Sri Lanka’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Vasantha Senanayake MP said on Thursday (7 December) that “The National Unity Government of Sri Lanka under the leadership of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is firmly committed in its resolve to strengthen, uphold, promote and protect equity and social justice ” in Sri Lanka adding that it is “resolved to achieving reconciliation, ensuring durable peace and non-recurrence of violence, promotion and protection of human rights, ending impunity and upholding the rule of law, and strengthening good governance and democracy and equitable and inclusive development.”
Speaking at the Ministerial Panel of the Bali Democracy Forum(BDF) commemorating its 10th Anniversary (BDF X) in Indonesia, State Minister Senanayake observed that the Forum is significant to Sri Lanka as the Unity Government is taking a ” number of measures to reinforce democracy. The government addresses the diversity, security, equality and social justice of our people under the theme of good governance following victory at the January 2015 Presidential Election and the August 2015 Parliamentary Elections.” He said ” as soon as the Unity Government was established, freedom of expression and media freedom, which are two essential pillars of democracy, among others, were restored.”
The venue of the DBF X was moved to Banten, due to potential intensification of volcanic activity of Mt. Agung in the island of Bali.
The State Minister for Foreign Affairs Vasantha Senanayake was among several Ministers from across the globe including Tunisia, Jordan, Qatar, Papua New Guinea, Madagascar, Samoa, Suriname and ASEAN Secretary General participating in the BDF X Ministerial panels which were followed by lively interactive sessions.
Articulating his views on the theme – Managing diversity, Security, Equity, and Social Justice the State Minister observed “for a functional liberal democracy, space for recognition, inclusion and accommodation of social diversity, supported by functioning democratic institutions is a sine-qua non. Sri Lanka is a multi-religious, multi lingual and multi-cultural nation. The pluralistic and diverse cultures and traditions of Sri Lanka are the strength of the unity of our people. We stand for unity in diversity. “While outlining Sri Lanka’s belief that all stake holders should develop mechanisms to sustain security and equality as an essential component of Sri Lanka’s democracy”, he went on to point out the fact that after the conclusion of the conflict, the country also has to address challenges of food security, Cyber security and social security with the democratic institutions and authorities of law enforcement being totally committed to addressing these challenges.
During his visit, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Vasantha Senanayake met with Indonesian Foreign Minister Madam Retno Marsudi and H.E Dato Sri Paduka Haji Erywan bin Pehin Yusof Deputy Foreign and trade Minister of Brunei Darussalam during which several matters of mutual interest were discussed. He also had occasion to engage briefly several Ministers participating at BDF X including Ministers of Kazakhstan, Jordan, Timor Leste, Samoa and others.