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The Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies (LKI) hosted two senior members of the European Parliament, William Dartmouth, MEP, and Geoffrey Van Orden, MEP and President of the European Parliament Friends of Sri Lanka Group. Mrs. M.L.F. Mafusa, Assistant Director, European Union, Commonwealth, and Multilateral Treaties Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was also present.
LKI’s Executive Director, Dr. Ganeshan Wignaraja, engaged in a wide-ranged discussion with the MEPs on EU-Sri Lanka economic ties, infrastructure investments in Sri Lanka and regional connectivity, development of UK-Sri Lanka economic ties post-Brexit, and foreign aid. The discussion also looked at the recent political developments, the late Minister Kadirgamar and his contributions to foreign policy in Sri Lanka, and the role of LKI as a think tank engaging in independent research of Sri Lanka’s international relations and strategic interests.
Mr. Van Orden is a member of the Countryside Alliance and the International Institute for Strategic Studies. He is the founding president of the think tank New Direction-The Foundation for European Reform, as well as a member of the Bow Group think tank. He chairs the EU-India Chamber of Commerce and is a founding member of the Friends of India. He is a member of several of groups including Friends of Sri Lanka, Poland, Turkey, and Israel. During the accession of Bulgaria to the European Union, Mr. Van Orden was the rapporteur for Bulgaria in the European Parliament.
Mr. Dartmouth was elected as a Member of the European Parliament in 2009 and was re-elected in 2014. He represents South West England and Gibraltar as an Independent. He was elected as member of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) and served as national spokesman on Trade from 2010 to 2018.