Minister Hon. Pavithradevi Wanniarachchi was appointed recently (09) as the President of the Sri Lanka – European Union Parliamentary Friendship Association.
The special meeting to appoint the office bearers related to the Ninth Parliament of the Sri Lanka – European Union Parliamentary Friendship Association was held in Parliament and was chaired by the Speaker Hon. Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana. H. E Denis Chaibi, Ambassador of the Delegation of the European Union to Sri Lanka was present as the guest of honor and the Secretary General of the Parliament Mr. Dhammika Dasanayake was also present at this event.
State Minister Hon. (Ms.) Diana Gamage, Hon. (Dr.) Upul Galappaththi, and Hon. Hector Appuhamy were appointed as the new Secretaries to the Sri Lanka – European Union Friendship Association. Addressing the meeting, the Hon. Speaker stated that the European Union has provided grants to Sri Lanka to support and contribute to local efforts towards recovery and reform processes in a wide range of areas including poverty reduction, democratic governance, local development, agriculture, water and health and allocated financial grant for Development Assistance in Sri Lanka during period for 2014 to 2020. Furthermore, the Speaker stated that the European Union supported Sri Lanka during the COVID-19 crisis in the country.
Adding to the same the Speaker also highlighted that Sri Lanka is very much looking forward to welcome the Delegation for Relations with South Asia Countries (DSAS) of the European Parliament which is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka in mid-May this year.
H. E Denis Chaibi, Ambassador of the Delegation of the European Union to Sri Lanka also stated that over the last 20 years, the European Union has allocated more than 8 billion Euros in grants to Sri Lanka with no repay and conditional laws. He further reiterated that the European Union has assisted Sri Lanka in rural development, reconciliation and is invested in assisting further in the establishment of a green economy as well as social cohesion.
H. E Denis Chaibi, Ambassador further stated that they believe that Sri Lanka is a mother of democracy in Asia and commended the resilience Sri Lanka has showed in protecting democracy amidst various challenges highlighting how important democracy is for trade.
Speaking at the meeting, newly elected President of the Sri Lanka – European Union Friendship Association, Minister Hon. Pavithradevi Wanniarachchi stated that she wishes to work towards strengthening and building relations between the European Union and Sri Lanka further. Ministers, State Ministers and Members of Parliament were also present at the event held.