Hon. Speaker and Sri Lankan Delegation attends 57th Annual Conference of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA)

posted on: 30-08-2012

A high-profile Parliamentary delegation from Sri Lanka Parliament, led by Hon. Chamal Rajapaksa, Speaker and comprising Hon. Nimal Sripala De Silva, Leader of the House, Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Management, Hon. Mahinda Samarasinghe, Minister of Plantation Industries, Hon. Ranil Wickremasinghe, Leader of the Oppositionm Hon. (Dr.) Mrs. Sudarshini Fernandopulle, MP and Hon. M. A. Sumanthiran, MP are taking part at the 57th Annual Conference of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) which is held in London, United Kingdom from 21st – 28th July 2011.

The Conference witnessed the participation of over 600 Speakers, delegates, secretaries and observers from the National Parliaments and Provincial Legislatures of the 53 member states of the CPA and was declared open on the 25th of Jully 2011 by HRH, the Princess Royal at the Westminster Hall in London. This year is of paramount importance for the CPA as the Association marks 100 years since its founding as the Empire Parliamentary Association in 1911. The theme of this year’s conference is “Reinforcing Democracy” and during the six days of business sessions, the conference participants will be exchanging views on global political issues and developments in the parliamentary system.

The meeting of the Executive Committee of the CPA was held on the 23rd and 24th of July 2011 at the Grand Committee Room of the Westminster Hall of the Houses of Parliament. Hon. Chamal Rajapaksa, MP, Speaker, participated at this meeting on the capacity of the Vice-President of the Association. On the second day of the Executive Committee Meeting, Hon. Chamal Rajapaksa informed the membership about the arrangements made by the CPA Sri Lanka Branch to host the 58th CPA Conference in Colombo, Sri Lanka in 2012. The Hon. Speaker pointed out that the next year’s Conference would be the 3rd time that the Annual CPA Conference is hosted by Sri Lanka, the previous events having taken place in 1974 and 1995.

Addressing the Membership, Hon. Chamal Rajapaksa stated that as a country which had only quite recently liberated itself from the grip of terrorism, Sri Lanka looked forward to the opportunity  thus provided through CPA to welcome representatives of the Commonwealth to Sri Lanka to Enjoy with all the effects of the peace dividend in the Island. To this effect, the Hon. Speaker informed that the CPA Sri Lanka Branch had commenced the preparatory work with regard to the arrangements for CPC 2012 which will be held from 07th – 15th September 2012. He further notified the gathering that most of the official events of the Conference would be held at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH) in Colombo while the programme of the event would closely follow the general CPA format in this regard. Concluding his remarks, Hon. Chamal Rajapaksa expressed how pleased Sri Lanka was ti be given the opportunity to welcome Commonwealth Parliamentarians and Parliamentary officials to Sri Lanka in 2012 and assured that all efforts would be taken by the CPA Sri Lanka Branch as the host Branch of the Annual Conference, to make the participants’ stay a pleasant and memorable one.

The Hon. Speaker, Chamal Rajapaksa, is to be appointed as the President of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association at the conclusion of this years Conference for a period of one year while H.E. President Mahinda Rajapaksa would be elected as the Vice-Patron of the Association for 2011-2012.

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