UNESCO director-general to undertake first official visit to Sri Lanka

Added On August 12, 2016

 COLOMBO, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- UNESCO director-general Irina Bokova will undertake her first official visit to Sri Lanka from Sunday to Wednesday, where she will affirm the Organization's support to the peace and reconciliation process and the advancement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the UN office in Colombo said on Friday.

Through a series of public events, visits to world heritage sites and top-level bilateral meetings, she will witness the transformation underway in the country and discuss measures to strengthen cooperation to build peace and a sustainable future for all, including through inclusive quality education, science, technology and innovation, cultural heritage, the promotion of cultural diversity, and environmental conservation.
She will discover the country's cultural wealth, through visits to several of its eight World Heritage Sites, including the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, the Sigirya Rock Fortress, and the Dalada Maligawa in Kandy, where she will witness the Esala Perahera, one of the country's most celebrated Buddhist festivals that honors the Sacred Tooth Relic kept in the temple. While in this region, she will also visit the University of Peradeniya, where she will exchange with the vice-chancellor and members of faculty.
She is expected to meet with President Maithripala Sirisena, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mangala Samaraweera; the Minister of Higher Education and Highways, the Lakshman Kiriella; the Minister of Internal Affairs, Wayamba Development and Cultural Affairs, Senevirathna Bandara Navinna, as well as Professor Maithree Wickramasinghe, Second Lady of Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka joined UNESCO in 1949 and is currently a Member of the Executive Board for the term 2015-2019.