PM initiates close Sri Lanka-Maldives ties in health industry, services, investments

Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in Maldives

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who is on a three day official visit to the Maldives yesterday said that organ transplants and other health services for Maldivians will be allowed in Sri Lanka. The Prime Minister said that Sri Lanka will also cooperate with the Government of Maldives in establishing an institution to make Sri Lankan specialist personnel available in the Maldives itself.

“We are looking at a bigger arrangement where we togethwer with Maldives government will cooperate in establishing institution to make personnel available here in the Maldives”, he said.

The Prime Minister was addressing the media with Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih following bilateral discussions at the President’s House in Male.

Wickremesinghe also said that visa arrangements between Sri Lanka and the Maldives have been liberalised allowing more students and people from the Maldives to come to Sri Lanka.

“Sri Lanka is your second home and we certainly would not like to see unncessary travel restrictions on the people of the Maldives. We are virtually neighbours giving out to each other,” he said. The Prime Minister said the Sri Lankan governemnt will strive to improve the higher educaiton opportunities for Maldivian students in Sri Lanka while exploring the possibility of establishing a higher education instituion in the Maldives.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe added that his government is ready to assist the Maldives to build a higher education institute in the Maldives.

“Both our countries are high in terms of GDP but we still face many problems.

There are many ways that we can work together. Our experiences will help for the development of the Maldives,” he said. He said that both of them (the Prime Minister and Maldivian President) decided to review bilateral cooperation in all areas and seek the possibiliy of formal arrangements in other areas

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe thanked the government of Maldivies for extending support to Sri Lanka in the aftermath of Easter Sunday attacks.

“Maldivians were the first to come to help. Members of Parliament in the Maldives visited us soon after the Easter Sunday tragedy,” the Prime Minister said.

“Terror is a threat to all of us and and we shall work together in combating it,” Prime Minister Wickremesinghe added.

(Source: Daily News – By Chaminda Perera)