Discussing certain religious-motivated, isolated incidents that had occurred in the recent past, President Mahinda Rajapaksa assured the Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Lyad Ameen Madani that the Government would take immediate action to deal with any incidents against the Muslim community.
Mr Madani had called on President Rajapaksa while he was in New York City today. The meeting took place on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly taking place this week.
President Rajapaksa said that with the election of Mr. Madani to the office of OIC Secretary General, Sri Lanka hopes to facilitate greater collaboration and cooperation between OIC countries. Mr. Madani took over as Secretary General in January of 2014. “We don’t consider Sri Lanka as outside the OIC,” Mr. Madani told President Rajapaksa. “We consider it as being inside the OIC.
Expressing that the OIC appreciates the “pioneering steps” the President has taken, Mr. Madani said that the organisation has “continuous admiration” for Sri Lanka and looks forward to helping Sri Lanka enhance relations with OIC member states. “I will look after the Muslim community like my own brothers,” President Rajapaksa said.
The President encouraged Mr. Madani and other OIC member countries to visit Sri Lanka to see for themselves the ground realities in the country and how many diverse communities coexist peacefully.
Mr. Madani invited President Rajapaksa to make another visit to Saudi Arabia. Sri Lanka currently has 14 diplomatic missions in the Middle East region – an indication of the importance the Government places in enhanced cooperation with Muslim majority countries.