21 July 2015
Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera yesterday said that Jathika Hela Urumaya, which joined the United National Front for Good Governance, will support the planned ‘Diaspora Festival’ once its real meaning is realized.
Taking part in the ‘Salakuna’ political talk show on Hiru TV last night, Samaraweera said that the word ‘Diaspora’ has been misused and misinterpreted. He said that the Sri Lankan Diaspora was just one example of many such Diasporas. India even has a minister to look after their strong Diaspora, he pointed out.
Samaraweera said that it was vital to get the contribution of the Diaspora for Sri Lanka’s development. This is not catering to separatism, he argued and added that once this reality is understood, even the JHU would support the move.
On June 10 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that it was planning to host a festival of Diaspora by the end of the year in a bid to facilitate meaningful interactions between the government and the Diaspora communities to move forward reconciliation and development efforts.
The festival would have to take place under a new government since the election is scheduled for August 17. Samaraweera expressed confidence in victory at the general election.