For all our communities to join together and rebuild our nation : What Sri Lanka needs now is to be given graciousness of heart and generosity of spirit - Dr. Chris Nonis



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Dr. Chris Nonis with Lord Howell of Guildford, Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office at Rhodes House, Oxford


Dr. Chris Nonis, Trustee of the Ramphal Centre for Commonwealth Policy Studies, an independent think tank on policy issues for the Commonwealth and its member states, addressed the Ramphal Centre Commission on Migration and Development at Rhodes House, Oxford last week. Patrons of the Ramphal Centre include Lee Kuan Yew, Malcolm Fraser, Vincent Cable MP, Brian Mulroney, Lord Patten, and. PJ Patterson.


Dr. Nonis spoke about the role of the migrant Diaspora as agents of development for Sri Lanka and the manner in which their potential could be harnessed to assist Sri Lanka’s programme of development in the post-conflict era. He articulated the principles of the "Mahinda Chintana" and President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s vision of achieving growth with equity, and the imperative of bridging the urban-rural divide.


He also made reference to the National Plan for economic development of the North and East, as well as Sri Lanka’s bid for the Commonwealth Games 2018 in Hambantota, and its potential to contribute to regional development.


The Chief Guest was the Lord Howell of Guildford, Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and one of the most senior Ministers in Prime Minister David Cameron’s Government. Lord Howell was previously the Secretary of Energy and then for Transport under Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and he is now the Minister of State at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the Deputy Leader of the Conservative Party at the House of Lords.


Lord Howell in his address articulated the value of the work of the Ramphal Centre, and also spoke about the Commonwealth being a suitable platform for smaller nations who do not always have their voices heard, and that the Commonwealth was an ideal soft power network in today’s globalised world.


Dr. Nonis said that what Sri Lanka needs now is to be given the graciousness of heart and generosity of spirit so that all our communities have the opportunity, the time and the space to join together and rebuild our nation.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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