President holds talks with UN Secretary General

A discussion has been held between President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the Secretary General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres.

The meeting took place at the UN headquarters in New York last afternoon. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres had expressed the UNs fullest support to Sri Lanka in moving forward to promote unity among nations.

The Secretary-General said he expects Sri Lanka to continue to play a major social and economic role in the Indian Ocean region.

President Rajapaksa meanwhile briefed the UN Secretary General on the challenges faced by countries with small economies similar to Sri Lanka, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

The President’s Media Division said the Head of State detailed the impact the pandemic has had on education and the economy of Sri Lanka and also commended the World Health Organization for its support in handling the pandemic.

President Rajapaksa pointed out with statistics that all arrangements have been made to fully vaccinate all individuals over the age of 15 before the end of November.

The President’s Media Division said the Secretary General had commended the progress made by Sri Lanka in the vaccination drive.

The President claimed the pandemic is a major obstacle in fulfilling the promises he made to the public when he was elected President in 2019.

President Rajapaksa also stated the government will take immediate action pertaining to missing persons following the conflict and expedite the issuance of death certificates.

The President said he will not hesitate in granting Presidential Pardons to Tamil youth who have been imprisoned for a lengthy period, taking into consideration they have remained in custody even after the conclusion of legal proceedings.

The Head of State further said internal issues in Sri Lanka must be resolved through an internal mechanism and extended an invite to the Tamil diaspora for discussions.

The President said while he can assure separatism will not occur again in Sri Lanka, the government as well as other states must remain vigilant of extremism.

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