The President who arrived at the official residence of the Thailand Prime Minister was warmly welcomed by the Prime Minister Chan-o-cha. The welcome ceremony included a Guard of Honor. President Maithripala Sirisena who is on a four day state visit to Thailand met the Prime Minister of Thailand General Prayut Chan-o-cha at the official residence of the Prime Minister today. The two leaders discussed the importance of increasing the number of flights between the two countries and Thai Prime Minister agreed to come up with a future program for the implementation opf a plan to increase flights.Furthermore, the Thai Prime Minister pointed out that as Buddhist countries the cultural ties between Sri Lanka and Thailand could help the two countries to move forward for a strong journey economically and politically.A special commemorative stamp was launched to mark 60 years of diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and Thailand. President Sirisena stated that a government of good governance which gives priority to democracy has now established in Sri Lanka. He added the aim of the new government is to take the concept of consensual politics forward. “The government is committed to strengthen the constitution at every occasion’, he said.Prime Minister Chan-o-cha said the program of the new government of Sri Lanka is exemplary to the entire world. “The Sri Lankan President’s visit to Thailand is a significant occasion to our country”, Chan-o-cha added. The Prime Minister of Thailand pointed out that all countries should work with consensus to prevent political problems between countries.President Sirisena made a special request to the Prime Minister of Thailand to support Sri Lanka in technological and research work. The Prime Minister expressed his agreement in this regard.Prime Minister Chan-o-cha stated Thailand investors keen to invest in Sri Lanka in the fields of mineral oil, fishing and health. He added a group of investors will come to Sri Lanka in the near future to explore possibility for investment. Attention was also paid on the decline of the number of Thai tourists to Sri Lanka, compared to the Sri Lankan tourists to Thailand. He pointed out it is due the inadequate communication given to the world about the historic heritage and cultural values of Sri Lanka. After the welcome ceremony, the two leaders commenced bilateral talks. The discussions focused on the fields of politics and culture of the two countries. Bi-lateral discussions between Sri Lanka and Thailand were held parallel to this meeting and Foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of Primary Industries, Daya Gamage, Southern province Governor Hemakumara Nanayakkara, Chief Minister Shan Wijayalal De Silva, Chief Minister of the Central Province, Sarath Ekanayake and Chairman of Board of Investments Upul Jayasuriya were also joined to represent Sri Lanka.To celebrate 60 years of diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and Thailand and in parallel to the state visit, President Sirisena declared open the exhibition of the Sarvagna dhathu from the Mahiyangana Rajamaha Viharaya, at the Buddhamanthan Temple today afternoon. (Colombo Gazette)
Murray was honoured for both his contribution to tennis and for his charity work as an ambassador for Unicef, the World Wide Fund for Nature, Malaria No More and the Duke of Cambridge’s United for Wildlife initiative.Each year he takes part in a charity exhibition match in Scotland to raise money for Unicef and local good causes.The youngest person to receive a knighthood or damehood in modern times was the sailor Dame Ellen MacArthur, who was 28 when she was honoured.The youngest knight in history was Prince George, the future George IV, who was aged three when he was made a knight of the garter in 1765.Murray lost an exhibition match yesterday to David Goffin in the first round of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi, and left without commenting. Other knighthoods go to the military historian Antony Beevor, the explorer David Hempleman-Adams and the war photographer Don McCullin.Angela Rippon, the television presenter, receives a CBE for services to dementia care.The actors Tim Pigott-Smith, Naomie Harris and Helen McCrory all receive OBEs, while there are MBEs for the actor Clive Rowe and the singer Marty Wilde.Chris Ofili, the Turner Prize-winning painter best known for his paintings incorporating elephant dung, receives a CBE. Ray Davies, lead singer of The Kinks, becomes Sir Ray Davies. The 72-year-old said: “Initially I felt a mixture of surprise, humility, joy and a bit embarrassed but after thinking about it, I accept this for my family and fans as well as everyone who has inspired me to write.” Sir Ken said: “I’m very proud, I’m very, very happy and full of plumptiousness. I feel highly tickled.”Sir Ken, who was made an OBE in 1982 and acquitted of tax evasion at a high-profile trial seven years later, started his career in 1954 and is still delighting audiences with his one-man show and is involved with more than 40 charities.Patricia Routledge, best known for her portrayal of the social climber Hyacinth Bucket in the sitcom Keeping Up Appearances, is made a dame for services to theatre and charity. The OlympiansMo Farah said it was “a dream come true” to be knighted in a New Year honours list that includes more than 100 of his fellow Olympic and Paralympic medalists.Sir Mo described his knighthood as an “incredible honour” and thanked the British people for the support they have given him ever since he arrived from Somalia as an eight-year-old.He is joined on the top podium by Lee Pearson, the most decorated para-equestrian of all time, who is also knighted, and heptathlete Jessica Ennis-Hill and rower Katherine Grainger, both of whom have been made dames. Marcia Shakespeare, who has been awarded an MBE for her service in educating young people against gun and knife crimeCredit:Richard Vernalls/PA Wire He said: “I’m so happy to be awarded this incredible honour from the country that has been my home since I moved here at the age of eight. Looking back at the boy who arrived here from Somalia, not speaking any English, I could never have imagined where I would be today – it’s a dream come true.“I’m so proud to have had the opportunity to race for my country and win gold medals for the British people, who have been my biggest supporters throughout my career. My successes have only been possible because of their support.”Kate and Helen Richardson-Walsh were on a two-month holiday to Japan, New Zealand and Canada when their letters arrived. Ms Shakespeare said she “couldn’t stop crying” after she opened the letter two days before Christmas and her thoughts turned to her daughter.She said: “I know that if Letisha wasn’t murdered I wouldn’t have taken the path I have taken. “My little innocent Letisha, kind-hearted – the kindest heart – I thought of her, and it was just tears.”She has given talks to more than 100,000 youngsters in her effort to end gun and gang violence, and said: “I don’t do it for medals, my rewards is when I can see a child has turned their life around.”Other unsung heroes honoured by the Queen include Jeremiah Emmanuel, a 17-year-old Cadet Colour Sergeant in the Army Cadets from London who founded the social justice charity One Big Community to help youth organisations engage with decision-makers. Jeremiah Emmanuel, a 17-year-old Cadet Colour Sergeant in the Army Cadets from London who founded the social justice charity One Big Community to help youth organisations engage with decision-makersCredit:David Mirzoeff/PA Wire He began helping his mother with charity work when he was aged four, and is one of 322 recipients of the British Empire Medal, awarded in his case for services to young people and the community in London.He said: “My mother taught me to consider other people, no matter whether they are better off or worse off than yourself.”Of the 1,197 people recognised in the New Year honours list, 74 per cent are people who have helped their local communities.Janet Gillespie, 94, is also receiving a BEM, having retired only last year from selling poppies with Poppy Scotland in Dumfries after 60 years of service which began in 1952. She is one of the oldest people ever to be included in an honours list.The Samaritans’ longest-serving volunteer, 83-year-old Alan Woodhouse, receives an MBE after 57 years of service to vulnerable people.He said: “On every shift I’ve done there’s been a moment that has left me with a sense of purpose, knowing that you are doing something meaningful.” He has spent the whole year re-writing sporting history, and Andy Murray can now add another entry in his personal record book after becoming Britain’s youngest knight of modern times.Only weeks ago the world No.1 tennis player had said he considered himself too young to be knighted, but at the age of just 29 he is now Sir Andy Murray. Already an OBE, he was an obvious choice for a knighthood after a year in which he cemented his status as an all-time sporting great.But sources close to the Scot said he was unlikely to use his title on the tennis circuit, and yesterday he made no mention of it after unexpectedly losing an exhibition match in Abu Dhabi. Katherine Grainger, who has been made a Dame for services to rowing and charityCredit:PA/John Walton Swimmer Ellie RobinsonCredit:PA Kate and Helen Richardson-WalshCredit:John Lawrence/Telegraph Kate said: “We hadn’t responded to anything and the people were wondering why and eventually we got an email to say that we were going to receive honours, so it was nice to find out together, it was a special email.”It’s been an incredible year for hockey and the whole team, and to top it off with an honour is massive for myself and massive for my team-mates as well.”Helen’s honour is thoroughly deserved. She’s been playing as long as I have and she’s been through everything I have and more.”Dame Katherine Grainger said it would take some time to come to terms with being made a dame but is determined to pass on what she has learned to the next generation of Olympic rowing hopefuls.The 41-year-old became Great Britain’s most decorated female Olympian when she took home silver from Rio with Vicky Thornley in the double sculls, which was a fifth medal at a fifth successive Games. Double gymnastics gold medalist Max Whitlock is awarded an MBECredit:Paul Grover for the Telegraph Sir Mo FarahCredit:Getty Images There was no mention of his Academy Award for best supporting actor, nor his multiple BAFTA, Tony and Olivier awards.Instead, his citation said only: “Mark Rylance has worked in the theatre since 1980.”Sir Mark, 56, will be pleased that it is for his theatre work that he has been recognised, having been the artistic director of Shakespeare’s Globe theatre for a decade and spending the majority of his career performing on stage before finding wider recognition for his role as Thomas Cromwell in the BBC’s Wolf Hall.He is joined on the list by other famous names including Ken Dodd, who is knighted at the age of 89. Robinson said: “Her having an MBE, it just mesmerised me when I sat down and I thought about it and I thought about me receiving mine.”It was such a nice feeling because I thought if for some reason I could inspire one child anywhere in the world – just one child to do something, it doesn’t have to be sport, it doesn’t have to be swimming – just one child to do something that they have not been sure about or have no idea about – it would just be such an achievement.”Double gymnastics gold medalist Max Whitlock said he had yet to decide on whether he will wear his MBE when he marries his fiancee Leah Hickton next July. Heptathlete Jessica Ennis-Hill is made a dameCredit:GETTY IMAGES Sir Ken DoddCredit:Liverpool Echo In the field of fashion, Anna Wintour, editor of US Vogue magazine, is made a dame for services to fashion and journalism, while Anya Hindmarch, the accessories designer, receives a CBE.Victoria Beckham, the fashion designer and wife of David Beckham, receives an OBE, the only name to have leaked before the list was published.There is also a CBE for Justine Roberts, co-founder and chief executive of the websites Mumsnet and Gransnet.The unsung heroesAn anti-gun campaigner whose daughter was killed in a drive-by gangland shooting has said she wept when she opened a letter telling her she was to receive an MBE.Marcia Shakespeare has dedicated herself to tackling gun violence since her 17-year-old daughter Letisha was killed with her 18-year-old cousin Charlene Ellis in Birmingham in 2003.They were innocent bystanders caught in the cross-fire of a feud between two rival gangs. He said: “It is a great feeling now to see the three letters after my name, and it gives me a lot of motivation.”Brian Robinson, the first Briton ever to win a stage in the Tour de France, receives a British Empire Medal 60 years after his achievement. The 86-year-old said: “I’m pleased that the results have been recognised.”Awards for sport make up 14 per cent of the total. Sir Roger Bannister, already knighted for his achievement in running the first sub-four minute mile, is made a Companion of Honour.Chris Coleman, manager of the Wales football team that made it to the semi-final of Euro 2016, receives an OBE, and sports broadcaster Jonathan Agnew is made an MBE.The celebritiesHe has been hailed as the finest actor of his generation, holding audiences spellbound with his magnetic performances on stage and screen.When it comes to accepting awards, however, Mark Rylance finds the spotlight an uncomfortable place to be, as he proved when he was knighted for services to theatre.The Oscar winner released only the briefest of statements, which said: “I am very pleased my work has been considered a good service to the theatre and its community which I love.”He also approved a biography of himself that ran to only nine words in the official Cabinet Office guide to the recipients – compared with several sentences for other people. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Mark Rylance in his role as Thomas Cromwell from the BBC production Wolf HallCredit:Ed Miller Married cyclists Jason and Laura Kenny receive matching CBEs for their multiple track cycling gold medals, while Olympic hockey captain Kate Richardson-Walsh receives an OBE and her wife and team-mate Helen receives an MBE, making them the first same-sex married couple to be honoured in the same list.All gold medalists who have not previously been honoured are awarded MBEs or higher.Sir Mo, 33, became Britain’s most successful track and field athlete when he won his third and fourth gold medals in Rio for the 5,000m and 10,000m. Ray Davies, lead singer of The Kinks, becomes Sir Ray DaviesCredit:Joseph Okpako Patricia Routledge, best known for her portrayal of the social climber Hyacinth Bucket in the sitcom Keeping Up AppearancesCredit:Heathcliff O’Malley Anna Wintour, editor of US Vogue magazine, is made a dame for services to fashion and journalismCredit:REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz Last month he was asked about the possibility of a knighthood after he became the first Briton to achieve the world No.1 ranking. He said at the time: “I don’t know, I feel too young for something like that. I am still young and there are still a lot of things that can go wrong, I could still mess up and make mistakes.”Sources close to Murray said he did not know at the time that he was about to be knighted, and was giving his “honest opinion”.But when he received notification of the knighthood he did not hesitate to accept, as it is “a great honour that he was never going to turn down”. He is the first tennis player to be knighted.It caps a year in which he became a father, won a second Wimbledon title and a second Olympic gold medal, picked up a third BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award and was named by Telegraph readers as Britain’s greatest ever sportsperson. Andy Murray at the 2016 Wimbledon Tennis ChampionshipsCredit:Heathcliff O’Malley She said: “I think it is something which none of us ever expects or sets out to try to achieve.”What is lovely when you hear the titles and the names on the New Year honours list, if anything it makes you feel you have to step up again. It is something to live up to – it is almost like a new standard.”Equestrian gold medalist Nick Skelton learned on his 59th birthday that he had been awarded a CBE. He became the oldest British Olympic champion in more than a century when he rode Big Star to a dramatic victory in the individual showjumping competition in Rio.He said: “It’s a bit of an upgrade. It’s really nice, I’m honoured to get that and it’s a great way to finish the year off.”Boxer Nicola Adams, cyclists Ed Clancy and Jody Cundy and rowers Pete Reed and Andrew Triggs Hodge receive OBEs.Among those receiving MBEs were swimmer Adam Peaty, golfer Justin Rose, wheelchair tennis star Gordon Reid, canoeist Joe Clarke, diver Jack Laugher and Kadeena Cox, who won Paralympic gold medals in both cycling and athletics.Swimmer Ellie Robinson, who was also made an MBE, won gold in the S6 50 metres butterfly at the Paralympics aged only 15 and was named BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year. She was inspired by Ellie Simmonds’ success in the same category in London.