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President Sirisena arrives in London for CHOGM meeting

President Maithripala Sirisena arrived in London last morning (April 16) to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2018. He was received by the Commonwealth officials and Sri Lanka High Commission staff. Here, a Sri Lakan child offering betel leaves to receive the President in keeping with the traditional customs. Picture by Sudath Silva

President Maithripala Sirisena reached London last morning (April 16) to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2018.

The President was received by Commonwealth officials and the Sri Lankan High Commission staff.

He was welcomed with the traditional greeting of offering betel leaves while First Lady Jayanthi Sirisena was presented with a bouquet of flowers. The President will participate at CHOGM under the theme of “Towards a Common Future” this year and special attention will be given to areas of prosperity, security, fairness and sustainability to achieve the goals of Commonwealth countries.

The position of Commonwealth Chair-in-Office will be transferred to the new leader of Government who hosts CHOGM this year.

Accordingly, the post will be transferred from the Prime Minister of Malta to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Theresa May who will hold the post until the 26th Meeting of CHOGM in 2020.

During his official visit, President Sirisena is scheduled to meet British Prime Minister Theresa May and hold discussions with several state officials who will be participating in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. The President is also scheduled to address the Commonwealth Business Council (CBC) and has also been invited to deliver the key note speech at the conference on achieving sustainable development goals. President Sirisena will attend the special celebration of the 92nd birthday of Queen Elizabeth II during his stay. He will also pay homage to the Buddhist shrine in London.