Tuesday, 16 June 2009 11:02
Priority of the Sri Lankan government is to rehabilitate the war torn region and bring normalcy to the lives of the people said President Mahinda Rajapaksa at a meeting with the Chairman of the State Peace and Development Council of Myanmar, Senior General Than Shwe.
The President expressed satisfaction at being able to successfully conclude the humanitarian operation against terrorism and said his visit to Myanmar is the first to a foreign country after the victory.
"Everybody could live together in equality and harmony in accordance with the teachings of Buddhism", he said.
President Rajapaksa thanked the Government of Myanmar for the support and co-operation extended to prevent drug trafficking and other crimes in the region and also expressed his gratitude for the donation of US$ 50,000 for the welfare of the IDPs in the north. he also thanked Senior General Than Shwe and the Government of Myanmar for the hospitality afforded to him and the Sri Lankan delegation.
Senior General Than Shwe explained to President Rajapaksa the political and social changes that have taken place in the country since independence.
President Rajapaksa and his delegation held bilateral talks with Prime Minister General Thein Sein and other officials at the latter’s office, reported the Daily News.
The Head of State of Myanmar accepted an invitation extended to him by President Rajapaksa to visit Sri Lanka. The two leaders also agreed to update the Air Services Agreement between the two countries which was signed in 1950.
It was also decided to provide training at the Kotalawela Defence Academy to two Myanmar Security Forces Officers annually, as agreed upon by a MoU signed in 2007.
President Rajapaksa also thanked Myanmar for presenting a tusker to Sri Lanka for Buddhist ceremonies, as a gesture of friendship. The foreign Minister of Myanmar is expected to visit Sri Lanka in the near future. The two delegations also signed a MoU on tourism and promotion.
The Sri Lanka delegation comprises Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama, Transport Minister Dullas Alahapperuma, Labour Minister Mervin Silva, National Freedom Front Leader Wimal Weerawansa (MP), Additional Secretary to the President and Chief of Staff-Gamini Senarath and President’s Coordinating Secretary Sajin Vass Gunawardena.
Policy Research & Information Unit
Presidential Secretariat of Sri Lanka
16 June 2009