|Indo-Pak talks back on track
|ISLAMABAD (AFP) – India and Pakistan on Friday wrapped
up a fresh round of peace talks in Islamabad without any
breakthrough other than an agreement to meet again in New
Delhi ahead of ministerial talks next month.
Contacts between the two bitter nuclear-armed neighbours are
nevertheless considered key to help easing tensions in South
Asia as the United States prepares to withdraw 33,000 troops
from Afghanistan by the end of next summer.
The talks mark a revival of a tentative peace process, which
collapsed for more than two years after Islamist gunmen
killed 166 people in Mumbai in November 2008 in attacks that
India blamed on Pakistani extremists.
India remains deeply concerned about terrorism from
Pakistan, exacerbated by the US discovery of Osama bin Laden
in Pakistan last month, and Pakistan still considers India
its primary threat despite a Taliban insurgency at home.
The two days of talks were conducted by Pakistani foreign
secretary Salman Bashir and his Indian counterpart Nirupama
Rao, the highest-ranking career diplomats in their
Speaking about the divided Himalayan region of Kashmir, over
which India and Pakistan have fought two of three wars, Rao
said that only in an atmosphere “free of terror and
violence” could a resolution be discussed.
A two-decade insurgency against Indian rule, fuelled by
militant groups sponsored by Pakistani intelligence, has
claimed tens of thousands of lives.
In reference to a stalled Pakistani trial of conspirators in
the Mumbai attacks, Rao also said India needed “satisfactory
closure” in order to proceed with the process of normalising
A carefully worded joint statement listed no concrete
agreement other than a commitment to meet again in New
Delhi, at a date yet to be announced, to prepare for a
pre-arranged foreign ministers’ meeting in July.
Nevertheless, original plans for separate news conferences
were scrapped in favour of a joint appearance. The friendly
atmosphere was in marked contrast to the acrimony at a
foreign ministers’ news conference in Islamabad in July
The statement said talks were “frank and cordial” and that
both sides intended to continue dialogue in a “constructive
and purposeful manner.”
India and Pakistan announced in February that peace talks
would resume after Bashir and Rao met in Bhutan. Talks have
focused on the fate of Kashmir, peace and security and
But a leading separatist in Indian Kashmir, Mirwaiz Umer
Farooq, on Friday called for dialogue led by the Indian and
Pakistani prime ministers.
New Delhi has long accused its neighbour of harbouring
militant groups, but analysts say it is becoming
increasingly concerned that growing unrest in Pakistan could
compromise the safety of the country’s nuclear arsenal.
Relations between India and Pakistan, which have fought
three wars since the subcontinent was partitioned in 1947,
have been plagued by border and resource disputes, and
accusations of Pakistani militant activity against India.
|Rare Billy the Kid
photo to go on auction block
|SANTA FE (AFP) – A photograph of a smirking Billy the
Kid, taken outside a New Mexico saloon near to where the
famed outlaw was shot dead, fetched up to $1 million at an
auction on Saturday.
The two-by-three-inch (five-by-eight-centimetre) tintype is
the only known adult portrait of the Wild West gunslinger
who variously went by William Bonney, Henry Antrim, Henry
McCarty or just “the Kid.”
It has also been one of the most commonly reproduced images
of the outlaw since it appeared in Sheriff Pat Garrett’s
book on how he tracked down and killed the Kid in 1881.
“This is it – the only one,” said Brian Lebel, auctioneer
for the 22nd annual Old West Show and Auction to be held in
“We’ll have over 500 (people) in the audience. We have eight
telephone lines and we have three different Internet
hookups, so people can bid live online with real-time
bidding (and) with a camera, so you can see the auctioneer.”
The unidentified photographer originally made four identical
tintypes, but the other three have been lost.
The one remaining tintype is owned by brothers Stephen and
Art Upham of California and Arizona, who last displayed it
publicly in a museum in Lincoln, New Mexico, in the
It has been sealed in a nitrogen-filled envelope and kept in
a safety deposit box since then, Lebel said.
Billy the Kid’s jawline appears asymmetrical in the
photograph, possibly because he made a face or moved his
head during the long exposure time.
The image is smeared across the hips – apparently from the
gunslinger stuffing the tintype into his pocket before it
For years, Billy the Kid was thought to be left-handed
because the tintype shows him wearing a holster on his left
side, inspiring the 1958 film, “The Left-Handed Gun.”
In fact, the holster was on his right side, and only appears
to be on the left because tintype photography creates a
mirror image of the subject.
Lebel plans to start the bidding on Saturday at $150,000,
half of what he expects to be the minimum sale price of
But Western photography collector Bob McCubbin of Santa Fe,
who plans to attend the auction, expects bids to go as high
as $1 million (700,000 euros).
“This is the Holy Grail of photography,” McCubbin said. “I
cannot think of another photograph in the entire world that
is as famous as this.”
presidents in Iran summit
TEHRAN (AFP) –
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and his Afghan
counterpart Hamid Karzai held a three-way summit with Iran
on Friday ahead of attending an anti-terrorism conference,
state news agency IRNA reported.
Zardari, Karzai and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
discussed “ways of battling terrorism, extremism and drug
trafficking,” IRNA said.
A statement posted on the Iranian presidency website said
the three “expressed concern over a rising lack of security,
extremism and terrorism, and insisted on the need for
cooperation to combat these phenomena.”
The tripartite summit is being held amid announcements by
the United States that it will draw down by 33,000 its
contingent of 99,000 troops in Afghanistan by the end of
Several hundred French soldiers have also been recalled from
Afghanistan recently, while Britain and Germany, which have
the largest presence there after the United States, have
also declared their intention to reduce their contingents by
the end of the year.
“The Afghan people wants the departure of foreign forces,
and therefore Iran and Pakistan can play an important role
in establishing a durable peace in Afghanistan,” the Iranian
presidency website quoted Karzai as saying.
Ahmadinejad agreed that all three nations must “cooperate
closely on security matters,” it said.
Zardari was quoted as saying that Iran, Pakistan and
Afghanistan must boost ties and cooperation because all
three countries “are the main victims of terrorism and war.”
Iran has always been hostile to the presence of NATO forces
in neighbouring Afghanistan, saying this strengthened
terrorist groups such as the Taliban and Al-Qaeda more than
it weakened them.
Tehran itself suffers from the activities of armed Sunni
Muslim group Jundallah around its border with Pakistan and
Afghanistan. Jundallah is on the United States’ list of
outlawed terrorist groups.
On Saturday Zardari and Karzai will attend an international
anti-terrorism conference alongside Sudan’s President Omar
al-Bashir, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and Tajik
President Emomali Rahmon, Iranian media reported.
All three arrived in the Iranian capital on Friday afternoon
for the gathering, which will also be attended by other
nations as observers.
Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court, which
has issued two arrest warrants on charges of crimes against
humanity and genocide in the Darfur region, where a bloody
conflict has raged for eight years.
Iran, which is on Washington’s list of state sponsors of
terrorism, regularly accuses Israel and the US of plotting
terrorist attacks against its territory.
|Wen Jiabao starts a
tour of Europe in euro crisis
BUDAPEST (AFP) –
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao embarked Friday on a
three-country tour of Europe, mired in currency and
sovereign debt woes while Beijing’s European investments
continue to grow.
Wen landed in Budapest shortly after midday, an airport
spokesman said, with Hungarian Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt
Semjen welcoming him.
After a visit that lasts until Saturday, including talks
with Prime Minister Viktor Orban and a reception at a
Budapest university, Wen moves on to London and Berlin
before returning to China Tuesday night.
Nine months after a round trip to Greece, Italy and Turkey,
he was back in Europe with a promise to support the region’s
“China’s government has adopted a series of positive
measures such as increasing its holdings of euro bonds and
promoting its economic cooperation and investment in Europe
so as to support the European countries tide over the
current crisis,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman
Hong Lei on Tuesday.
The visit will be centred primarily on economic issues,
experts say. Nonetheless Wen might raise “delicate issues
such as the Middle East, Afghanistan and North Korea with
his British counterpart David Cameron, given that the United
Kingdom is also a member in the Security Council of the UN,”
said Brian Bridges, professor of political sciences at Hong
Kong’s Lingnam University.
The recent release of dissident artist Ai Weiwei is expected
to be discussed as well. British Foreign Minister William
Hague underlined Thursday that there were “serious
questions” on the circumstances of his detention and charges
China, the world’s second largest economy, has already
started to rebalance its commercial and financial relations,
today tilted toward the United States and Japan, to
increasingly benefit Europe as well.
Standard Chartered Bank said this week that China appeared
to be investing less in US securities – which likely means
more in euro debt.
Beijing does “not want the euro system to collapse because
that would cause such a tremendous chaos” for China as well
as Europe, Bridges said.
Budapest, for its part, hopes to become a “stepping stone”
of sorts for China in Europe, as a logistics and commercial
distribution centre, according to Hungarian Minister of
National Development Tamas Fellegi.
Chinese investments could create several thousand jobs, he
said in a statement, citing primarily air transport
cooperation. China is to finance a high-speed train link
connecting Budapest with its international airport.
|Ex-Bangladesh PM’s son
sentenced to jail
|DHAKA (AFP) – A Bangladeshi court sentenced the younger
son of former prime minister Khaleda Zia to six years in
prison for laundering nearly $1 million through bank
accounts in Singapore, a lawyer said.
Arafat Rahman Koko, who was tried in absentia and is
currently in Bangkok, was fined $5.2 million for the crimes,
carried out when his mother was last in power between 2001
and 2006, said state lawyer Mosharaf Hossain.
“The court has convicted Arafat Rahman Koko and given him
six years’ imprisonment... for earning money illegally and
laundering money through Singapore,” Hossain, who
represented the government in the case, told AFP.
“He will be arrested when he gets back from Bangkok or – as
there is an agreement between Thailand and Bangladesh –
there is the possibility the government will begin
extradition proceedings against him,” he added.
The court also sentenced Ismail Hossain Saimon, son of a
former shipping minister and a co-accused in the case, to
six years in prison and the same fine, Hossain said, adding
that Saimon is currently on the run.
Analysts said the verdict could trigger street
demonstrations by Zia’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)
and its Islamist allies, who have dismissed the charges
against Koko as politically motivated.
The BNP has recently staged protests against the
government’s plan to scrap a system of holding national
elections under a neutral caretaker administration.
Koko was frequently referred to as one of the most powerful
men in Bangladesh when his mother was prime minister for her
second term from 2001 to 2006.
Zia’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) suffered a crushing
defeat in elections in December to her bitter rival and
current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Both women were charged with corruption during the regime of
a 2007 to 2009 army-backed caretaker government, and each
spent a year behind bars only to be released as part of
deals to ensure they took part in the election.
Zia’s eldest son, Tareque Rahman, also faces a string of
corruption charges. He is currently living in London.
Azerbaijan for peace talks failure
(AFP) – Armenia blamed Azerbaijan on Saturday for the
failure of a peace summit in Russia aimed at resolving a
bitter territorial dispute that world powers fear could
erupt into armed conflict.
The enemy countries’ leaders did not to manage to agree
terms on a “basic principles” agreement intended as a road
map towards resolving their dispute over the Nagorny
Karabakh conflict zone, despite strong international
pressure before their meeting in the Russian city of Kazan
“Kazan did not become a turning point because Azerbaijan was
not ready to accept the latest version of the basic
principles,” Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian
said in a statement.
He accused Azerbaijan of undermining the talks by calling
for “about 10” changes to the long-discussed document.
Despite the lack of any formal agreement, the two sides said
they had achieved some progress.
“The heads of state noted the reaching of mutual
understanding on a number of questions, whose resolution
helps create conditions to approve the basic principles,”
the leaders said in a statement published by the Kremlin.
The meeting supervised by Russia’s Dmitry Medvedev had
sparked optimism that Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian and
his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev might achieve the
first major progress in many years of fruitless talks.
The two sides still exchange deadly fire around the Nagorny
Karabakh conflict zone, 17 years after fighting a war over
the now Armenian separatist-controlled region in western
The conflict in the 1990s killed some 30,000 people, and
there are fears that a new flare-up could be even bloodier
and potentially threaten pipelines taking Caspian Sea oil
and gas from Azerbaijan to Europe.
|Nepal probes collapsed runway at main
KATHMANDU (AFP) – Nepal’s government
said Friday it would investigate the collapse earlier this
week of part of the main runway at the country’s only
Flights were disrupted at Tribhuvan International Airport
for several hours on Tuesday when a section of the runway
subsided, apparently due to strong monsoon rains.
The more than 3,000-metre (10,000-foot) runway was repaired
three months ago, but officials said parts started eroding
again recently and they were forced to close the runway on
Tuesday for safety reasons.
International flights from India and China were forced to
divert for three hours to New Delhi and Dhaka.
“The problem itself may not be a major cause of concern, but
we smell a rat in the quality of the repairs,” Tourism and
Civil Aviation Minister Khadga Bahadur Bishwakarma told
“We are launching a high-level committee to investigate why
it happened. The committee will present its report within a
week,” he said.
The problem is likely to be because of the weak subsoil
under the runway, which is threatened by the rivers and
waterways that flow around the 50-year-old airport, experts
earn USD 3 billion a year: Prof. G. L.Peiris
|Minister of External Affairs, Prof. G. L. Peiris says
that the government has launched an effective programme for
the benefit of the Sri Lankan expatriates employed abroad
who earn approximately USD 3 billion as foreign exchange
each year and that Ministry of Foreign Employment, Sri Lanka
Bureau of Foreign Employment, Foreign Employment Agency and
Ministry of External Affairs should work hand in hand for
The Minister noted that it is timely that Sri Lankan
Embassies abroad are given the responsibility of finding out
directly about foreign employers who deny payment of
salaries and granting other privileges as per the agreement
signed in Sri Lanka before leaving for work abroad.
Minister Peiris made these comments addressing the gathering
after the ceremonial opening of the headquarters of the Sri
Lanka Foreign Employment Agency in a building owned by the
Foreign Employment Agency at Nawala junction, Nugegoda.
Minister of Foreign Employment Promotion & Welfare, Dilan
Perera and senior officials of the Agency also participated
in this event.
Minister Peiris further noted that the ways in which the
country earned foreign exchange, tended to change from time
to time. “Fifteen years ago, we earned foreign exchange by
exporting agricultural produce such as tea, rubber, coconut.
Now Sri Lankans employed abroad earn thrice as much as the
income generated by tea. Last year the country received
around 3 billion US Dollars from the foreign employees. It
only became second to the apparel industry. It shows the
importance of this sector. When the country was faced with
difficult circumstances, our foreign employees played a
fundamental role in acquiring the financial resources we
required. There are mutual obligations to be fulfilled. The
government should also play an important role for their
welfare. The President has given the responsibility of
carrying out that duty to Minister Dilan Perera. For that he
has launched and implemented a proper programme, said Prof.
Expatriates employed abroad are not paid according to the
service agreement they sign here. As a result of this, many
of them come to our Embassies and ask for refuge. Therefore
the Ministry of Foreign Employment, Foreign Employment
Agency, the Foreign Employment Bureau and the Ministry of
External Affairs should work in collaboration. It is timely
that the responsibility of finding out directly whether the
employers are complying with the agreement they have entered
into, should be given to our embassies.
And also the expatriale employees do not enjoy the benefits
expected of the insurance. Therefore the insurance scheme is
currently being reformed to suit the present circumstance so
that the employees are benefited according to what they have
Although earlier women of this country left for employment
without proper training, now there are training centers in
various parts of the country to give them a proper training,
Peiris said adding that a fully fledged programme to educate
on how to live in a foreign country to deal with ones own
work and own safety has been implemented.
Minister of Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare, Dilan
Perera addressing the meeting said that Sri Lanka Foreign
Employment Agency is an entity whose objective is not to
make money and in the matter of sending people for foreign
employment it competes with the private sector. He further
added the Foreign Employment Agency of Sri Lanka has to bear
expenses on account of the expatriates sent abroad by the
Private Employment Agencies returning due to various
problems. He further said that a proper methodology is in
place to achieve the objective of the Agency started by the
President for the benefit of expatriates.
The welcome address and the vote of thank were delivered by
Asanga Abeygunasekara, Chairman of the Institute. A group of
people including some expatriates who went abroad for
employment through the institute also took part in the
|Japan confers prestigious decoration
on Isfahani Sameen
June 17 this year, the Government of Japan decided the
conferment of ‘The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with
Rosette’ upon Isfahani Sameen, Former World President of
Junior Chamber International and Former Provincial
Councillor of the Western Provincial Council, in recognition
of his invaluable contributions in promoting bilateral
relations between Japan and Sri Lanka as well as
international relations among Japan and other countries.
A congratulatory message was sent by Takeaki Matsumoto,
Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, on 18th June upon the
announcement stating: “Please accept my sincerest
congratulations on the conferment of ‘The Order of the
Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette’, in recognition of your
outstanding contribution, and my best wishes for your
continued good health and happiness”.
Sameen was an old boy of St. Aloysius College, Galle and
Carey College, Colombo. He was an active member of the
Jaycees in Sri Lanka and the founder member of the
Wellawatte Jaycees in 1973. He was unanimously elected as
the 44th World President of Junior Chamber International for
the year 1989. As World President of Junior Chamber
International, Sameen contributed significantly to promote
international relations among Japan and other countries
including Sri Lanka.
As President of the Wellawatte Jaycees Sameen was successful
in signing a Sister Chapter Affiliation agreement with the
Kitakyushu Jaycees of Japan and since then has been engaged
in numerous activities to promote bilateral relations
between Japan and Sri Lanka.
Among some of his greatest achievements are the mega project
of the “Gifting of two Baby Elephants from the Government of
Sri Lanka to the Mayor of Kitakyushu City”. Being conversant
in the Japanese language Sameen served as project chairman
of the Sri Lanka Trade Fair in Kitakyushu City in 1977,
which also won the World Award at the Jaycees International
Sameen was also the Leader of the Organisation when the
Asian Pacific Conference was held in Yokohama City in 1989,
which attracted a record 16,650 delegate participation from
52 countries and regions at which the Crown Prince of Japan
was the Chief Guest at the opening ceremony. Since 2005, he
has also played the roles of coordinator and Host Family to
many Japanese children visiting Sri Lanka under the Asian
Pacific Children’s Convention.
In the aftermath of the tsunami in Sri Lanka in 2004 Sameen
was instrumental in spearheading numerous post-tsunami
rehabilitation projects as well as securing numerous other
donations to help various educational as well as welfare
projects in Sri Lanka between 1977 and 2010.
The conferment ceremony of this prestigious decoration will
be held at Colombo in due course.
|Facts over fiction in
the defeat of terrorism, says Ambassador Jaliya
Sri Lankan Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya told an audience
here last week that critics had distorted the historical
record of Sri Lanka’s successful fight against terrorism in
an effort to halt successful reconciliation and
During his North Carolina visit, Ambassador Wickramasuriya
also met with members of the local Sri Lankan community in
Raleigh and he also visited a Buddhist temple.
Speaking to the Council on World Affairs Council of
Greensboro, Ambassador Wickramasuriya explained that Sri
Lanka has established an independent Lessons Learnt and
Reconciliation Commission to examine actions taken by both
sides during the government’s conflict against the
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), an
internationally-banned terrorist group.
Sri Lanka defeated the LTTE in May 2009 and has since been
working to restore the livelihoods and communities of
civilians displaced during the struggle. The LLRC is vital
to reconciliation efforts, since it has taken public
testimony from top government officials and civilians
affected by the conflict.
Some groups have called for an independent investigation of
Sri Lanka by the United Nations. Ambassador Wickramasuriya
said that LTTE supporters are pressing for an investigation
as a means of derailing Sri Lanka’s peaceful recovery.
“Though the LTTE proclaimed to be fighting for the rights
of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka, its violent methods meant
that it had very little real support among Tamils there,”
Ambassador Wickramasuriya said. “In fact, the LTTE killed
thousands of Tamils through terrorism. Tamils who dared to
run for public office were gunned down – hundreds of them.
That’s why people in Sri Lanka despise the LTTE.”
Sri Lanka has realized significant progress following the
end of the conflict. Its GDP was 8.2 percent in 2010 and
unemployment and inflation have both dropped. Per capita
income has doubled in the last five years and is on track to
double again by 2016.
Foreign direct investment in 2011 will reach $1 billion,
according to government economists. Tourism was up in 2010
50 percent over 2009, and it was up 65 percent over the 2010
pace for the first quarter of 2011.
During his speech, the ambassador noted that the government
has committed substantial resources into redeveloping
Northern Sri Lanka, rebuilding damaged homes, roads,
bridges, rail lines and water systems. The national
electrical grid is expanding to the entire country for the
He also pointed out that there had not been a single death
due to terrorism in two years, ever since the conflict
ended. “Terrorism is over,” he declared.
“Sri Lanka prides itself as a democracy,” the ambassador
continued. “We also pride ourselves for having defeated a
terrorist group that the Federal Bureau of Investigation
called the world’s deadliest. And we pride ourselves in
freeing our people and helping them to overcome the hardship
caused by years of strife.
“A recent Gallup poll had indicated that people in the North
are happier than they have been in five years of polling.
That’s because they have freedom and there is no more
violence,” said ambassador Jaliya.
|USAIA supports dairy
Farmers in eastern Sri Lanka recently received milk
storage cans and collection trucks that will help them
improve their participation in the dairy value chain.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the
development arm of the U.S. Government, delivered the trucks
to two farmer-owned milk collection centers in Batticaloa
district and provided the storage cans to two milk producer
groups in the Batticaloa and Polonnaruwa districts.
According to Priyanka Dissanayake, USAID Project Management
Specialist, these investments are part of USAID’s Dairy
Enhancement in the Eastern Province (DEEP) Project, a
partnership with the U.S.-based Land O’Lakes and Sri Lankan
CIC Agri Businesses.
“By connecting farmers to value chains, DEEP works to
increase dairy production and improve farmers’ incomes in
the East,” Priyanka explained. Many farmers have received
grants to directly improve dairy production, typically by
buying a cow, constructing cattle sheds, or developing their
water supply and pasture land. “Before the project started,
farmers were getting an average of Rs. 29 per liter of milk.
With this project, farmers are now earning Rs. 49 per
liter,” noted Dissanayake.
The USAID Mission Director, James Bednar said, “A vibrant
domestic dairy sector is important for Sri Lanka’s long term
prosperity. This project can help improve the milk supply,
and it will put more money in the pockets of smallholder
According to USAID, DEEP helps farmers strengthen their
position in the market by mobilising them to organise into
milk producer groups. It provides training and equipment so
they can produce more milk and sell it at a better price. To
date, forty-two producer groups have been created.
The project is also setting up four milk collection centers
which will be owned by the milk producer groups and will
link producers to regular buyers of raw milk.
As part of DEEP’s small grants program, Priyanka Dissanayake
also handed over a check for Rs. 960,000 to the farmers.
Since 2009, the project has distributed small grants
averaging Rs. 20,000 to over 2,100 dairy farmers.
The American people, through the U.S. Agency for
International Development, have provided development and
humanitarian assistance in developing countries worldwide
for nearly 50 years. Since 1956, USAID/Sri Lanka has
invested nearly $2 billion to benefit all the people of Sri
|Liberal Leaders leave for Manila
Leader of the Liberal Party Kamal Nissanka, President Mrs.
Swarna Amarathunge, Vice President Dr. Newton Pieris,
Secretary for International Affairs Prof. Rajiva Wijesinghe,
MP and President of the Youth League Miss Seliyna Pieris
left for the Philippines on June 16, 2011 to participate in
the 57th Congress of the Liberal International held in
Manila from June 16 - 21.
Delegates from Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia
gathered to represent respective liberal parties. Among the
Asian heads of state, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President of
Indonesia, Abhisit Vejajiva Prime Minister of the Kingdom of
Thailand and Benigno Simeon Aquino III, President of
Republic of the Philippines participated at various events.
Many parliamentarians of Europe and other countries also
joined the Congress. The two themes discussed at the
1. Democracy and Development
2. Human Rights and Trade
The executive committee of the Council of Asian Liberal and
Democrats (CALD) was held after the LI Congress under the
chairmanship of Prof. Rajiva Wijesingha, MP.
Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, Minister of Agriculture and
Chandima Weerakkody, Deputy Speaker being welcomed at the
photography exhibition held at the Galle Maritime
Archaeology Museum in Fort. The event, organised by the
Galle District Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GDCCI) was
held from June 17 to 19. The exhibition had works on
Buddhist sites in India by well known Indian photographer
Sandeep Shankar as well as photographs from GDCCI
photographic association and Galle District school camera
(Pic by Neminda Samarajeewa)