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President arrives from UK
Friday, December 03, 2010 - 9.00 GMT

President Mahinda Rajapaksa arrived in the country a short while ago concluding his visit to the United Kingdom.
The Oxford Union; the home of free speech, canceled President Rajapaksa’s address giving into pressure by pro-LTTE activists.
The rest of the meetings took place as planned where the President held successful bilateral discussions with the Secretary General of Commonwealth, Kamalesh Sharma, UK's Secretary of State for Defence, Liam Fox, UK and EU Parliamentarians and the Foreign Affairs Committee of the British Parliament.
At the meeting with UK's Secretary of State for Defence, aspects of the wider sharing of power in Sri Lanka, and development assistance from the UK were discussed in length. There was agreement that the friendship between Sri Lanka and the UK should be strengthened in the new situation of peace and moves for reconciliation in the country.
The President discussed with the Commonwealth Secretary-General economic and political developments in Sri Lanka as well as ongoing and future assistance to the country.
President Rajapaksa also met Sri Lankan expatriates in the UK at the Sri Lankan High Commission in London yesterday. He stated that while he accepts the right to democratic protests, his concern is that demonstrations took place while freely carrying flags of a terrorist organization which is banned in the UK.
He added that the last time he addressed the Oxford Union in 2008, he pledged to end terrorism in Sri Lanka and this time he arrived after fulfilling that pledge. He stated that when he comes next time to UK, Sri Lanka would be a developed country.



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