Sri Lanka Uganda Relations Strengthened
On the invitation of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and Janet Kataaha Museveni, First Lady & Minister for Karamoja Affairs of the Republic of Uganda concluded a three day State Visit to Sri Lanka from 12th – 15th November 2012.
The delegation included members of the Ugandan Parliament Yorakamu Katwiremu, Nankabirwa Ann Maria and Chairman, Gerald Ssendawula of the Private Sector Foundation of Uganda. The Ugandan President was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Presidential Secretariat on the morning of 13th November which included a Guard of Honor and a 21 gun salute.
Sri Lanka and Uganda established formal diplomatic relations forty years ago in 1972. Reflecting on the warm and friendly relations between the two countries, bilateral discussions between the two Presidents were held in a cordial manner.
At the discussion, President Rajapaksa briefed President Museveni on current developments in Sri Lanka and appreciated the support extended by Uganda in the international arena, particularly at the United Nations and other multilateral fora.
President Museveni congratulated President Rajapaksa and his Government on defeating LTTE terrorism and took the opportunity to thank President Rajapaksa for allocating US $ 1.5 million to upgrade the Masulita Institute and to establish “Sri Lanka-Uganda Friendship Vocational and Technical Training Centre (SLUF-VTTC)” , which in turn would assist the human resource development in Uganda.
President Museveni invited Sri Lankan Business Community to invest in Uganda especially in the Hydropower, Tea and Apparel sectors and highlighted the possibilities of exporting their excess products such as milk powder and its’ products to Sri Lanka. The two leaders agreed to improve trade and economic relations and air connectivity between the two countries.
At the conclusion of the Bilateral discussions, the leaders witnessed the signing of five(05) Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs)/Agreements between the two countries namely, MoU on Establishment of Sri Lanka-Uganda Friendship Vocational and Technical Training Centre (SLUF-VTTC) in Uganda, Agreement on Economic, Commercial and Technical Cooperation, MoU on Tourism Cooperation, MoU on Bilateral Political Consultations and the Agreement on Cooperation in the Field of Culture.
In honor of the visiting delegation, President Rajapaksa hosted a State Banquet at the President’s House.
President Museveni, during the visit addressed the Sri Lankan business community/chambers at the Export Development Board (EDB) on Business prospects available in Uganda. Further, the Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry also concluded a MoU with the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC).
The presidential delegation visited a processing/value addition plant at Akbar Brothers Pvt. Ltd, the German Technical Training Institute, Lanka Transformers Ltd. (LTL) at Kerawalapitiya in Wattala and the Hayleys-Agro Processing Plant at Biyagama. In addition, the First Lady Janet Museveni visited the Carlton Pre-School at Maligawatta, accompanied by the Sri Lanka First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa.
The State Visit of the Ugandan President to Sri Lanka opened a new era in bilateral relations between Uganda and Sri Lanka. It further strengthened mutual friendship and opened new avenues in economic, political and cultural cooperation between the two countries.
- Asian Tribune -