“The Government and people of Sri Lanka join me in conveying our deepest condolences to you, members of the bereaved family and the Government and people of Venezuela. The late President was a true son of Venezuela and as the leader was deeply committed to the welfare and development of his country, and a strong advocate for the developing world,” President Rajapaksa said. “At this difficult hour, our thoughts and prayers are with you, the family of the late President and the people of Venezuela. The Government and people of Sri Lanka together with me stand in solidarity, as your country mourns the passing away of your great leader,” Rajapaksa said. (Colombo Gazette) He said that the late President Chavez was a friend of Sri Lanka and played a significant role in further enhancing the bilateral relations between the two countries. President Mahinda Rajapaksa says the late Hugo Chavez Frias, President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. was a a strong advocate for the developing world.In a condolence message on the demise of the Venezuelan leader, Rajapaksa said that he was deeply saddened to learn of the passing away of Hugo Chavez after a prolonged illness.