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May the Noble Triple Gem bless all of you ! Mr. President, Mr. Secretary-General, Distinguished Heads of State, Distinguished Delegates, Friends,

I am extremely pleased to participate in the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly representing Sri Lanka for the fourth consecutive occasion.  Sri Lanka, as a Member State of the United Nations, is fully committed to adhere to its Charter, Conventions and Agreements and their implementation.

The Ministry of Agriculture of Sri Lanka is organizing an Agriculture Exhibition from December 11th -16th 2018 at Bandaranayke Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH) in Colombo Sri Lanka.

Minister of Youth Affairs, Project Management and Southern Development Sagala Ratnayaka undertook an official visit to Washington D.C. from September 12-13. Minister Ratnayaka is also the Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister.

Representing Sri Lanka at the Conference to Advance Religious Freedom, Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Prasad Kariyawasam remarked that Sri Lanka remains committed to advance and uphold the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; including freedom to change ones religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest ones religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance. Stating that Sri Lankans believe in the ability of religions to contribute to building peace and stability around the world, he acknowledged challenges to inter-religious understanding and harmony in Sri Lanka, and outlined steps being taken to overcome challenges and advance religious freedom. He also stressed that Sri Lanka will join the international community to foster what the world needs most today to progress – peace, compassion, mindfulness, and justice, and recognition of our common humanity.

Sri Lanka retained its Tier 2 ranking in the US State Department Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report for the second consecutive year. The 2018 Report which was released on 28 June 2018 can be accessed online at https://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/

Message from the President of Sri Lanka to the President of the United States of America

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