|Visit of Maldivian President to Sri Lanka from 18 -19 June 2009|
|Friday, 19 June 2009 12:06|
The President of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed accompanied by a high level delegation visited Sri Lanka from 18 -19 June 2009.
During the visit, President Nasheed met with President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the President’s House in Anuradhapura today (19 June 2009) and discussed a wide range of issues of both bilateral and regional interests.
While congratulating President Rajapaksa on his dynamic leadership to eliminate the LTTE terrorism, President Nasheed stated that the Maldives has always remained a firm friend of Sri Lanka.
Having assured the support of the Maldives for Sri Lanka’s unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity, the Maldivian President expressed the confidence that President Rajapaksa has the courage and the ability to bring economic prosperity to Sri Lanka in a shortest possible time frame.
President Rajapaksa thanked the Maldivian President for having a good understanding of the gravity of the challenges that Sri Lanka had to face for the last few months under tremendous pressure from various fronts in its efforts to fight against terrorism.
“The end of terrorism and the dawn of peace have brought new challenges of re-building infrastructure in the liberated areas. It is the priority of the Government of Sri Lanka to create an atmosphere conducive for all the people in Sri Lanka to live in peace and harmony”, President Rajapaksa added.
Tracing the historical ties between the Island nations in the Indian Ocean, the two leaders agreed to further intensify bilateral cooperation between Sri Lanka and the Maldives, in particular in the fields of tourism, culture, fisheries, health, education, trade and investment.
Referring to a possible threat of networking by the LTTE to execute their illegal activities including money laundering and drug trafficking, the two leaders agreed to set up a joint mechanism with a view to crack down such activities. In that regard, an intelligence sharing agreement was proposed to be worked out by the relevant authorities in the two countries.
President Rajapaksa agreed to put some frame work in place to make Sri Lanka Rupees to be readily available in the Maldivian market, in response to a proposal made by the Maldivian President. Such an arrangement would help expanding financial transactions, trade and services in a fast track manner.
President Rajapaksa invited the visiting President to undertake another visit to Sri Lanka, in particular to see for himself the conditions in the IDP camps in the North. “First priority of the Government of Sri Lanka is to improve the conditions in the IDP camps which will also be a part of resettlement and reconciliation process”, President Rajapaksa added. He also commended the support and cooperation received from the international community for this humanitarian task undertaken by the Government.
The Maldivian President was accompanied by a delegation comprising Mr. Ahmed Nassem, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, the Maldivian High Commissioner in Colombo, Ali Hussain Didi and the senior officials of the Government of the Maldives. Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama, Governor of the North -Central Province, Karunaratne Divulgane, Chief Minister of the North – Central Province, Berti Premalal Dissyanayake, Secretary to the President, Lalith Weeratunga and senior officials were associated with President Rajapaksa.
President Rajapaksa hosted a luncheon in honour of the visiting President and the delegation at the President’s House in Anuradhapura.
Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama and Governor of the Central Bank, Ajith Nivard Cabraal called on the Maldivian President in Colombo prior to his departure for Anuradhapura.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
19 June 2009