State Minister for Foreign Affairs Vasantha Senanayake attended the 10th Bali Democracy Forum (BDF-X) in Jakarta on 7th December 2017, Foreign Affairs Ministry said.
Speaking at the Ministerial Panel of BDF-X, the State Minister observed that the Forum is significant to Sri Lanka as the current national unity government is taking a number of measures to reinforce democracy by addressing diversity, security, equality and social justice of the people under the theme of good governance.
He added that the government also restored freedom of expression and media freedom, which are two crucial pillars of democracy.
The State Minister also highlighted the firm commitment of the government to strengthen, uphold, promote and protect equity and social justice in Sri Lanka with a resolve to achieving reconciliation, ensuring durable peace and non-recurrence of violence, promotion and protection of human rights, ending impunity and upholding the rule of law, and strengthening good governance and democracy and equitable and inclusive development.
The State Minister for Foreign Affairs Vasantha Senanayake was among Ministers of several countries including Tunisia, Jordan, Qatar, Papua New Guinea, Madagascar, Samoa, Suriname and ASEAN Secretary General who participated in the 10th BDF Ministerial panel discussion which was followed by a lively interactive session.
During his visit, State Minister Senanayake met with Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi and Deputy Foreign and trade Minister of Brunei Darussalam, Dato Sri Paduka Haji Erywan bin Pehin Yusof and discussed matters related to further strengthening the bilateral relations. The State Minister also briefly engaged with participating Ministers at BDF including Ministers of Kazakhstan, Jordan, Timor Leste, Samoa and others.
The Bali Democracy Forum (BDF) which was initiated by Indonesia in 2008 is an open intergovernmental forum on the development of democracy in the Asia Pacific region. The Forum meets annually to promote and nurture cooperation among countries in the field of peace and democracy through sharing of experiences and best practices.