President Maithripala Sirisena says staunch peace-maker Yasushi Akashi is a loyal and trusted friend of Sri Lanka.
He said this when the Japanese peace envoy Akashi called on President Sirisena at the President’s Office today (July 20).
Akashi was presented with the Sri Lanka Rathna, the first-ever highest national honour conferred on non-nationals in order to recognize his distinguished and exceptional service rendered towards the nation, at a ceremony held at the BMICH yesterday.
The President thanked Akashi for his numerous efforts to restore peace and harmony in Sri Lanka and wished him long life to continue his exceptional service to the world at large and to promote friendship between Sri Lanka and Japan.
Akashi thanked the President and the people of Sri Lanka for conferring the honour on him. He said that Japan and Sri Lanka have many things in common and Buddhism binds the special friendship between the two countries.
He also said that other countries could take lessons from Sri Lanka on how to make relentless efforts to strengthen communal peace and harmony, while successfully battling extremism.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Japanese Ambassador Akira Sugiyama and Additional Secretary Esala Weerakoon were present on this occasion.