President opens Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference
Thursday, September 20, 2012
The 58th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPC) was inaugurated yesterday morning by Vice Patron of the conference President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Nelum Pokuna Mahinda Rajapaksa Theatre.
Delegates and invitees arrived around 9 am. About 20 minutes later, office bearers and Executive Committee Members assembled at the Nelum Pokuna Lobby.
Commonwealth Parliamentary Association President Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa arrived followed by Vice Patron of the CPA President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
President Rajapaksa was received by president of the CPA and Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa, Secretary General of CPA Dr William F. Sija, Executive Committee chairman Sir Alan Haselhurst, CPA Vice President Mninwa Johanes Mahlangu, Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody and Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Dassanayake at the entrance to the theatre. After lighting of the traditional oil lamp, President Rajapaksa was introduced to the Executive Committee by the CPA Executive Committee chairman.
The official party entered the theatre from the left side entrance and the second procession led by flag bearers entered from the right side entrance and took their seats while the delegates and invitees remained standing.
The Navy performed the fanfare. President Mahinda Rajapaksa, CPA president Chamal Rajapaksa and other dignitaries took their seats on the podium and the choir on the stage sang the national anthem.
After reading the message from the Patron of the CPA, Britain’s queen Elizabeth, the Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa delivered the welcome speech.
President Rajapaksa declared that the 58th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference was opened and CPA executive Committee chairman Sir Alan Haselhurst addressed the meeting followed by a musical interlude.
The President addressed the gathering next.
It was observed that the invitees applauded in between his address. They clapped when the President said Sri Lanka showed the world that terrorism could be defeated and democracy could be restored.
They started applauding when the President stated “we are also aware of how Human Rights can be made a slogan by the worst violators of such rights, to threaten traditional democracies”. President Rajapaksa’s address was followed by the vote of thanks by CPA Vice President Mninwa Johannes Mahlangu.
Thereafter, the President was accompanied by the official party to the theatre lobby to witness the release of the commemorative stamp at 10.55 a.m.
The delegates assembled at the steps leading to the Nelum Pokuna Theatre and posed a group photograph. After refreshments, President Rajapaksa left the Nelum Pokuna followed by delegates and the ceremony came to an end.
Source : Dailynews- Srilanka