An Australian delegation consisting of former diplomats, academics and university students visited Parliament on Monday to learn about the country and see the development on its reconciliation efforts.
Deputy Speaker Thilanga Sumathipala and Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Dasanayake met the delegation from the Australian Institute of International Affairs (AIIA), a think tank that aims to promote the understanding of international affairs in Australia and reaches out to similar organisations overseas.
The Victorian branch of AIIA (AIIAV) currently has a delegation of 20 members in Sri Lanka that aims to learn about the country, see the development of the country and the reconciliation efforts. The delegation is spending time in Colombo, Jaffna, Anuradhapura, Kandy and Dambulla and will visit Australian and other aid projects, UNESCO world heritage sites, a tea plantation and get an insight into the country’s commercial endeavours by visiting a garment factory.
The tour is led by David Ritchie, former Australian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka. The AIIAV’s president Patrick Moore is also among the delegation. This tour was organised in part by Sri Lankan born Sean Jesudason, who is part of the AIIAV Council.
The delegation wished the Sri Lankan Parliament every success in forming the new Sri Lankan Constitution and looks forward to an enriched relationship between the two countries. The delegation looks forward to interacting with the Sri Lankan diaspora in Australia to create more people-to-people ties and foster a greater understanding of Sri Lanka in Australia.