French Senate delegation visit Sri Lanka
A four member French senate delegation led by Mrs Marie-Christine Blandin, Senator of Nord Department, Chairperson of the France-Sri Lanka Parliamentary friendship group recently concluded a visit to Sri Lanka, from 26 February to 3 March 2017.
Mrs Marie-Christine Blandin was accompanied by Mrs Mireille Jouve, Senator of Bouches-du-Rhône Department andMr Patrick Chaize, Senator of Ain Department. They held discussions with Sri Lankan authorities and also visited the Eastern province of the country.
The delegation had discussions with Prime Minister Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe and Minister of Law & Order and Southern Development Hon. Sagala Ratnayake. The French senators were also received by the Minister of National Coexistence Dialogue and Official Languages Hon. Mano Ganeshan and by the Acting Foreign Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva.
The delegation also met with Hon. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya; Minister of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs Hon. John Amaratunga ; leader of the Opposition and the Tamil National Alliance Hon. R. Sampanthan; MP Rev. Athuraliye Rathana; and the Chief Minister of Eastern Provincial Council Hon. Ahamed Nazir Zainulabdeen.
They also had adiscussion with Prof. Mohan Munasinghe and Mr Ranil Senanayake on the issue of biodiversity in Sri Lanka.
During their visit in Sri Lanka, the delegation from French Senate travelled to Trincomalee, where they met with Rear Admiral Travis Sinniah, the Governor of the Eastern Province, Mr. Austin Fernando, and Father Yogeswaran from the Centre for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights. They also visited the pre-school Little Pen Queen and discussed the advancement of pre-school teacher’s rights under a programme implemented by French NGO Solidarité LaÏque and its local partners, including Kinniya Vision. Finally, representatives of the Waterboard gave them a tour of the installations funded by the French Agency for Development for the supply of clean water in Trincomalee.