International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People

November 29, 2011

On this solemn occasion to commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, I wish to reaffirm, on behalf of my Government and the people of Sri Lanka, our sincere support for the just struggle of the Palestinian People to achieve their inalienable rights, including the right to Statehood.

 Peace ensures security and that fundamental factor underscores the urgency of resolving the Middle-East conflict. This long standing unresolved conflict is a challenge to the values and aspirations of humanity. Having personally associated myself with the cause of Palestine for nearly forty years, I reiterate that the Palestinians have been denied their basic human rights for far too long and renew the consistent call of my Government for the realization of a two-State solution.

 This year's International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People comes at a fundamentally changed time with noteworthy developments. The Palestinian Authority leadership has submitted an application for admission of the State of Palestine to full membership in the United Nations. Palestine has been successfully completing its state-building programme, which has been widely endorsed by the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the United Nations and others, as well as by the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee in Brussels in June, and in New York in September. There is emerging internal reconciliation between the relevant local political stakeholders.

 Therefore now is the time for collective resolve and action, to usher in an independent and viable Palestine State within secure borders, in peace and security. As I said in my address to the Sixty-Sixth United Nations General Assembly, it is a matter of profound disappointment that this has not yet happened. We have a window of opportunity now and must make best use of it before it is too late. It is time for decisive action rather than more desultory discussion. This will be in the interest of the security and the wellbeing of the entire region.

 It is the earnest hope and wish of Sri Lanka, to see the dawn of a Palestinian State flourishing in peace, harmony and prosperity in the near future.


Mahinda Rajapaksa
President of Sri Lanka

November 28, 2011



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