - Local Government & Provincial Councils

18Mr. Rishad Bathiyutheen                - Industry & Commerce

19Mr.Champika Ranawaka                - Power & Energy

20.Mr.Hon. Wimal Weerawansa           - Construction, Engineering Services, Housing & Common                    
21.Mr. Rauff Hakeem                            –Justice

22.Mr. Basil Rajapaksa                           –Economic Development

23.Mr.Vasudeva Nanayakkara              – National Languages and Social Integration

24.Mr. S. B. Dissanayake                       – Higher Education

25.Mr. Prof G.L. Peiris                           – External Affairs

26.Mr. W. D. J. Seneviratne                   - Public Administration & Home Affairs

27.Mrs. Sumeda G Jayasena                    - Parliamentary Affairs

28.Mr. Jeevan Kumaranatunga               – Postal Services

29.Mr. Pavithra Wanniarachchi              – Technology and Research

30.Mr. Anura Priyadarshana Yapa         – Environment

31.Mr. Tissa Karaliyadde                       – Child Development and Women's Affairs

32.Mr. Gamini Lokuge                           – Labour and Labour Relations

33.Mr. Bandula Gunawardena               – Education

34.Mr. Mahinda Samarasinghe               – Plantations

 35.Mr.Rajitha Senaratne                        – Fisheries and Aquatic Resource Development

36.Mr. Janaka Bandara Tennakoon        – Land and Land Development

  37.Mr. Felix Perera                                 – Social Services

 38.Mr.C B Rathnayake                               – Private Transport Services

 39.Mr.Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena                 – Agriculture

40.Mr. Keheliya Rambukwella                           – Mass Media and Information

 41.Mr.Kumara Welgama                                   – Transport

42.Mr. Dullas Alahapperuma                              – Youth Affairs and Skills Development

43.Mr. Johnston Fernando                                  – Cooperatives and Internal Trade

44.Mr. Chandrasiri Gajadeera                            – Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms

45.Mr. Salinda Dissanayake                               – Indigenous Medicine

 46.Mr.Reginold Cooray                                     – Small Export Crops Promotion

47.Mr. Dilan Perera                                            – Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare

48.Mr. Jagath Pushpakumara                              – Coconut Development and State Plantations


 49.Mr.T B Ekanayake                                        – Culture and Aesthetic Affairs

 50.Mr.Mahinda Amaraweera                             – Disaster Management

  51. Mr. S M Chandrasena                                    – Agrarian Services and Wildlife

 52.Mr. Gunaratne Weerakoon                            – Resettlement

  53.   Mr. Mervin Silva                                            – Public Coordination and Public Affairs

54.Mr. Mahindananada Aluthgamage                – Sports

55.Mr. Dayasritha Tissera                                   – State Assets and Enterprise Development

56.Mr. Ranjith Siyambalapitiya                          – Telecommunication and Information Technology

57.Mr. Jagath Balasuriya                                    – National Heritage

58.Mr. Lakshman Seneviratne                            – Productivity Promotion

59.Mr. Navin Dissanayake                                 – State Management Reforms

Deputy Ministers

1.Mr.Susantha Punchinilame,                         - Fisheries & Aquatic Resources Development

 2.Mr.Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena,             - Economic Development

 3. Mr. Rohitha Abeygunawardena                   - Port & Highways

  4.  Mr.Pandu Bandaranaike                              -Indigenous Medicine

  5.Mr.Jayarathne Herath,                                 -Industry & Commerce

 6. Mr.Duminda Dissanayake                           - Youth Affairs & Skills Development

 7.Mr.Lasantha Alagiyawanna,                       - Construction, Engineering Service, Housing &                    

                                                                           Common Amenities
 8.Mr.Rohana Dissanayake,                             - Transport

  9.Mr.H.R.Mithrapala,                                     - Livestock & Rural Community Development

10.Mr.Nirmala Kothalawala                             - Port & Highways,

 11.    Mr. Premalal Jayasekera,                              - Power & Energy

  12.Hon. Geethanjana Gunawardena                    - Finance & Planning
  13.Mr. Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan             - Resettlement

  14.Mr. Faizer Musthapa,                                    - Technology & Research

 15.   Mr. Indika Bandaranayake,                         - Local Government & Provincial Councils

16.Mr. Mutthu Sivalingam                                - Economic Development

.17. Siripala Gamlath,                                   - Lands & Land Development

18. Mr.W.B.Ekanayake                                     - Irrigation & Water Resources Management

19.    Mr. Chandrasiri Sooriyaarachchi,                 - Social Service

20.    Mr.Nandimitra Ekanayake                          - High Education

21.        Mrs.Nirupama Rajapaksa                              - Water Supply & Drainage

22. Mr.Lalith Dissanayake                                 - Health

23. Mr.Sarana Gunawardena                             - Petroleum Industries

 24.Mr.Vijith Vijayamuni Soyza                        - Education

 25.Mr.M.L.A.M.Hisbulla                                 - Child Development & Women’s Affairs

 26.  Mr. Weerakumara Dissanayake                    - Traditional Industries & Small Enterprises   Development  

 27.Mr. G.D.S.Gunawardena                             - Buddha Sasana & Religious Affairs

 28.Mr.Earl Gunasekera,                                    - Plantation Industries

29.Mr. Segu Dawood                                        - Co-operative & Internal Trade

30.  Mr. Abdul Cader                                          - Environment

31. Mr.Dullip Wijesekera                                   - Disaster Management