Jacob Zuma, the President of South Africa who is now in Colombo to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2013 met with President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Memorial Exhibition Centre last evening (Nov. 15).
President Zuma while thanking Sri Lanka and President Rajapaksa for organizing CHOGM 2013 so well conveyed South Africa’s willingness to improve and expand the already existing good bilateral relations.
The President expressing government’s readiness to strengthen bilateral relations said that he was interested in learning more about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa and its process and the outcome.
“Developed countries have their own views on affairs of other countries. However, we need to look at things for ourselves before coming to conclusions”, President Zuma said. While welcoming President Rajapaksa’s idea of learning more about the Truth Commission, he pointed out that exchange of delegations between the two countries is needed to facilitate the process.
Referring to the nearly 30 years of terrorist war, President Rajapaksa said that there were killings and destruction almost every day during the period. “Even all Tamil politicians and intellectuals were killed by the LTTE”, the President recalled. “With the end of the conflict no terrorist-related incident was reported during the past four years,” he observed.
Minister of International Relations and Co-operation Ms. Nkoana-Mashabane, Deputy Minister in Presidency Mr. O. Bapela, South African High Commissioner in Sri Lanka Mr. G. Doidge, and Special Envoy and Spokesperson to the President Mr. M. Maharaj accompanied President Zuma.
Minister of External Affairs Prof. G. L. Peiris, Monitoring MP for the Ministry of External Affairs Mr. Sajin de Vaas Gunwardena, Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Secretary to the President Mr. Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to the Ministry of External Affairs Karunathilake Amunugama, Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in UK Dr. Chris Nonis and Chief of President’s Staff Mr, Gamini Senerath were also present at the meeting