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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2527

Maldives to support Sri Lanka in its fight against terrorism

Colombo, 03 January, (Asiantribune.com): Visiting President of Maldives Mohamed Nasheed expressed his appreciation of the efforts being taken by President Rajapaksa to restore peace in Sri Lanka, and congratulated the President and Sri Lanka on the success in the Kilinochchi Operation, and also assured Sri Lanka of the fullest support of the Maldives in the fight against terrorism.Maldivian President received at the airportMaldivian President received at the airport

It was agreed at the bilateral talks, that Sri Lanka and the Maldives looked forward to the further improvement of good relations between the two countries in several areas of activity, with importance being given to Sri Lankan assistance in the development of the structures and institutions of democracy in the Maldives.

Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed and the First Lady Madam Laila Ali were received by the President of Sri Lanka, Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse and Madam Rajapakse upon their arrival in Colombo on Friday morning.

President Nasheed was introduced by the Sri Lankan President to senior Sri Lankan Government officials. Subsequently, Sri Lankan President was introduced to the members of President Nasheed’s delegation.

The national anthems of the two countries were then played, with Maldivian President Nasheed on the dais. He then inspected a Guard of Honor which was followed by a 21-Gun Salute.

The President and the First Lady then signed the visitors’ “Golden Book”.

During the 3 day State visit to Sri Lanka, the President met with the Sri Lankan President, Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday evening.

During their bilateral meeting Maldivian President thanked President Rajapaksa and the people of Sri Lanka for the long standing support extended to the movement for good governance in the Maldives and the diplomatic depth Sri Lanka had shown in dealing with a very difficult issue.

Among the areas identified in which Sri Lanka could assist the Maldives in its efforts to stabilize democracy were the establishment of a good civil service, the building of legal structure to serve the needs of an emerging democracy, the area of IT development, Human Resource development, education and archaeology.

The Maldivian President looked forward to Sri Lankan assistance in carrying out an archaeological survey of the Maldives, which will be the first to be done after 1922, which was also led by an archaeologist from what was then Ceylon.

There was a frank exchange of views between the two national leaders on the need for and the possibility of mutual cooperation in the development of tourism, with the Maldivian side looking forward to greater investment in tourism by Sri Lankans.Pix by Sudath SilvaPix by Sudath Silva

The opportunities for current Sri Lankan investors in the Maldives to diversify from tourism into other areas was also discussed, especially with the new policies of liberalizing the economy in the Maldives and the break up of many government monopolies in the service sector in the country.

The issue of the problems face by Sri Lankan fishermen who have to cross Maldivian territorial waters to and from their sailing to the Arabian Sea was discussed and the Maldivian President said the matter could be looked at with understanding by the officials of the two countries to arrive at a mutually beneficial solution.

There was also understanding on support from Sri Lanka for the housing and construction sector in the Maldives as well as the development of the Health sector there, and the use of Sri Lanka for purposes of Health related tourism by from the Maldives.

In the meantime, Sri Lankan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Rohitha Bogollagama also paid a courtesy call on President Nasheed at Hilton Colombo on Friday.

In their meeting the President and Foreign Minister discussed on the ways of strengthening bilateral relations and on possible areas of cooperation between the Maldives and Sri Lanka.

The Maldivian delegation led by President Mohamed Nasheed included Foreign Minister Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, Special Envoy to the President Mr. Ibrahim Hussain Zaki, Minister of Finance and Treasury Mr. Ali Hashim and Minister of Education Dr. Musthafa Lutfi.

The Sri Lankan delegation led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa comprised among others of Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama, Healthcare and Nutrition Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, Tourism Minister Milinda Moragoda, Export Development and Industrial Trade Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris, Deputy Minister of Fisheries Neomal Perera, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to the Treasury Mr. Sumith Abeysinghe, and Additional Secretary, Foreign Affairs Mr. Prasad Kariyawasam,.

- Asian Tribune -

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