The future of the Commonwealth lies in the celebration of the diversity that exists within the organisation, former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom said last night at an event held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, by the Commonwealth Chair-in-Office and President of Sri Lanka Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa.
President Gayoom was the chief guest at the event organised to celebrate the cultural diversity of the Commonwealth.
Foreign Minister Dunya Maumoon – daughter of the former president – also attended the event whilst in Colombo on an official visit, during which she paid a courtesy call on the Sri Lankan president.
The Maldives joined the Commonwealth under President Gayoom’s leadership in 1982.
“In his speech, President Gayoom said that the diversity within the Commonwealth makes the organisation one of the strongest international bodies in the world today. The former President, also highlighted the importance of mutual respect, tolerance, and understanding between the countries of the Commonwealth, in order to foster peace and create an environment conducive for development to happen. The Commonwealth brings together, to the same table, countries of different cultures, development levels and political ideologies, as equals. This, President Gayoom, said, must be celebrated and respected,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement today.
Former President Gayoom’s remarks were echoed in a message to President Rajapaksa by President Abdulla Yameen today, in which he said that the diversity of the Commonwealth was a source of strength.
“The President expressed his hope that the common beliefs shared by the Commonwealth countries will guide us towards finding mutually beneficial solutions to the global problems facing the world today,” the Foreign Ministry said.
“The President further conveyed his appreciation to the Sri Lankan Government, for hosting a special event in its capacity as Chair-in-Office of the Commonwealth to celebrate the cultural diversity of the organization, in which former President of Maldives, His Excellency Maumoon Abdul Gayoom participated as the Chief Guest.”