President meets Chilean, Bhutanese leaders
President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Brazil to attend the United Nations
Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20, met the President of
Chile Sebastian Pinera and Bhutan’s Prime Minister Jigme Thinley at Rio
de Janeiro on Wednesday. President Rajapaksa and President Pinera
engaged in talks on the sidelines of the conference.
One of the topics discussed was the highly successful canned fish
industry in Chile. President Rajapaksa voiced interest in obtaining
Chilean expertise to develop Sri Lanka’s own canned fish industry.
On the subject of politics, President Rajapaksa whilst briefing the
Chilean President on false propaganda carried out against his country
internationally also invited President Pinera to visit Sri Lanka to
witness first hand the truth and prevailing situation.
The President on the occasion pointed out to the Chilean President
that Sri Lanka was on the march towards development since defeating the
scourge of terrorism which plagued the country for nearly three decades.
He also made the Chilean President aware about the government efforts
to rebuild the conflict affected areas and socio-economic development of
the conflict affected people.
Speaking on the long standing cultural ties between the two nations,
President Rajapaksa reminded President Pinera about the poems written by
Chilean poet Pablo Neruda about Sri Lanka.
President Rajapaksa also met the Prime Minister of Bhutan Jigme
Thinley. Here Premier Thinley described to the President how his country
developed a ‘Happiness Index’ following a UN programme on the above
The two leaders discussed ways of developing such a programme in Sri
Lanka with Bhutanese assistance. The Bhutanese PM on the occasion also
shared information with President Rajapaksa on the upcoming elections in
Bhutan. The Premier pointed out that as in Sri Lanka, there was an
inclination by youth to join politics in Bhutan and described it as a
positive trend. Ministers G.L.Peiris, Wimal Weerawansa, Anura
Priyadarshana Yapa, Patali Champika Ranawaka, Mahinda Amaraweera and
Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunge also took part in the