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Parliamentarians for Peace Launched in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka-2016-10-05-Parliamentarians for Peace Launched in Sri Lanka

Colombo, Sri Lanka—Sri Lanka's chapter of the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP) was launched on October 5, 2016, at a special ceremony held inside the Sri Lankan parliament building in Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte in Colombo.

The IAPP, a project of UPF, is an international network of lawmakers, current and former, who collaborate together to advance peace and human development at all levels of society. It advocates “micro peace” centering on the ethical and moral values needed to create peace and harmony in the home which can be scaled-up to apply at the social, national, regional and global levels.

The program was chaired by Sri Lanka’s speaker of the Parliament, Hon. Karu Jayasuriya. In addition, Sri Lanka was represented by the Secretary General of the Parliament, the deputy speaker of the Parliament, the former speaker of the Parliament, five government ministers, 57 members of parliament (MPs), and 24 government officers.  

The international delegation consisted of seven MPs (four current and two former) from four nations in Asia: Nepal, Thailand, Malaysia and India, and 25 UPF representatives from eight nations.

The President of Sri Lanka, H.E. Maithripala Sirisena, gave his government’s unreserved backing for the new peace initiative. “I am confident that the launching of the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace in our soils would provide us strength and support to the country’s endeavor to establish a peaceful, democratic and economically prosperous nation,” he said in a written message. Later in the afternoon the international delegates met with the President and he again reiterated his government’s full support for the initiative.

At the official ceremony in the morning, Mr. Jayasuriya thanked UPF for establishing and launching the IAPP and offered his full support. He said the theme, “Addressing the Critical Challenges of Our Time: The Role of Governments, Civil Society and Faith-Based Organizations,” was especially relevant since everyone, including non-state actors, needs to work closely together to ensure and maintain peace in the society and nation.

Hon. Danraj Gurung, an MP from Nepal, said that the IAPP can help lawmakers gain a wider perspective on issues and develop personal relationships with fellow parliamentarians in order to help solve domestic as well as bilateral problems. “Not only can MPs from one nation learn from other countries; equally important, matters between neighboring states can be handled more effectively when parliamentarians personally know each other,” he said.  

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