President helps Maldives as friend and neighbour

President Mahinda Rajapaksa who was on a goodwill visit to the Maldives met with Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed, Maldivian Opposition Leader Ahamed Thasmeen Ali, the Chief Justice, Speaker of the Majlis and former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, states an External Affairs Ministry release.

President Rajapaksa also met a delegation of the MDP and an Opposition delegation consisting of the DRP, Qaumi Party, Jumhoori Party and the People’s Alliance. President Mahinda Rajapaksa also met with some leading members of the Maldivian business communities.

President Rajapaksa engaged in this initiative as a friend and a neighbour of the Maldives who offered his assistance, in accordance with the wishes of the Government and the Opposition of the Maldives in initiating a dialogue to resolve the current crisis.

The Government and the Opposition agreed, in the presence of President Rajapaksa, to constitute a committee of six members of the Majilis, comprising three members from the Government and three from the Opposition to commence and to carry forward a dialogue addressing such pressing issues as the appointment of the Cabinet of ministers and the smooth functioning of the legislative process. The Sri Lankan delegation comprised President Mahinda Rajapaksa, External Affairs Minister G. L. Peiris, Sajin de Vass Gunawardena, MP and Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga.

Meanwhile, External Affairs Minister Professor G. L. Peiris told a press conference at the Parliamentary complex yesterday that President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s visit to the Republic of Maldives was to cooperate with the leaders to resolve an internal problems of the country by the commencement of a fruitful dialogue. It was to prepare the background for the leaders of that country to reach a workable agreement, he said.

The connection President Rajapaksa had with the Maldivian parties and personalities over a long period and as the former Leader of the SAARC was useful in his visit to discuss and resolve the issues. It was in this background that he was able to defuse the political crisis in the Republic of Maldives Wednesday. It was a very positive development, he said

Prof. Peiris said President Rajapaksa’s visit to the Maldives was on President Mohamed Nasheed’s invitation and he held discussions with the Government and Opposition political party leaders.

President Rajapaksa also met Maldivian Parliament Speaker Abdullah Shahid and the former President Abdul Gayoom and held talks with them and helped in achieving positive results resolving differences.

Daily News