President Maithripala Sirisena returned to Colombo this morning (October 10), after completing a highly successful visit to Seychelles.
President Sirisena, who paid a two-day state visit to Seychelles on the invitation of his Seychellois counterpart, Danny Faure, attended high level bilateral talks where the two sides agreed to take the existing cooperation between the two countries to a higher level.
The leaders of the both countries agreed to take forward the strong relations between the Sri Lanka and Seychelles in the fields of trade and tourism.
On the arrival at the State House, President Sirisena was warmly received by the Seychelles President Danny and a Guard of Honour was held in his honour. After a cordial meeting between the leaders, the bilateral discussions were commenced.
During this meeting, the President said that he will give instructions to the relevant sectors to improve the relations between the business forums of both countries. The President also noted that it is expected to get more Sri Lankan businessmen to participate in trade fair to be held in Seychelles at the end of this year.
The two parties were discussed regarding the mutually important bilateral and regional issues.
The Seychelles President praised President Sirisena’s initiative to eradicate drug abuse and requested his assistance to find a solution to the drug menace which is a threat to his country too. Seychelles President expressed his gratitude to President Sirisena for providing assistance to improve the health sector in Seychelles and requested to provide training opportunities to Seychelles doctors in Sri Lanka.
Also, requested President Sirisena to assist in granting military training opportunities to Seychelles security force members in Sri Lanka. Furthermore, it was requested to assist in obtaining training for judicial and legal drafting sectors.
The President, paying his attention to these requests said that he will speedily take actions to make necessary arrangements in this regard and promised to award ten scholarships annually to the Seychelles students in the field of vocational trainings.
Expressing his views Seychelles President Danny Faure said that he will be grateful for the assistance given by Sri Lanka not only as a friend but like a brotherly state.
The President of Seychelles also stressed that they are ready to provide any support to Sri Lanka to develop the fields of economic and trade sectors as well as to provide any support to Sri Lanka at any time the assistance is needed.
This tour of President Sirisena taking place at the time of completion of 30 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries, will mark a new milestone in the bilateral relationship between the two countries, the Seychelles President said.
Diplomatic relations between Seychelles and Sri Lanka commenced on 3rd October 1988. The Sri Lankan High Commission in Seychelles established in 2013. The President of Seychelles also stated that a permanent place will be allocated for the construction of the Sri Lankan High Commission, which is currently functioning in a leased building.
Nearly, 2400 Sri Lankan workers are serving in Seychelles and the President also extended his thankfulness to the Seychelles President for the support given to the welfare of those employees.
Both countries are also signed new two Memorandums of Understanding for further expansion of bilateral cooperation.
The new agreement on advancement of information technology was signed between the University of Moratuwa and the Information Technology University of Seychelles and the agreement relating to the expansion of bilateral cooperation in the field of vocational training was signed between Sri Lanka Vocational Technology University and Seychelles Technology Institute.
Marking his state visit, President Sirisena planted a seed in the National Botanical Garden of Seychelles.
President Sirisena was welcome at the Botanic Garden by Waila Pecrocrow, Seychells Minister of Environment, and Raymond Brioche, CEO of the National Foundation of Botanical Gardens.
After planting a seed of Coco de Mer, an endemic plant of Seychelles, the President observed the botanical garden, which, known for its exemplary work in education, conservation and landscaping and which is a major tourist attraction in the country since it was established in 1901.
After the event at the botanical garden, President Sirisena undertook an observation tour of the Seychelles Maritime Academy, which is managed by the Sri Lanka International Maritime and Engineering Higher Education Institute. During the visit, President Sirisena also exchanged remarks with students of this institute reputed as an international training institute of superior quality.
During the visit, President Sirisena also reviewed some of programmes relating to strengthening bilateral relations in the maritime sector.
President Sirisena was accompanied by Chairman of Sri Lanka International Maritime and Engineering Higher Education Institute, Capt. Ajith Peiris as well as Capt. Tharaka Thelwaththa.
Later, President Sirisena visited the island of Praslin, which is home to Valée Demai Nature Reserve, a UNESCO world heritage.
The President also held a meeting with the Sri Lankans living in Seychelles. Sri Lankan professionals who are employed in Seychelles and the students who are being educated in different fields in Seychelles were present at this event where all of them warmly welcomed the President Maithripala Sirisena.
This meeting was held at the Conference Hall of Seychelles where the official website of the Sri Lanka High Commission of Seychelles was also launched by President Maithripala Sirisena.
The official website of the Seychelles Buddhist society was also opened by the President.
The Sri Lankan professionals who stayed in Seychelles for more than 30 years and contributed for the strengthening of the ties between Seychelles and Sri Lanka were appreciated and they were presented with souvenirs by the President.
The Sri Lankan community in Seychelles presented a special souvenir to the President as a memento of his visit to Seychelles.
Minister Lakshman Seneviranthne, State Ministers Piyasena Gamage and Mohan Lal Grero, and the Sri Lankan high commissioner for Seychelles Tikiri Herath Gunethilake, and other were pres