Despite enormous threats posed by pro-LTTE activists President Mahinda Rajapaksa's recently concluded London visit was a tremendous success, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga said.
Speaking to chief editors of the print and electronic media at the Presidential Secretariat this morning (13), the Secretary said President's London visit paved the way to lift UK – Sri Lanka relations to a new height.
Out of seven events the President was slated to attend six were very successfully completed, the Secretary said adding that Sri Lanka can reap the benefits of this tour in the future.
Pro- LTTE supporters posed a threat not to the President of Sri Lanka but to civil society in London by staging violent protests in the heart of the city, Member of Parliament Sajin De Vaas Gunawardena said.
Members of the Sri Lankan Tamil expatriates in UK had carried out a vicious campaign to exert pressure on the British authorities to disallow President Rajapaksa from attending the Diamond Jubilee celebration of Queen Elizabeth, he said.
However, this effort failed with President Mahinda Rajapaksa meeting Her Majesty and attending all the events connected to the Diamond Jubilee. The President also met Prince Charles, the British Prime Minister David Cameron and Sri Lankan representatives had bilateral discussions with the British Foreign Secretary William Hague and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office Member Alistair Burt.
Sri Lankan High Commissioner in London Dr. Chris Nonis elaborating on President's visit said President's ability to meet the Queen, British Prime Minister, Prince Charles and a group of members of British Parliament within just two days is a rare occasion.
We must be thankful for the British government for providing unequivocal security to the President, the High Commissioner said.
"Sri Lanka is pragmatically engaged with Tamil "Diaspora" rich countries as the country is moving forward," the High Commissioner said.