What people of Lanka’s North want is good education for their children - Singapore Minister K. Shanmugam


By Maheesha Mudugamuwa

Institute of South Asian Studies, Singapore Chairman Ambassador Gopinath Pillai, Singapore Foreign Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam and Sri Lanka External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L Peiris at the launch of the Encyclopaedia of The Sri Lankan Diaspora. Pic by Sujatha Jayaratne

What the people of Sri Lanka’s North needed was a good education as well a better life for their children, Singapore Foreign Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam said yesterday.

Addressing the MOU signing ceremony and the launch of the encyclopaedia of the Sri Lankan diaspora at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel in Colombo, the minister said that by further strengthening the bilateral relationship between the two countries, the Singaporean government would give its utmost support to Sri Lanka in the field of education, urban management etc. 

"I visited Jaffna two years ago and there was rapid development going on and when we met the people they asked for only education," he added.

The MOU was signed between the National University of Singapore’s Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS) and Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute for International Relations and Strategic Studies (LKIIRSS) to promote and support activities that contribute to better understanding of relations among South Asia, South East Asia and Sri Lanka.

Minister Shanmugam also launched the Encyclopedia of the Sri Lankan Diaspora written by Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Tharman Shanmugaratnam, whose family history is part of the Sri Lankan Diaspora story.

Speaking on the occasion, Sri Lanka External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L Peiris said that the defence cooperation between the two countries was very strong and it was Sri Lanka’s intention to expand the relationship further. 

"We have a deep bond with Singapore and many of them have roots in Sri Lanka," he added. 

Minister Shanmugam will visit Jaffna today (04) and meet Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran and the NPC Governor. 

In Jaffna, he will launch a year-long project on Enhancing Competency of English Language Communication. The initiative is spearheaded by the Singapore International Foundation (SIF), National Library Board and the Jaffna Public Library.

Minister Shanmugam will also present a newly-refurbished Youth Resource Centre and Mobile Library Bus, sponsored by donors from Singapore, to the Jaffna Public Library.

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