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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2908

Thailand and Sri Lanka to enhance mutual ties

Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama  with Thai Prime Minister Samak SundaravejForeign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama with Thai Prime Minister Samak SundaravejBangkok, 13 June, ( Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama called yesterday on Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej, at Government House in Bangkok. The meeting was held in a warm and friendly atmosphere. The Sri Lanka Foreign Minister is making an official visit to Thailand with a view to promote and strengthen the bilateral relationship which is founded on ancient cultural and religious links and today encompasses regional cooperation such as in BIMSTEC, ARF and ACD as well as bilateral economic, trade, agriculture, science & technology and tourism cooperation.

Foreign Minister Bogollagama conveyed to the Thai Prime Minister, who is also the Minister of Defence, Sri Lanka’s appreciation of the current positive security and intelligence cooperation with Thailand on the basis of bilateral agreement.

At the request of the Thai Prime Minister, Foreign Minister Bogollagama briefed on the LTTE terrorist organization, its overseas fund raising, arms procurement and the need for constant vigilance to intercept illegal LTTE movements. He also briefed on the liberation of the Eastern Province from the clutches of the LTTE and the recent elections which had successfully restored democracy after twenty years, with an elected Tamil Chief Minister.

The discussion centered round on the ancient cultural links between the two countries which had been nurtured at the highest levels, on the need to finalize the Cultural Cooperation Agreement early and also the request for the donation of some tusker elephants for ancient viharas in Sri Lanka.

The Foreign Minister renewed the invitation to the Thai Prime Minister to undertake a visit to Sri Lanka. He referred to the International Buddhist zone currently under construction in Sri Lanka which was a project initiated by President Mahinda Rajapaksa and invited Thailand to participate. The Thai Prime Minister responded positively.

Responding to the Sri Lanka Foreign Minister, Thai Prime Minister agreed on the need to further enhance overall trade volumes for mutual benefit and also to improve connectivity for increased tourism and people to people contacts. The Thai Prime Minister mentioned new transportation arrangements taking shape in the region for the carriage of goods overland from China through Myanmar and new Thai ports which could link up directly with Colombo port. The Thai Prime Minister also described his recent successful engagement with regard to assistance for Myanmar during the recent cyclone disaster.

The Foreign Minister discussed with the Thai Prime Minister the severe impact on the people of the recent escalation in global food prices. He requested Thai assistance in the supply of rice for a buffer stock, as well as stepped up exchanges on Agricultural cooperation including Technology transfer for mutual benefit i.e. on rice milling and storage in which Thailand excels. The Thai Prime Minister readily agreed and said the modalities could be worked out through the Embassy of Sri Lanka.

- Asian Tribune -

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