President Rajapaksa arrives in Indonesia for 4th Bali Democracy Forum

Onlanka News
– By Janaka Alahapperuma
(Pix By: Sudath Silva)

President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Sri Lankan delegation arrived at Norarha International Airport in Indonesia for three days official visit this morning on 07 November.  The President was warmly received by the Sports Minister of Indonesia Mr.Andy Malarangan and Indonesian Children at the Airport.

President Rajapaksa will be attending the two-day summit of Bali Democracy Forum IV which will be held at the Bali International Convention Center in Nusa Dua, Bali, an Indonesian island on 08th and 09th December. Sri Lankan President is in the Indonesia on an invitation extended by his Indonesian counterpart President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Indonesia launched the first Bali Democracy Forum in 2008 in Bali with goals and objectives to place democracy as a strategic agenda in regional discourse in Asia, to build closer understanding and cooperation amongst participating countries of the Forum, to establish a regional cooperation forum that promotes political development, through dialogue, education and sharing of knowledge and experience.

The Forum is also aimed at strengthening democratic institutions in national capacities to initiate learning and sharing process among countries in the Asia. It focuses to develop a strategy towards the maintenance of peace, stability, and prosperity in the region and beyond, to initiate and build a platform for mutual support and cooperation in the field of democracy and political development and to function as a resource base and information center for research and study as well as a pool of expertise in the various sectors relevant to democracy.

Minister of External Affairs, Prof. G L Peiris, Parliamentarian Sajin Vass Gunawardane, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga, Chief of Staff to the President, Gamini Senarath, Sri Lankan High Commissioner in Indonesia, Major General Nanda Mallawarachchi were present at this occasion.

The theme of this year’s Bali Forum is “Enhancing Democratic Participation in a Changing World: Responding to Democratic Voices” and will focus on efforts towards enhanced people participation by way of responding to democratic voices, and relevant issues involved in the process.

It is expected that 15 head of states in the region would attend the event, with 54 participating countries from the Asia Pacific region, such as Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste, Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, Qatar, Sri Lanka and others.

Representatives from more than 66 countries including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, England, Kenya, Nigeria as well as representatives from the European Union and international organizations are expected to attend the event as observers.