President outlines two challenges : Rehabilitation livelihood
Sri Lanka - Myanmar sign MoU on tourism promotion :
President Mahinda Rajapaksa currently on a State visit
to Myanmar said that his latest challenge is to rehabilitate the war
torn region and bring normalcy to the lives of the people. The 30 year
old cruel war against terrorism cost 100,000 lives, he said.
Expressing satisfaction at being able to successfully
conclude the humanitarian operation against terrorism, the President
said his visit to Myanmar is the first one after the victory.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa and first lady
Shiranthi Rajapaksa arrived in the Union of Myanmar yesterday.
They were welcomed by Senior General Than Shwe, Chairman of the
State Peace and Development Council of the Union of Myanmar at
the Nay Pay Taw Air Port. Ministers Rohitha Bogollagama, Dullas
Alahapperuma and Mervin Silva, Wimal Weerawansa MP, Additional
Secretary to the President Gamini Gunawardane and the
President's sons Yoshitha Rajapaksa and Rohitha Rajapaksa are
accompanying the President. Pictures by Sudath Silva.
The President said that he was able to create a free
and independent society in which everybody could live together in
equality and harmony in accordance with the teachings of Buddhism.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa arrived in the Union of
Myanmar in a special SriLankan Airlines flight yesterday morning on a
two day official visit. The visit is a goodwill gesture to the
South-East Asian nation.
President Rajapaksa's visit follows an invitation from
the Chairman of the State Peace and Development Council of the Union of
Myanmar Senior General Than Shwe and a promise made to the Prime
Myanmar during his visit to Sri Lanka in 2007. The
visit also commemorates the completion of 60 years of diplomatic
relations between the two countries.
President Rajapaksa and the Sri Lankan delegation were
received at the Nay Pay Taw airport by Chairman of the State Peace and
Development Council of the Union of Myanmar, Senior General Than Shwe,
followed by a guard of honour on arrival. President Rajapaksa thanked
the Government of Myanmar for its assistance in preventing drug
trafficking and other crime in that part of Asia and also expressed his
gratitude for the donation of US$ 50,000 that Sri Lanka received from
Myanmar for the welfare of the IDPs in the north.
Chairman of the State Peace and Development Council of
the Union of Myanmar Senior General Than Shwe explained to President
Rajapaksa the political and social changes that has 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.
Both sides agreed to work together at international
fora with mutual understanding and cooperation.
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 an MoU signed in 2007.
On being informed of the intention of the Sri Lankan
Government to erect nine Dagabas in the nine provinces the Myanmar
leaders promised to explore the possibility of supplying marble for the
Dagabas. President Rajapaksa also thanked Myanmar for presenting a
tusker to Sri Lanka 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 an 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.
Courtesy : Daily News