It is my pleasure to welcome to Sri Lanka, Your Royal Highnesses, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, fellow Commonwealth Heads of Government, Foreign Ministers, spouses of visiting dignitaries, delegates and special invitees.
Your Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales, representing the Head of the Commonwealth, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, - is no stranger to Sri Lanka.
This confidence reposed by you in my country will greatly assist me in steering the Organisation's future in the best interest of our peoples.The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) is held every two years to enable leaders of Commonwealth countries to come together to discuss global and Commonwealth issues, and to decide on collective policies and initiatives. President Mahinda Rajapaksa said: “We believe that this theme has broad relevance to the larger Commonwealth, and highlights the importance of equity in economic development, particularly in view of the existing disparities in the distribution of wealth, and economic benefits.CHOGM 2013 was inaugurated in Colombo, Sri Lanka, by HRH The Prince of Wales on 15 November. Inclusive development promotes progress and contributes towards achieving Millennium Development Goals.” A warm welcome, to the opening ceremony of the 22nd Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.Hosting this Meeting is a historic occasion for Sri Lanka, and also a tribute to Asia, as CHOGM returns to this region after 24 years.As one of the eight founding members of the modern Commonwealth, Sri Lanka is deeply honoured to host this event.