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UN chief hails SL progress

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon yesterday expressed appreciation over the progress made by Sri Lanka in different spheres over the last one and half years.

He also assured continuous assistance and support from the United Nations Organisation for the efforts of the government.

Ban made these comments during talks with President Maithripala Sirisena at the President’s House in Colombo yesterday.

The two leaders discussed about the ongoing development programmes, the progress of the programmes being implemented to strengthen reconciliation and the process of constitutional reforms. The President briefed the visiting UN Secretary General about the steps taken by the government with regard to constitutional reforms, devolution and structural reforms.

He explained the steps taken by the government for resettlement and rehabilitation, release of land to the original owners and livelihood development.

President Sirisena said that he is looking forward to attend the UN General assembly later this month to use the international forum for furthering Sri Lanka’s global interaction.

The UN Secretary General said that during his visit to Galle today he could witness the progress achieved in various fields.

He added that he held a dialogue with the people, especially the youth and expressed his satisfaction of the free and friendly atmosphere.

Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera, Presidential Advisor Austin Fernando, Foreign Secretary Esala Weerakoon and Sri Lankan Permanent Representative to UN, Dr Rohan Perera also participated in the discussion. The President hosted a dinner in honour of the UN Secreatry General. The United Nations Secretary General met Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at Temple Trees on Wednesday.

Ban is scheduled to meet several ministers and other Parliamentarians during his three day visit to Sri Lanka.
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