Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena Represents Sri Lanka at the 75th Anniversary Celebrations of the Commonwealth in the UK

The Speaker of the Sri Lanka Parliament, Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, attended the commemorations of the 75th Anniversary of the Commonwealth in the United Kingdom from 10th to 12th March, 2024 at the invitation of the Speaker of the UK House of Commons, the Right Honourable Sir Lindsay Hoyle.

On 10th March, Speaker Abeywardena attended the Commonwealth 75th Anniversary Dinner held in the historic Palace of Westminster hosted by Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle. The gathering saw the presence of numerous esteemed foreign dignitaries, including Speakers and Presiding Officers from over twenty Commonwealth nations. During the event, the Sri Lankan delegates engaged in fruitful discussions with other dignitaries present, shedding light on the progress achieved by Sri Lanka in both the democratic agenda and socioeconomic spheres amidst the country’s current situation.

On 11 March, Speaker Abeywardena participated at the Commonwealth Day ceremonial flag raising hosted by The Right Hon Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Speaker of the House of Commons at the Palace of Westminster and laid a wreath at the wreath-laying ceremony at the Commonwealth Memorial Gates, to pay tribute to the 5 million servicemen and women who were in the Armed Forces during the First and Second World Wars. Thereafter,  Speaker Abeywardena joined the Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey in which Her Majesty The Queen Consort, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, and other members of the Royal Family were in attendance. The Service also featured a procession of young flag bearers representing each of the 56 nations of the Commonwealth, where Ms. Anudi Rasulima Ponnamperuma carried the Sri Lankan flag. The day concluded with Commonwealth Day Reception hosted by the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth at the Marlborough House.

At the end of the celebrations, the Speakers and the Presiding Officers from the Commonwealth member countries adopted the Commonwealth Communique, which outlined support and commitment to the unique and modern partnership of the Commonwealth. Prior to his departure from the UK, Speaker Abeywardena also attended the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Meeting at the Palace of Westminster on 12 March.

High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to the UK Rohitha Bogollagama was associated with Speaker Abeywardena at these events. The Speaker’s presence at this significant milestone underscores Sri Lanka’s commitment to the ideals and principles of the Commonwealth, as well as its dedication to fostering international cooperation and dialogue.

13 March 2024
Sri Lanka High Commission