President returns after four-day state visit to Philippines.

President returns after four-day state visit to Philippines.

President Maithripala Sirisena arrived in the country last night (19th) after successfull visit to the Philippines. He brought a host of benefits to the country in that state visit.

The President left for the Philippines on a four-day state visit on January 15th and this was the first time that a Sri Lankan Head of State has been invited for a state visit to the Philippines during fifty eight years diplomatic relations between the two countries.

The President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) expressed his willingness to provide loans of US $ 455 million for three major projects in Sri Lanka, which was a special benefit of the President’s visit.

President Sirisena signed a five-year action plan between the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Los Baños, Philippines as a part of significant gains during his state visit to the Philippines. This national action plan was signed with regard to the implementation of the national plan for self-sufficiency for rice in Sri Lanka. It is to achieve goal of making Sri Lanka a self-sufficient nation in rice and to reduce the impacts on climate change.

The head of the police and senior officials of the drug prevention unit met with the President and he said that an open battle against illegal drugs is being carried out in Sri Lanka. The Philippines promised to send a specialist team to Sri Lanka to inquire on the technical expertise that can be provided to eradicate drug smuggling. This assistance is provided as a special benefit obtained by Sri Lanka from the President of Philippines.

President Sirisena arrived at Mannila, Ninoy Akino International Airport on the 15th, with the Sri Lankan delegation and warmly welcomed by a delegation of special representatives including the Minister of Trade and Industry of Philippine.

President Sirisena first attended a wreath-laying ceremony in Rizal Park, where he paid his respects to Philippine National Hero before heading to the palace where he was received by President Duterte.

The Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte hosted a dinner in honour of President Sirisena, at the official residence of the President of the Philippines, Malacañan Palace on 16th. President Duterte presented a portrait of President Sirisena to the Sri Lankan President.

After meeting with the head of states of the two countries, the Philippine President Duterte, addressing the media stated that they are committed to strengthening the Philippines and Sri Lanka relations with a trusted friendship.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines said that the Parliament of the Philippines will extend fullest support to implement the programmes for development cooperation with Sri Lanka proposed by the Philippines President, with the aim of assisting Sri Lanka.

During his visit, the President also inspected the Asian Development Bank headquarters in Mannila. Another important event took place in the premises of International Rice Research Institute in order the appreciate the services rendered by the President for Agriculture a paddy field at the premises was named after President Sirisena. The commemoration plaque was also unveiled by the President.

President Maithripala Sirisena arrived in the country after concluding his state visit to the Philippines and he brought a host of benefits to the country within that state visit.

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