The President, welcoming the IPU President, said that he would extend fullest support to IPU programmes to promote youth and women participation in government and parliament. He pointed out that already steps have been initiated to introduce a women’s quota for local government body elections.Mr Chowdhury pointed out that although 50% of the world population is below the age of 30, only 1.9% of the Parliamentarians in the world are below 30 years of age. President Sirisena said he strongly believes that intelligent youths should take more governing and parliamentary responsibilities. Saber Chowdhury made this statement when he called on President Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat today. He also expressed his appreciation over the anti-tobacco campaign of President Sirisena. Secretary General of parliament, Dhammika Dasanayake was also present on this occasion. (Colombo Gazette) Pointing out that in some countries parliaments have been marginalized by Executive Presidents and in some other countries Government terms have been extended through referendums, the IPU President said, “Sri Lanka is a beacon of hope for other parliamentary democracies.” President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Saber Chowdhury said President Maithripala Sirisena is an inspiration to all those who work to strengthen parliamentary democracies in the world.He said the step taken by President Sirisena to dilute the executive powers of the Executive Presidency and vest them with the parliamentary is an important step towards strengthening democracy.