European Parliament Member Geoffrey Van Orden CBE yesterday applauded President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s emphasis on being ‘a President for all Sri Lankans.’
Geoffrey Van Orden CBE, the Chairman of Friends of Sri Lanka in the European Parliament and Leader of the British Conservatives, said they have sent warmest congratulations to Gotabaya Rajapaksa on his election as President.
“We recognize the new confidence and stability and the economic growth and reconstruction that had flowed from the defeat of LTTE terrorism. We applaud the new President’s emphasis on being “a President for all Sri Lankans” and urge fresh attention to the interests and concerns of Tamils, Muslims and other minorities, as well as the majority population,” he said.
He said they wish to see citizens of Sri Lankan origin in all our countries, integrating well and helping to build positive relationships with a Sri Lanka of equal opportunity for all.
“In my capacity as Leader of the British Conservatives in the European Parliament, I support and encourage the continuing commitment of the British Conservative Government to the territorial integrity and unity of Sri Lanka, to condemnation of terrorism from whatever source, and to post-conflict peace-building and reconciliation that are the best possible foundations for strengthening the unity of Sri Lanka. We strongly reject senior Labour Party statements that seek to exploit communal difference and exacerbate division,” he said.
He said with its determination to enhance its role in the wider world beyond Europe, Britain will undoubtedly seek to strengthen its ties of history and enduring friendship with Sri Lanka.
“My hope is that there will be increased British investment and economic engagement in Sri Lanka and intensified cooperation in the fields of defence and counter-terrorism in addition to the confirmed expenditure on peace-building, de-mining, policing, anti-corruption and reconciliation,” he said.
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