On 17 of May FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov arrived in Colombo on an official visit. He was invited there by Sri Lanka chess federation and the Buddhist organizations of the country. There he had a meeting with Mr. Bandula Gunawardana, Minister of Education, which was held in the Royal College, one of the best state schools. By the way, a chess study group is founded and works successfully in this school. FIDE President told about the activity by chess implementation to schools, for example in the Republic of Kalmykia, and asked Minister to facilitate the implementation of the FIDE programme "Chess in schools" in Sri Lanka.
As it is known all Buddhists all over the world celebrate Buddha Shakyamuni's Birthday this week. Sri Lanka has a festive-like appearance these days. On 17 of May the first President of the Republic of Kalmykia took part in the festal Buddhist ceremony Vesak Kalapaya in Sri Sambodhi Vharaya temple.
On 18 of May Kirsan Ilyumzhinov met with Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa, President of Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. During a warm conversation the Parties exchanged their opinions in setting of economic, cultural relations and two-way exchange of the Buddhist organizations. In particular the talk turned to the creation of the international Buddhist centres both in Sri Lanka and Kalmykia. President of Sri Lanka seconded an offer of the FIDE President to support a chess division in the country pointed to the role of chess in education process. Besides, he expressed his wish to hold some significant chess event in Sri Lanka, up to the World Chess Championship. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov said that he will inform the FIDE leadership about this offer during the upcoming FIDE Presidential Board meeting which will be held on 3-6 June in UAE. He also noted that he is ready to render a methodological and other help to Sri Lanka chess federation.
Later FIDE President had a meeting with a chess society of the country in Karpov's chess club in the Russian cultural centre. It has already been existing in Colombo for 13 years and is one of the most important places of chess propaganda on the island. Although Anatoly Karpov hasn't yet managed to visit this club Kirsan Ilyumzhinov called him and the famous Champion could talk over the speaker-phone with the members of the chess club named in his honour.
Meeting of the FIDE President with Mr. Bandula Gunawardana, Minister of Education of Sri Lanka
FIDE President met with Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa, President of Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
All Buddhists all over the world celebrate Buddha Shakyamuni's Birthday on 17 of May