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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 108

President Mahinda’s Visit to the state of California a successful one - Sri Lanka Consul Generals Office in Los Angeles

Los Angeles, 03 October, (Asiantribune.com): The recently concluded 3-day visit of President Mahinda Rajapakse to the US state of California was very successful, says Jaliya Wickramasuriya Sri Lanka Consul General in Los Angeles.

The Consul General said that the three days trip provided the visiting President an opportunity to meet and chat with hundreds of his compatriots now resident in California and tell them what their country expects out of them.

He called every one of them to be an ambassador of Sri Lanka and said their duty is to tell this country the truth about the insensate terrorism practiced back in their country.

According to a press statement released at the end of the of the visit by President Mahinda Rajapakse, he pointed out that while the terrorists were being defeated by the security forces, the propaganda war by the terrorists under ruses of false love for human rights was alarming he reminded.

Given below the full text of the press statement issued at the end of the viasit by President Mahinda Rajapakse by the Sri Lanka Consul Generals Office in Los Angeles:

President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the first Sri Lankan head of state to visit the City of Los Angeles , ended his three day trip to the California metropolis very successfully, the Sri Lankan Consulate in the city said in a statement.

"Los Angeles is a city where 46 percent of the population are immigrants born in foreign countries in which 36 different languages are spoken and it is no coincidence that the largest population of Sri Lankan origin in the United States is living in this city," said the Mayor of Los Angeles Antonio Villaraigosa offering a warm welcome at the City Hall, in downtown Los Angeles, to the visiting President. He expressed the thought that the friendship cemented by the visit would become a long standing one between the city and the Indian Ocean island republic.

Other California state officials like the pro-tem chair of the County Board of Supervisors, Yvonne B. Burke also offered the County's welcome to the visiting leader and engaged herself in talks related to economic links with the South Asian nation like expressing her interest in hiring Sri Lankan Registered Nurses to address the dearth of nurses in California, the US state that pays the highest salaries to nurses. Due to the high expenses incurred in nursing education enough nurse students do not enter the state's nursing schools and hence the shortage.

At a well attended luncheon meeting of the Los Angeles World Affairs Council President Mahinda Rajapakse also addressed business leaders, other professionals and influential academics encouraging them to join his mission of reconstructing the island nation's Eastern Province which has been just liberated from the grip of terrorists. He told the enthusiastic audience to invest in business in the area to make its stunningly beautiful beaches into money earners of tourism and bring back the ancient prosperity in agriculture that earned the fertile province the title "the granary of the nation." He told them to join his effort of restoring the area's lost democratic rights like the universal franchise under the terrorists by helping as volunteers to repair the devastated area's infrastructure less than two decades of terrorism.

The three days trip also provided the visiting President to meet and chat with hundreds of his compatriots now resident in California and tell them what their country expects out of them. He called every one of them an ambassador of Sri Lanka and said their duty is to tell this country the truth about the insensate terrorism practiced back in their country. While the terrorists were being defeated by the security forces, the propaganda war by the terrorists under ruses of false love for human rights was alarming he reminded in public talks including the one made at the Carpenter Performing Art Center Auditorium in Long Beach where more than one thousand Sri Lankan expatriates converged on from all parts of the state to listen to him. Although he wanted to visit every Sri Lankan Buddhist Temple his short stay did not allow him to visit more than two temples where he also talked to hundreds of his compatriots and Buddhist monks.

The visiting leader also enjoyed meeting them at a luncheon and a dinner held in the official residence of the Consul General, Jaliya Wickramasuriya, who was in charge of the overall arrangements of the trip.

At the invitation of the Sri Lankan Scientist, Dr. Sarath Gunapala, the President ended his three day tour with a visit to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California. He was received by Deputy Director of JPL, General Eugene L. Tattini who presented him with a Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) 2000 elevation map of Sri Lanka at the end of his tour.

Asian Tribune

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