Naga Narendran Director Operations IRDG, attended a round table discussion with Australia’s Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Senator the Hon Fierrvanti-Wells, on the current and potential contribution of Australians of Sri Lankan heritage to development and reconciliation.
The meeting was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) Sri Lanka
The Australian delegation at the roundtable included The Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Senator the Hon Fierrvanti-Wells; Australian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Bryce Hutchesson; Advisor to Minister for International Development and the Pacific; Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Assistant Secretary South Asia Branch, Andrew Collins; Australian High Commission Development Counsellor Charlotte Blundell; Australian High Commission First Secretary Development Michael Newman; Australian High Commission Second Secretary Political Susan Jones.
Participants from the MFA included Advisor to Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Harim Peris; Director General East Asia and the Pacific, Ameer Ajwad; Acting Director General Public Communications and Overseas Sri Lankans Division – Satya Rodrigo; Acting Director Deputy Minister’s Bureau and Overseas Sri Lankans Division – Varuni Muthukamarana.
Overseas Sri Lankans representatives: Naga Narendran, Director Institute for Regional Development and Governance; Jeremy Liyanage, Director Bridging Lanka; Dr Udan Fernando, Executive Director CEPA; Saabira Mohideen Programme Officer International Alert; Dinesha De Silva, Sri Lanka Country Representative The Asia Foundation.
Naga Narendran related his experience working in Sri Lanka, introduced IRDG’s agenda and provided details of the “Community Restoration and creating sustainable livelihood”, that is being carried out at its model village Kalmadu Nagar.
Senator the Hon Fierrvanti-Wells outlined Australia’s commitment to development and reconciliation in Sri Lanka and was pleased with the role that Australian of Sri Lankan heritage were playing in this regard and the potential for more individuals and organisations from Australia to engage. Hon Senator assured that Australia will continue to make a difference by providing assistance and support for Sri Lanka’s journey on development and reconciliation.
Harim Peris explained how the MFA is reinforcing its offices to provide support and to encourage such engagement of overseas Sri Lankans in development and reconciliation.