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By Ehi Ekhator
On his sixty-fifth birthday, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales arrived Sri Lanka at 4.30pm for the opening of CHOGM ceremony. He will be joined on his three day visit by Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall.
At a reception to be held to mark His Royal Highness’ birthday he will meet a range of people from Sri Lankan society. The garden at Westminster House, the venue for the party, will host a small organic market, at which The Prince and Duchess will view local produce and learn about farming in Sri Lanka.
On Friday 15th November The Prince will represent The Queen as Head of the Commonwealth in the CHOGM opening ceremony, and will host other Commonwealth events including a reception for business leaders and a dinner for Heads of Government.
The Prince will then spend Saturday in the hill country. In Kandy he will be visiting the iconic Temple of the Tooth, the British Garrison Cemetery and the historic Peredeniya Botanical Gardens . Moving on to Nuwara Eliya, he will see visit the Labookellie tea estate and a school for children with disabilities.
On Saturday The Duchess will visit charities in Colombo such as the Home-Start Lanka Satellite Centre in Colombo Municipal Council’s ‘Building Hope’ Resource Centre. She will also visit Women In Need’s (WIN) crisis centre in Colombo, which offers legal assistance, protection and counselling for women – and their children – who are victims of rape, sexual assault and domestic violence. The Duchess of Cornwall has visited a number of Rape Crisis and Sexual Assault Referral Centres in the UK and has met a number of victims of rape and sexual abuse. The stories Her Royal Highness heard on her first visit to in London, and the experiences she has heard about subsequently, have left her with a strong desire to raise awareness about rape and sexual abuse and to try to help those affected.
The Prince of Wales last visited Sri Lanka in 2005 and previously in 1998. This will be The Duchess of Cornwall’s first official visit to Sri Lanka. They will be in Sri Lanka from Thursday 14th to Saturday 16th November 2013.
The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall attended the official banquet of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Uganda in 2007.