Following 28 years of conflict Sri Lanka achieved peace in 2009, and moreover, has also achieved the political stability which ensures consistency in policy. The post-conflict era has ushered in an extremely conducive macroeconomic environment and there is concomitant progress in developing the infrastructure of the country, particularly in the previously conflict-affected areas. Moreover, Sri Lanka is finally embarked on a comprehensive Reconciliation program, as it builds a pluralistic and inclusive society, in which all our communities can reap the dividends of peace.
The underlying policy of pro-poor growth, and growth with equity as outlined in the "Mahinda Chintana" aims to bring the dividends of peace of all sectors of the country, and make that peace a durable one. He emphasized that with the end of the autocracy of terrorism, people throughout Sri Lanka are now experiencing democracy and development, the twin pillars of Commonwealth values.
Dr Chris Nonis also referred to the keynote address which will be delivered by His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa, at the Commonwealth Business Forum in Perth, Australia, which brings together over 1200 business leaders from the 54 Commonwealth Countries, and will present the opportunity to highlight and articulate the very real progress that is being made in the country in the post-conflict era. Pan-Commonwealth trade and investment also plays a substantial role in stimulating rural development and in this context it is most opportune that Sri Lanka will be hosting the CHOGM in 2013. It is international fora such as these which will serve to stimulate regional development, and further contribute towards Sri Lanka making that transition from developing to developed nation, and furthermore will provide opportunities for all Commonwealth Countries and Communities to engage with Sri Lanka and join together in this endeavour.
Dr. Mohan Kaul, CEO of the Commonwealth Business Council, in his address reiterated that the Commonwealth is the largest grouping of Countries after the United Nations, and some of the fastest growing economies in the world are part of this association, including two G8 and five G20 members. He stated that the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting which is scheduled for Perth, Australia in 2011, and for Sri Lanka in 2013, will see the bringing together of Heads of State from 54 Commonwealth Countries, and this will provide tremendous opportunities for enhancing pan-Commonwealth trade, and contribute to the development of our regional economies, as well as those of other Commonwealth countries.
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