Humanitarian Operation Factual Analysis July 2006 - May 2009
DR CHRIS NONIS WITH NOBEL LAUREATE AMARTYA SEN
Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 1998 for his work in welfare economics and has made contributions to welfare economics, social choice theory, economic and social justice, economic theories of famines, and indices of the measure of well-being of citizens of developing countries. Dr Chris Nonis and Professor Amartya Sen also both sit on the International Advisory Council of Asia House, a leading centre for expertise on Asia in London.
Sri Lanka High Commission London
07th August 2014
HE Dr Chris Nonis meets HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan
Sri Lankan High Commissioner to the UK, Dr Chris Nonis, met HRH Prince El Hassan of Jordan during his visit to London. In Jordan, HRH Prince El Hassan established the Royal Scientific Society, the Arab Thought Forum, the Higher Council for Science and Technology, and the Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies. He is also Chair of one of the UN Secretary General’s Advisory Boards, and President of the Foundation for Interreligious and Intercultural Research and Dialogue (FIIRD). A pluralist, believing in consensus and respect for the other, HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal, articulated his ideals of societies in which all peoples can live, work and function in freedom and with dignity, and emphasized opportunities for global partnership towards these aims.
Sri Lanka High Commission London
16 July 2014
Lanka has established macro economic fundamentals - Chris Nonis
The panellists, Governor of the Central Bank Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Sri Lankan High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Dr. Chris Nonis, Chairman (SEC) Dr. Nalaka Godahewa, Chairman (CSE) Krishan Balendra and CEO (CSE) Rajeeva Bandaranaike addressing various aspects of the economy, liquidity,Governance and future outlook on the capital market of Sri Lanka at the forum.
In order to showcase the opportunities available in the capital market of Sri Lanka the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC) held an Investor Forum at the Savoy Hotel London last Friday and a panel discussion too was followed.
This was organized in association with the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and Bloomberg received an unprecedented response. Over 150 fund managers attended the forum. .
The panelists for this interactive event were, Governor of the Central Bank Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Dr. Chris Nonis, the Sri Lankan High Commissioner to the UK, Dr. Nalaka Godahewa who is the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission and Krishan Balendra the Chairman of the Colombo Stock Exchange. .
Opening remarks were made by Rajeeva Bandaranaike (RB), CEO of the Colombo Stock Exchange. .
Explaining some of the measures that Sri Lanka has taken in recent times to address the issue of liquidity Dr. Godahewa (NG) said that the liquidity issue is primarily to do with how the market has grown over the past few years. .
For a very long period till the end of the war, the market was stagnant and there were very few companies in the market and it is only now that the real prospect has started. As far as the Securities and Exchange Commission is concerned, and the Colombo Stock Exchange, we have looked at several areas to address this issue. .
In 2013 we brought in a new regulation, where all listed companies are expected to raise their minimum public float to 20 per-cents within the next two years that will make a significant impact. .
Secondly we have taken measures to bring more companies to the market; we currently have 293 companies, which have grown very slowly through the past 20 years. But now we see more and more companies are considering IPOs and right now my understanding is that about 45 new companies, some of them are pretty large companies, are in the pipeline to list in the next three years, that will again make a difference.
Sri Lanka on Friday livened up the London Stock Exchange (LSE) as the country was symbolically partnered for the market opening at 8 a.m. The move by the LSE was to mark the highly-successful Investor Forum in London, in which it was also involved. LSE’s ties with Sri Lanka got a big boost when it acquired MillenniumIT, the capital markets software specialist.
The LSE is powered by solutions developed by MIT as well. SEC Chairman Dr. Nalaka Godahewa, Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in UK Dr. Chris Nonis, LSE CEO Alexander Justham, CSE Chairman Krishan Belandra, Director and incoming Chairman Vajira Kulatilaka, CEO Rajeeva Bandaranaike, SEC Commissioners Zuraish Hashim and Lolitha Abeysinghe and MIT Sri Lankan executives and Sri Lanka High Commission officials were among others present at the market opening of the LSE, which was followed by logos of the CSE and SEC flashed across the main trading screen of the LSE – Pix by Nisthar Cassim in London
COMMONWEALTH CRICKET UNIFIES THE PEOPLE – DR CHRIS NONIS
Cricket is a strong unifier amongst all communities, Dr Chris Nonis said, as he warmly welcomed the Sri Lankan Cricket team to a Commonwealth Cricket Reception at the Sri Lanka High Commission in London. He congratulated the team for their perseverance and dedication and that it was a great tribute to Sri Lanka in the post-conflict era.
Commonwealth Secretary-General, H.E. Kamalesh Sharma and High Commissioners from Commonwealth Countries; Rt Hon Lord Naseby, Damian Collins M.P., David Campbell-Bannerman M.E.P., David Morris, M.P., joined other Members of Parliament, Commonwealth Institutions, and cricket enthusiasts to felicitate the team. Captain of the team, Angelo Matthews, and Manager of the team, Michael de Zoysa also addressed the gathering.
Dr Nonis stated that the Sri Lankan cricket team is a microcosm of Sri Lanka, reflecting the diversity and heterogeneity of the country, and the spirit and aspirations of the Commonwealth.
It was particularly appropriate that a Commonwealth Cricket Reception was held in London to felicitate our Cricket Team, as Sri Lanka successfully hosted CHOGM 2013 and H.E. President Mahinda Rajapaksa is the current Chair-in-office of the Commonwealth.
Sri Lanka High Commission London
12th June 2014
Vesak Celebration and Almsgiving at the Sri Lanka High Commission in the UK
Written by Administrator
The High Commission of Sri Lanka in the United Kingdom organized an almsgiving for twenty Venerable members of the Maha Sanga representing the Buddhist temples in the UK, on Wednesday 14th May, with the participation of the Sri Lankan community, as part of its Vesak Celebrations, and also to invoke blessings on H.E. President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Government and the people of Sri Lanka. The High Commission premises were colourfully adorned with Vesak lanterns, Buddhist flags and decorations.
Chief Sanganayaka of Great Britain & Head of the London Buddhist Vihara Ven. Bogoda Seelawimala Nayaka Thero; Chief Incumbent of the Kingsbury Saddhatissa International Buddhist Vihara, Ven. Galayaye Piyadassi Nayaka Thero; Chief Incumbent of the Birmingham Jetavana Buddhist Temple Ven. Keppetiyagoda Gunawansa Nayaka Thero; and Ven. Maha Sanga from the following Buddhist Viharas also participated at the Almsgiving:- Athula Dassana International Buddhist Temple, Hounslow; East London Buddhist Cultural Centre, Plaistow; Upton Temple, Plaistow; Thames Buddhist Vihara, Croydon; Mahamevnawa Asapuwa, Billericay; Scotland Buddhist Vihara, Scotland; and Redbridge Buddhist Cultural Centre, Ilford.
Ven. Bogoda Seelawimala Nayaka Thero, Ven Dr Handupalpola Mahinda Nayaka Thero, and Ven Dedunupitiye Upananda Thero, in their Anusasanas outlined the meaning of the Triple Festival of Vesak commemorating the Birth, Enlightenment and Parinirvana of the Buddha; the universality of Buddhism; and the imperative of unity of all Sri Lankans.
In his concluding remarks, Ven Bogoda Seelawimala Nayaka Thero commended the service rendered by the High Commissioner and staff and for their active participation in many Temple events throughout the UK, and that this was reflected in the participation of the Ven Maha Sanga from so many Temples in the UK in the High Commission’s Vesak celebration and almsgiving today.
The High Commission of Sri Lanka
14th May 2014
Hon Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa visits Sri Lanka High Commission in London
The Hon Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa was in the UK to attend a meeting of the Executive Committee of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA). The Hon Speaker is the immediate Past President of the CPA.
The Hon Speaker was welcomed by High Commissioner Dr. Chris Nonis, to the Sri Lanka High Commission, during his stay in London. The Hon Speaker commended the work carried out by the staff of the Mission for the Sri Lankan community, as well as the several Commonwealth related events held at the High Commission in recognition of His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa assuming the Chair-in-Office of the Commonwealth.
High Commission of Sri Lanka London
08 May 2014
Dr Chris Nonis, High Commissioner for Sri Lanka to the UK, meets Prime Minister of Pakistan, HE Nawaz Sharif, in London
Sri Lankan High Commissioner to the UK, Dr Chris Nonis, met the Prime Minister of Pakistan, HE Nawaz Sharif, during his visit to London. Dr Nonis articulated the strong and longstanding friendship and cooperation that exists between the two countries, and the value of the comprehensive bilateral Free Trade Agreement. HE Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif reaffirming his strong bond of friendship, spoke about his meeting with HE President Mahinda Rajapaksa during his visit to Sri Lanka for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2013, chaired by President Rajapaksa.
Sri Lanka High Commission London
08th May 2014
Hon Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa meets Parliamentarians in the UK
L to R: Rt Hon Lord Sheikh, Sri Lankan High Commissioner Dr Chris Nonis, Ian Paisley M.P., Hon Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa, Worshipful Mayor Frances Stainton, James Wharton MP, David Morris, MP.
Dr Chris Nonis , Sri Lankan High Commissioner to the UK, hosted a gathering in London in honour of Hon Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa. The Hon Speaker, who is the immediate Past President of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association(CPA), was in the UK to attend the meeting of the Executive Committee of the CPA.
Sri Lanka High Commission London
01 May 2014
Unity is strength
In his address on Sri Lanka's Independence Day, High Commissioner to the UK, Dr Chris Nonis emphasised that the wealth of the country was in the diversity of its people of varying backgrounds, ethnicities and religions.
He said it was imperative to make optimum use of that diversity and build a strong and unified Sri Lanka which would then be able to resist those external forces that seek to divide rather than unify Sri Lanka.
Dr Nonis was speaking to a large gathering of the British polity including parliamentarians from the House of Lords and the House of Commons, heads of diplomatic missions, members of the Commonwealth Secretariat including its Secretary-General, members of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the business community, think tanks, international organisations and representatives from HRH Prince Charles' office and Buckingham Palace, at a reception held at the Sri Lanka High Commission in London to celebrate the 66th Independence Day of Sri Lanka.
The High Commissioner thanked the 53 London-based Commonwealth high commissioners who, in their capacity as members of the Board of Governors of the Commonwealth Secretariat, played a pivotal role in ensuring that Sri Lanka hosted CHOGM 2013 so successfully. He thanked them for their friendship, cooperation and solidarity with Sri Lanka, especially in not succumbing to the strong pressures from lobby groups in the years leading up to the CHOGM.
He referred to the value that had accrued to Sri Lanka in hosting CHOGM for it provided an opportunity to a large cross-section of the global community such as governments, business leaders, youth and media to visit Sri Lanka and form their own views of contemporary Sri Lanka without depending on hearsay and jaundiced opinions.
Dr Nonis invited those present to view the special exhibition at the High Commission premises on CHOGM 2013 and its three parallel fora, the numerous heads of state and government of the Commonwealth with whom President Mahinda Rajapaksa had fruitful bilateral meetings. The exhibition also portrayed the visit of HRH The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, who had endeared themselves so graciously to the Sri Lankan people.
The exhibition also depicted the comprehensive rehabilitation, reconciliation and reconstruction programmes undertaken in post-conflict Sri Lanka.
The exhibition was also viewed by a substantial number of the Sri Lankan diaspora who gathered earlier in the day to participate in the traditional ceremonies associated with Independence Day and listen to the prayers of Buddhist, Hindu, Islam and Christian religious dignitaries who bestowed blessings on Sri Lanka and its leaders.
Reminding his different audiences of Sri Lanka's history, Dr Nonis said that universal franchise was granted to both men and women in 1931, 17 years before independence. Exercising the right of the ballot even before independence helped Sri Lanka build the vibrant democracy that it is today.
BBC World News - Global - interview with H.E. Dr. Chris Nonis , Sri Lankan High Commissioner to the United Kingdom
CNN interview with H.E. Dr. Chris Nonis , Sri Lankan High Commissioner to the United Kingdom
PRINCE CHARLES HOSTS ST JAMES’ PALACE RECEPTION PRIOR TO CHOGM 2013 VISIT
HRH Prince Charles with HE Dr Chris Nonis at St James’ Palace
Prince Charles hosted a reception at St James's Palace for members of Britain's Sri Lankan and Indian communities to mark the royal couple's tour of India and Sri Lanka.
H.E. Dr Chris Nonis, Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to the UK, was joined by India’s Acting High Commissioner to the UK, Virendra Paul, at the Palace to extend a ceremonial welcome to the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall. Dr Chris Nonis said “The President and people of Sri Lanka extend a warm welcome to Their Royal Highnesses, and look forward very much to their visit. We also take this opportunity to congratulate Prince Charles on the birth of his first grandchild, HRH the Prince George.”
The guests at the event included prominent British Asians from a variety of sectors. Amongst the Sri Lankan guests were Niranjan Deva-Aditya, MEP, Member of the European Parliament; Professor Sir Arulkumaran Sabaratnam, FRCS,FRCOG, President of the British Medical Association; Professor Ravi Silva, Professor of Engineering, Surrey University; Harendra De Silva, Q.C. President, Sri Lankan Lawyers Association; Councillor Nizam Ismail; Sir Desmond De Silva QC, PC; Suran Goonetileke, OBE.
HRH Prince Charles last visited India to represent Her Majesty the Queen at the Commonwealth Games in 2010, and he has visited Sri Lanka on two previous occasions, in 1998 at the celebration of Sri Lanka’s Independence, and in 2005, a few months following the Tsunami. On this occasion, Their Royal Highnesses Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla will arrive in Sri Lanka on the 14th November, on Prince Charles’ 65th Birthday. The Heir to the throne will represent Her Majesty the Queen at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM 2013), which commences on the 15th November. Dr Chris Nonis added, “HRH has a strong interest in charitable work, and two of his charities are already working in Sri Lanka on youth entrepreneurship and sustainable development projects, and the CHOGM theme “Growth with Equity; Inclusive Development” has a particular relevance”.
Sri Lanka High Commission London
06th Nov 2013
Navi Pillay's Sri Lanka report not the product of an open mind- Prof. G.L. Peiris tells media and think tanks in UK
Hon. Prof. G. L. Peiris, Minister of External Affairs with H.E. Dr. Chris Nonis , Sri Lankan High Commissioner to the United Kingdom at the news briefing
External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris made a measured and point-by-point rebuttal of the major assertions and conjectures in UN Human Rights High Commissioner Navy Pillay's departing report on Sri Lanka, at a news briefing at the Sri Lanka High Commission in London yesterday ( 02 September 2013).
Prof. Peiris who was briefly in London to deliver the keynote address at a Cambridge symposium on economic crime, convincingly debunked the assertions including the claim that Sri Lanka was moving towards authoritarianism.
The minister said that the UN High Commissioner was invited by the Sri Lanka Government 2 1/2 years ago to come and see for herself the developments in Sri Lanka. This was because Sri Lanka had nothing to hide.
Yet the report she has just produced is indicative of a prejudiced mind and in no way shows the fairness and open-mindedness of an official undertaking such a mission, the longest she has spent in any one country.
Prof. Peiris said that even where Navi Pillay acknowledges progress and positive developments it is given so grudgingly and belatedly.
"What we find disturbing is the tone and substance of her report, the lack of fairness and balance."
The government and people of Sri Lanka has had just four years since the end of the war to meet the challenges posed by nearly three decades of conflict.
Enumerating the steps taken by the government to settle 296,000 persons, provide them with infrastructure on which the government has spent a record $ 3billion, provide them with new lives in such a short time is an achievement that few countries have emulated.
But to dismiss these achievement as just physical reconstruction as Navi Pillay has done, is simply not the case.
"No discerning observer could say this," the minister said adding that her continuous assertions were prejudicial judged by any fair standard.
Prof. Peiris was particularly hard on the Human Rights Commissioner for claiming that Sri Lanka was moving towards authoritarianism.
He said that was no empirical evidence to support this claim. On the contrary after 25 years the people of the north who lived under the LTTE had no suffrage. But now President's Rajapaksa's government has provided them with the opportunity of expressing themselves later this month.
During those 25 years the people of the rest of the country had elected four governments and had four presidents. Almost every six months some election is being held in the country allowing the people to express themselves.
Moreover at every election in recent years President Rajapaksa's government has been increasingly endorsed by the public showing their confidence in the government.
He said it was the essence of democracy to allow the people to freely express their views.
But strangely enough the Human Rights Commissioner has ignored all this evidence before her and touted the claim that Sri Lanka was moving towards authoritarianism.
This rejection of empirical evidence was further proof of her bias and prejudice.
The prejudice and lack of fair-minded is further shown by her talk of numerous war crimes committed by the government. Previously Pillay mentioned allegations of war crimes. But now it is no longer allegations, but proven fact, according to her.
Navi Pillay refers to the intimidating presence of the military in the north and the fear of the people and women there.
Rejecting this out of hand, he said it is pity that the High Commissioner had not read the reports produced by UN officials in Colombo who belie this claim having themselves interviewed nearly 200 people, chosen by the UN itself, 90% of who said they were comfortable with living there.
"Why does she ignore this evidence produced by the UN itself. What is the justification for ignoring this? This is again a classic example of pre-judgment." he said.
Answering other media questions, the minister said that he expected countries to be objective when viewing Sri Lanka and was critical of the voting patterns in the UN Human Rights Council which did not seem to be based on the merits of the case.
The minister said that he was not criticising the Human Rights Commissioner out of rancour but of deep sadness as he found that her report lacked the fairness, open-mindedness and balance that was expected of her.
Several journalists from the print and electronic media, news agencies and think tanks in the UK attended the briefing which was moderated by Sri Lankan High Commissioner to the United Kingdom H.E. Dr Chris Nonis.
The Commonwealth Business Forum launched in London in preparation for the CHOGM 2013 in Sri Lanka
His Excellency the High Commissioner, Dr. Chris Nonis held a launch event at the Sri Lanka High Commission in London to promote the Commonwealth Business Forum to be held in Colombo from the 12 - 14 November 2013, leading up to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2013.
Dr Nonis said that Sri Lanka is a microcosm of the Contemporary Commonwealth, and was one of the 8 founder member Nations of the modern Commonwealth. Sri Lanka achieved peace in the country under the leadership of HE President Mahinda Rajapaksa, and CHOGM 2013 in Sri Lanka is a wonderful opportunity for all Heads, Foreign Ministers and their delegations, and the world’s media to see for themselves the reality of contemporary Sri Lanka. The theme “Partnering for Wealth Creation and Social Development; The Commonwealth, Indian Ocean and SAARC.” was in consonance with the policy of the "Mahinda Chintana" to ensure that all communities reap the dividends of economic growth. The Commonwealth Business Forum, would play a significant role in encouraging pan-Commonwealth trade and investment, and would also ensure that substantial economic dividends would accrue to Sri Lanka.
He thanked all the London-based Commonwealth High Commissioners, who comprise the Board of Governors of the Commonwealth Secretariat, and sit with him and have regular dialogue on Commonwealth issues at Marlborough House. He said they always worked together in the spirit of unity and friendship, because they have a depth and breadth of understanding that all Commonwealth countries are at different stages of development.
Dr Chris Nonis, Sri Lankan High Commissioner to the United Kingdom congratulated HRH Prince William and the Duchess on the birth of the new royal baby, and proposed a toast to HRH Prince George of Cambridge, on behalf of HE the President and people of Sri Lanka.
Dr Nonis welcomed over 170 guests who included HE Kamalesh Sharma, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth; the Commonwealth High Commissioners; representatives of HRH Prince Charles’ office at Clarence House; HRH Princess Katerina; HRH Sheikh Makhtoum of UAE; HH Prince Ali Khan; Lord Howell of Guildford, Chairman of Council of Commonwealth Societies; Lord Rogan of Lower Iveagh; Lord Dholakia; Baroness Greengross; Lord Loomba; Sir Alan Greengross; James Wharton MP, Mark Menzies MP, Charles Tannock MEP, Tim Yeo MP, Eaun Blair, Mayoress Stainton, Sir Desmond de Silva QC, PC, Harendra de Silva QC, and members of the Conservative Foreign and Commonwealth Council.
Representatives from British Industry and Commerce including Chris Gibson – Smith, Chairman of the London Stock Exchange; Sir Thomas Harris, Standard Chartered Bank; De La Rue; HSBC; Crown Agents; Habib Bank; Marks and Spencer; GlaxoSmithKline; UK Department of Trade and Industry; the London Chamber of Commerce; CIMA; Private Equity Funds; Fund Managers; and members of the Commonwealth Business Council. In addition, representatives from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office; the British Asian Trust; Youth Enterprise UK; the Commonwealth Foundation; and representatives from British Universities and the British Council attended.
Representatives from several civil society organisations included Cheryll Dorall, Commonwealth Journalists Association; Patsy Robertson, Ramphal Institute for Commonwealth Policy Studies; Mark Robinson, Commonwealth Consortium for Education; Michael Lawrence, Asia House; Tim Unwin, Commonwealth Telecommunication Organisation; Judy Curry, Commonwealth Education Trust; Sir Peter Heap, Friends of Sri Lanka; Neville Greene, Royal Society for Asian Affairs; and the Commonwealth Countries League.
Dr Chris Nonis articulated the depth of passion, and sense of duty of HM Queen Elizabeth, for the Commonwealth. He warmly welcomed Their Royal Highnesses, Prince Charles and the Duchess, to Sri Lanka, and spoke about how Prince Charles had visited over 30 Commonwealth countries, represented the Queen at the Commonwealth Games, and visited Sri Lanka in 1998 for the 50th Celebration of Sri Lanka’s Independence, and two months following the Tsunami in 2005. He spoke of two of the Prince’s Trusts which are working in Sri Lanka, Youth Business International; and the British Asian Trust, of which Dr Chris Nonis said he was privileged to be heading the Sri Lanka Advisory Council.
Peter Callaghan, Director General of the Commonwealth Business Forum, made a presentation on the Commonwealth Business Forum. He highlighted that several Commonwealth Heads had already confirmed they would be speaking at the Forum, which was expecting over 1000 delegates, in addition to their attendance at CHOGM. He also spoke about the economic value that would accrue in the wake of the CBF in Colombo, and the quantum of investments that have arisen from previous Commonwealth Business Forums held in Africa, the Caribbean countries and Australia. He also discussed the proposals for investment available in Sri Lanka and the potential for expansion of all sectors and pan-commonwealth trade.
Dr Nonis thanked all those who had taken the trouble to go and see for themselves the progress in Sri Lanka, and welcomed all those present to CHOGM or the three parallel Fora, the Commonwealth Business Forum; Commonwealth Youth Forum; and Commonwealth People’s Forum, and join in Sri Lanka’s renaissance.