(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – Acting High Commissioner Chamari Rodrigo paid a courtesy call on the Speaker of the House of Representatives Milton Dick at the Federal Parliament recently. While thanking the Australian government for their invaluable assistance to Sri Lanka to meet urgent food and healthcare needs, the Actg. High Commissioner apprised the Speaker on the progress made and the steps being taken by the government to address the economic challenges in the country.
The particular focus of discussion was the proposed re-launching of Australia – Sri Lanka Parliamentary Friendship Group (ASPFG). The Speaker who was a member of the previous Australia – Sri Lanka Parliamentary Friendship Group (ASPFG) supported this idea which would enhance relations between Sri Lanka and the Australian Parliament and was keen to have the re-launching event in the Federal Parliament.
Following the meeting with the Speaker, the Actg. High Commissioner paid a separate call on the Deputy Speaker of Australian Parliament Sharon Claydon, Labour MP who became the third woman to occupy the role of Deputy Speaker of the Australian Parliament. The proposed re-launching event of the Friendship Group was also discussed in detail with the Deputy Speaker who encouraged for more female representation in the new friendship group.
The new friends of Sri Lanka Group consist of 45 MPs from the Labour and Liberal Party of the Australian Federal Parliament which includes Deputy Speaker Claydon. The new Chairperson of the group is a Sri Lankan origin Labour MP from Victoria Cassandra Fernando and the Vice-Chair is Senator Wendy Askew, Liberal MP from Tasmania.
The re-launching of the Friendship Group is scheduled during the next Parliamentary sittings in Canberra.