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Common values are important and not the power of wealth – President tells Commonwealth

05.jpg-nggid041066-ngg0dyn-320x210x100-00f0w010c011r110f110r010t010President Maithripala Sirisena said he is fully satisfied with the accomplishment of goals set at the last CHOGM in Colombo during the period of last two years when Sri Lanka was the Chair in Office of the Commonwealth.

Addressing the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Malta today (November 27), he said that the progress made in areas such as poverty eradication, promotion of trade, sustainable development, involvement of youth in development activities, growth, equality and dignity of the citizens.

He said that he was extremely happy that the Queen attended the Summit and praised her great leadership.

The President pointed out the issues such as sustainability development greatly emphasized during the CHOGM in Colombo in 2013, have been raised subsequently in the United Nations, thus combining the commonwealth endeavour in this regard.

The President said that what is important is common values and not the power of wealth. He emphasized the imperative need to achieve growth, equality and dignity for the people. He emphasized the need for protection of environment.

Referring to the Kotte Statement issued during the CHOGM 2013 in Colombo, he categorically stated the need to enhance trade initiatives to expand private sector engagement in trade and economic activity.

President Sirisena praised the work of the outgoing Secretary General Kamlesh Sharma and thaned him for the excellent support and cooperation extended to him as Chair in Office. He offered best wishes to ne Chair in Office, Malta Premier Joseph Muscat.

President Sirisena was the first to arrive at the Mediterranean Conference Hall as he was entrusted with the responsibility of Chairing the Meeting as CHOGM Chair in Office. Commonwealth Secretary General Dr Kamlesh Sharma received the President and Madam Jayanthi Sirisena at the entrance. Together, they received the next Chair in Office, Prime Minister of Malta Joseph Muscat and Mrs Muskat.

President Sirisena and PM Muscat and their spouses lined up with Dr Sharma to receive the Heads of Delegations of 53 Commonwealth countries attending the summit. The ceremony began with singing of national anthem of Malta.

While, Malta Premier Muscat sat next to Queen, President Sirisena and Prince Phillip sat next.

After a cultural show, Prime Minister Muscat delivered the welcome speech, which was followed by another cultural show. Then the outgoing Chair in Office, President Sirisena addressed the Commonwealth leaders.

Secretary General Kamlesh Sharma addressed the gathering and invited the Head of Commonwealth, Queen Elizabeth II to deliver her speech at the conclusion of the Inaugural Function.

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