COSMOS Members Met Newly Appointed Sri Lanka High Commissioner In UK

Press Release - Reported By : Shakeer Nawas General Secretary - Cosmos UK

COSMOS Executive members had a meeting / discussion with newly appointed Sri Lanka High Commissioner in UK H .E Ms. Manisha Gunasekera on 15.11.2018 (Thursday) at Sri Lanka High Commission. This was a very prolific and constructive meeting where Cosmos members discussed the objectives of COSMOS organisation and a brief history and work carried out in the past to Her Excellency. Members had this discussion for nearly 2 hours and High Commissioner was very conscientious and attentive in listening to the briefings. Deputy High Commissioner Mr Sugeeshwara Gunaratna and Counsellor N L A Haleem were also present at this meeting.

For Cosmos UK newly elected President Mr. Liyas Abdul Wahid, Past President Mr. Azahim Mohamed, General Secretary Mr. M Shakeer Nawas and Asst. Secretary Mr. Ubaid Zainul Abdeen attended. This was the first official meeting of the newly elected office bearers.

Firstly H.E Ms. Manisha Gunasekera welcomed and thanked the Cosmos members for attending the meeting and provided a brief note on her carrier diplomat service to date.

Cosmos UK President Mr. Liyas Abdul Wahid first of all congratulated and wished the newly appointed High Commissioner H.E Ms. Manisha Gunasekera on her appointment as High Commissioner to UK and discussed and explained how Cosmos UK was formed, It's objectives , affiliate organisations and the role of COSMOS UK etc.

Further Mr. Liyas explained about Cosmos UK involvement in organising annual Sri Lanka Independence Day Celebration at SLMC Harrow, Inter faith participations, Approaching and discussions with Diplomatic channels to sort problems, meeting the officials and providing detail reports and discussing and suggesting solutions for issues etc. High Commissioner was very attentive and impressed with the works that were carried out in the past as an umbrella organisation and stressed the importance of a united vocal voice and Diplomatic approach in sorting problems .

General Secretary Shakeer Nawas discussed Cosmos UK and Sri Lanka High Commissions past relations and thanked the High Commission officials for promptly accommodating in arranging meeting with officials, President etc in the past to discuss the Sri Lanka Muslims issues . Further Shakeer discussed about the promises made by the MP's in settling compensation for the victims of last Digena and Ampara mob attacks are yet to materialise and victims are still suffering.

Further Shakeer explained the Cosmos media work, how Cosmos communicate to members here in UK and internationally carrying our messages and the important role played by Cosmos Media unit in addressing / bringing the issues faced by Sri Lanka Muslim communities through UK and Sri Lanka press, TV, Radio, social media etc. H.E also asserted the role of positive media in bringing the image of Sri Lanka to international community and entrusted the Cosmos will play the right role in this area.

Immediate Past President Mr. Azahim Mohamed thanked the H.E and High Commission officials for today's meeting and Mr. Azahim explained the recent formation of All Party Parliamentary Group - Cosmos UK(APPG Cosmos) and growing support from MP's to this group. H.E was also briefed and invited to attend at the next APPG meeting headed by Harrow East MP Mr. Bob Blackman at the Westminster Parliament. A formal request would be sent once the meeting date and time is agreed at the Westminster Parliament. Mr. Azahim also explained the importance of APPG Cosmos role in the future in voicing Sri Lanka Muslims issues in British Parliament. H.E also suggested and requested High Commission officials to find a way to include COSMOS UK members voice in a well established APPG - Sri Lanka group in future.

Assistant Secretary Mr. Ubaid Zainul Abdeen discussed about how Muslims in the past contributed in building Sri Lanka and how they lived peacefully with majority of Singhalese and Tamils in many parts of Sri Lanka. H.E also agreed and echoed the same and indicated these attacks are carried out by only a very small minority and many in the island are peace loving people. H.E also indicated her interest to visit a mosque in near future and we hope to welcome the H.E to SLMC Harrow soon.

Finally H.E thanked everyone and very much impressed with the work COSMOS UK carryout for Muslim community and indicated that her office would like to have regular meetings at least every 3 months or at any time Cosmos deemed it's necessary. Further H.E indicated that COSMOS UK would be contacted for any Sri Lanka Muslim related matters in UK by the High Commission.