Sri Lanka's new envoy sends first official note to govt

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 29 May 2003

By Paul Gabriel

KUALA LUMPUR: Sri Lanka's new High Commissioner to Malaysia, Rose Senanayake, has despatched her first official note to the Malaysian Government on what will shape her strife-torn country's destiny. 

In her letter to Wisma Putra on Tuesday, the high commissioner relayed her government's request for Malaysia to participate in the Tokyo Conference on Reconstruction and Development of Sri Lanka on June 9 and 10. 

She said her government wanted a high-ranking Malaysian official at the conference, which would be crucial in the effort to rebuild Sri Lanka. 

“Malaysia is an important country to us and we are looking forward to your input at the conference. Malaysia can share its experience of progress and development achieved in a peaceful environment with Sri Lanka.  

“My primary goal here is to develop trade and political links with Malaysia, but Sri Lanka needs to achieve the peace first. 

Rose Senanayake

“We are very hopeful that Malaysia will help (with the peace and redevelopment process)... you have never let us down,” she said in an interview.  

The Tokyo conference is intended to provide a unique opportunity for the international community to express its unified and strong commitment towards the reconstruction and development of Sri Lanka, especially in the war-torn north and east. 

US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage would be among those attending the conference.  

Several other countries have also been invited to the conference, which takes place at a crucial juncture with peace talks between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tamil Tigers of Eelam having hit a stalemate. 

Senanayake, who reported to work on Monday, stressed that the search for peace would continue and that her government was committed to the process. 

“Sri Lankans have suffered enough. The key to eradicating poverty and unemployment lies in achieving economic growth and for that, the peace element is vital,” she added. 

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