A cross-party Sri Lankan parliamentary delegation led by Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation Hon. Nimal Siripala de Silva was hosted by Hon. Christa Markwalder, President of the National Council, Switzerland at the Switzerland National Parliament in Bern on 26 October 2016.
During the official meeting, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva briefed the Swiss delegation regarding the steps taken to strengthen the parliament through constitutional amendments in recent times including the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, paving the way for the establishment of the independent commissions, as well as the proposed Constitution and the electoral reforms currently under deliberation. Noting the close bilateral relations between the two countries, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva called for cooperation between the two parliaments in the years ahead.
The President of the National Council Ms. Markwalder, welcoming the Sri Lanka delegation recalled her recent successful visit to Sri Lanka and her interactions with the Speaker Karu Jayasuriya and the Parliament.
Ms. Markwalder said Switzerland stands ready to assist in strengthening parliamentary democracy in Sri Lanka including providing technology, training and capacity building. The Swiss delegation explained the Swiss parliamentary structure and its functions to the Sri Lanka delegation.
The meeting was followed by an official lunch hosted in honour of the Sri Lankan delegation by Ms. Markwalder.
Members of Parliament Hon. Vijitha Herath, Hon. Rohini Kumari Wijerathna, Hon. Velu Kumar, Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha/Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva and Consul-General to Switzerland, Mr. Dhammika Dasanayake, Secretary General of Parliament and Ms. Shashika Somaratne/Counsellor were associated with Hon. Nimal Siripala de Silva. Mr. Markus Stadler, former Member of the Council of States and Mr. Martin Sturzinger, Senior Advisor, Human Security Division, FDFA, Mr. Claudio Fischer, Ambassador, Head of the International Relations and Multilingual Section, Parliamentary Services and Ms. Nina Wirth, Foreign Policy Advisor, Parliamentary Services were associated with Hon. Christa Markwalder at the discussion.