Onlanka News – By Janaka Alahapperuma
(Pix by: Sudath Silva)
The 50th Anniversary Conference of the Asian African Legal Consultative Organization (AALCO) kicked off at the Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel in Colombo today on 27 June. This is the fourth time that the AALCO annual session is held in Colombo and Sri Lanka is privileged to host the Golden Jubilee Conference.
At the beginning of the sessions, Minister for Constitutional and Legal Affairs of Tanzania and the current President of AALCO, Celina Kombani, handed over the presidency to Sri Lanka Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem. After being appointed as the Chairperson, in his welcome speech Minister Hakeem said he would focus his special attention on the unsolved matters related to the legal sectors of both regions.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa graced the AALCO Golden Jubilee Session and delivered the inaugural address following the welcoming remarks by Minister Hakeem. Prof. G.L. Peiris, Minister of External Affairs delivered the Keynote Address. Secretary of the AALCO Rahuman Mohammed presented a complimentary gift as a token to President Rajapaksa at the session.
The event was jointly organized by the Sri Lanka Ministries of Justice and the External Affairs. Around 200 high level representatives of 47 member states are participating in the five-day conference from 27 June to 01 July to table on matters related to international law and justice. In addition, large number of observer delegations and international organizations also participated.
Sri Lanka was a founder member of the AALCO established in 1956 and the 47 member organization provides a platform for member states to find common solutions in various fields of international law that would mutually benefit the member countries.
Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayaka, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to the Ministry of External Affairs Karunaratne Amunugama, Secretary to the Ministry of Justice Suhada Gamlath, President of the International Court of Justice Hisashi Owada, Justice Ministers from ten nations as well as Attorney Generals and legal advisers and many distinguished guests also participated in the conference.
After end of the first day of the Conference, President of the International Court of Justice Hisashi Owada and Mrs Owada call on President Rajapaksa at Temple Trees. A special discussion was took place on international law and its charters between the Sri Lankan President and the President of the International Court of Justice.