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Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in Canada calls on Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario

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  • Meets with representatives of all religious faiths in Toronto

Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in Canada, M.A.K. Girihagama called on the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, Ted Arnott on 28 March at the Legislative Building in Ontario. The High Commissioner briefed Speaker Arnott on recent developments in Sri Lanka and the long standing bilateral relations shared between Sri Lanka and Canada. He also referred to the on-going reconciliation process in Sri Lanka and development assistance provided by Canada in this regard. 

Speaker Arnott thanked the High Commissioner and assured him of Ontario’s engagement on issues of mutual interest. The High Commissioner and the Speaker also agreed to continue working towards further enhancing the bilateral ties between Sri Lanka and Ontario. 

Following the meeting with the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, the High Commissioner also held discussions with Rev. Pastor Marc Dissanayake and the Board of Trustees at the Christian Ministries International followed by a meeting with the President and Chief Priest Vijayakumar Kurukkal and the Board of Trustees of Varasiththy Vinayagar Hindu Temple. 

During his interactions with the religious dignitaries, High Commissioner Girihagama explained the reconciliation process and the various initiatives taken by the Government of Sri Lanka in this regard. He also stated that the High Commission in Ottawa and the Consulate General in Toronto continued to attend and celebrate all religious events representing all faiths.

On 29 March, High Commissioner Girihagama called on the Chief Priest Ven. Ahangama Rathanasiri Nayake Thero and the Board of Trustees of Toronto Maha Vihara followed by a meeting with Ven. Kulugammana Dhammawasa, the Chief Priest and the Board of Trustees of West End Buddhist Temple and Meditation Centre at the Mississauga Temple. The High Commissioner explained to the Ven. Chief Priests and the Board of Trustees, the initiative taken by the Government of Sri Lanka in making the Thripitaka a World Heritage and the action taken by the High Commission and the Consulate General in creating awareness among those living in Canada in this regard. 

Thereafter, High Commissioner Girihagama attended the Women in Management (WIM) Awards ceremony as the Chief Guest at the Grand Cinnamon Banquet and Convention Hall in Toronto.

The awards ceremony was being held for the second consecutive year in Canada, following the inception of the awards in 2011 in Sri Lanka. The High Commissioner who was accompanied by his spouse, Sudarma Girihagama, was warmly welcomed by the organisers on arrival. In his address at the ceremony, High Commissioner Girihagama commended the winners and stated that they had “…broken barriers, pushed the frontiers of women’s leadership and paved the path for other women and girls to follow in their footsteps and become future leaders”. The High Commissioner also recalled Sri Lanka’s rich history of granting women their pride of place and stated that it was “…commendable that ‘Women in Management’ which originates from a country in which our women play a vital role in society, had embarked on felicitating these remarkable women” and added that their “…leadership and accomplishments are an inspiration to all”.

On 30 March, High Commissioner Girihagama held a breakfast meeting with the Lead Priest Moulavi Sheriff Niyaz and the Board of Trustees of the Sri Lanka Islamic Foundation (SLIFO) at the Masjid Al Jannah in Scarborough, followed by a meeting with the Trustees of Sailan Muslim Foundation. During the meeting, the High Commissioner appraised the gathering of the initiatives taken by the Government of Sri Lanka to foster religious harmony. The High Commissioner also discussed issues of mutual interest with those present.

Sri Lanka’s Consul General in Toronto, Kapila S. Jayaweera accompanied High Commissioner Girihagama during the three day visit.


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