President Maithripala Sirisena will leave on a five-day state visit to London this morning.
The highlights of the visit will be his participation as the Chairman of the Commonwealth at the 2015 Commonwealth Day Celebrations on Monday (9) and the private audience with Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh on Wednesday.
President Sirisena is attending the celebrations as an invitee of Queen Elizabeth II and he is also expected to meet British Prime Minister David Cameron.
A Foreign Ministry Spokesman said this would be the first time for a Sri Lankan Head of State to have an audience with the British Monarch in two decades.
Incidentally, this President Sirisena’s first visit to Britain after assuming office as President of Sri Lanka on January 9.
The Commonwealth Day is celebrated annually on the second Monday in March. Its aim is to promote understanding on global issues, international co-operation and the work of the Commonwealth to improve the lives of its two billion citizens.
The theme of this year’s Commonwealth Day is, "A Young Commonwealth" and is celebrated with special events taking place during the Commonwealth Day week.
The Commonwealth Community is made up of 53 member countries with a population of two billion people and a great diversity of cultures, voices and opinions among different nationalities, ethnicity, faiths and political beliefs. But they all share common values such as democracy, just and honest government and the advancement of peace and prosperity.
While respecting diversity among member states and its people, the Commonwealth works to promote international understanding, equality and mutual respect in a multicultural world.(Sandun A Jayasekera)