Sri Lanka and Bangladesh sign five MoUs
Onlanka News – By Janaka Alahapperuma
(Pix by: Sudath Silva)
President Mahinda Rajapaksa met Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her office at Tejgaon, Dhaka this afternoon on 18 April (Monday), a joint Press Release reported by President’s Media Unit and the Ministry of External Affairs.
Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni met the visiting Sri Lankan President and the official talks between the two countries took place at the International Conference Centre at the Prime Minister’s Office just after President Rajapaksa called on Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The two leaders discussed the bilateral issues in various areas including trade and commerce, export promotion, investment, civil aviation, shipping services, agriculture, fisheries, education and tourism.
Cabinet Ministers, foreign secretaries, officials and press secretaries from both countries were present in the meeting. Representing Sri Lanka, parliamentarians Sajin Vass Gunawardena, A. H. M. Aswar and the Sri Lanka High Commissioner to Bangladesh, Sarath Weragoda also participated in the discussions.
Later both countries have signed five (05) Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) on agriculture, education, livestock, information technology and commerce cooperation. The agreements were inked in presence of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her office. External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L.Peiris signed the MoUs for the Government of Sri Lanka, while Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury, Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid, Fisheries & Livestock Minister Abdul Latif Biswas, Information Minister Abul Kalam Azad and Commerce & Trade Minister Faruk Khan singed for Bangladesh.
President Rajapaksa will join a state banquet and dinner to be hosted by Bangladesh President Zillur Rahman and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in honour of the Sri Lankan President and the First Lady at Hotel Radisson tonight.
Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa, First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa and the Sri Lankan delegation received a grand welcome on arrival at Hazrat Shahjala International Airport in Dhaka. Bangladesh President Zillur Rahman welcomed his counterpart at the Airport. President Rajapaksa arrived on a three-days official visit to Bangladesh at the invitation of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
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This is an extremely useful relationship considering the history of its severance from Pakistan that was assisted by India.
A similar severance could occur in the emerald isle in the near future and lessons learnt from the partitioning of Bangladesh will definitely assist in ensuring a seamless partitioning of the Island Nation that houses two distinctively separate states.