Rajapakse to deliver vital policy speech Friday

[TamilNet, Thursday, 24 November 2005, 17:03 GMT]
Newly elected Sri Lankan President Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse is set to deliver his first speech at the Lankan Parliament Friday where he is also expected to express his stand on the ethnic crisis, the Norwegian facilitation, economic policy and his foreign policy. A motion on re-imposing Emergency Regulations is also expected to be tabled in the Parliament Friday.

Mahinda Rajapakse
Mahinda Rajapakse (Photo: AP)
Sri Lanka's armed forces will give a ceremonial guard of honour to the new President on his arrival at the Parlaiment where he will be received by the Speaker W.J.M.Lokubandara and the newly appointed Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayaka.

All roads leading to and in close proximity to the Parliament building at the Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte will be placed under heavy security to provide protection to Rajapakse's motorcade, sources said.

Mr. Rajapakse, in his first meeting as the Commander-in- Chief of the armed forces, met the chiefs of the three forces at his Presidential Secretariat Wednesday and discussed the current situation, military sources said.

During his campaign tour to the High Security Zone (HSZ) in Jaffna peninsula prior to the presidential elections, Rajapakse met the soldiers and the officers at the Palaly air base and promised to address their basic problems including their housing needs.

Rajapakse had earlier played a brief role as an army officer in a Sinhala movie called `Nomiyana Minissu' (eternal men) a few years ago. The film which showed the sufferings of soldiers in the armed forces in the NorthEast was as a box-office hit in southern Sri lanka.

The film was produced by the veteran Sinhala cinema actor late Gamini Fonseka who also played a key role in the movie.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister Mr. Mangala Samaraweera, a close confidante to President Rajapakse during the campaign trail, assumed his duties as Foreign Minister Thursday at his office situated next to the President's House in Colombo Fort.

Samaraweera pledged to continue the policies and tasks carried out by the late Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar.

Paying glowing tribute to his predecessor Kadirgamar , Minister Samaraweera said that he would seek international support to bring an end to the ethnic crisis as well as to build up a properous Sri lanka.

Late Kadirgamar 's wife Sugandi Kadirgamar and several senior officials were present to greet Minister Mangala Samaraweera on his first day at his ministry.


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