Sri Lanka offers its expertise to SeychellesApril 19, 2012, 10:33 pm
By Ravi Ladduwahetty
Prof. G. L. Peiris briefs the media as his Seychelles counterpart Jean Paul Adam looks on
Sri Lanka will offer its expertise to Seychelles in countering piracy, boat building, fisheries, education, tourism, health and power generation following the bilateral talks held yesterday between External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris and his Seychelles counterpart Jean Paul Adam.
An official State visit is being planned for President Mahinda Rajapaksa to visit Seychelles where further bilateral talks will be held with Seychelles President James Mitchell later this year. Dates will be finalised soon.
Sri Lanka would be offering expertise to Seychelles, also an island nation, particularly in boat building - fisheries boats/trawlers and luxury yachts, External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris told a joint news conference with his visiting Seychelles counterpart Jean Paul Adam at the Ministry’s main conference hall in Fort last evening.
There would also be opportunities for the provision of expertise in healthcare and employment opportunities for Sri Lankans in the area of education - English, Science and Mathematics in that country too, he said.
One of the major sectors that Sri Lanka will be sharing information and expertise with Seychelles will be controlling of piracy in high seas, which was a growing concern and which was a sensitive area especially in the wake of the culmination of terrorism in Sri Lanka.
"In the bilateral talks that we had, we focused and concentrated on specific areas and we decided that a visit of this nature should not be ceremonial or symbolic. It must be definitely substantial and make a definite contribution to the strengthening of the relationship of our countries", Prof. Peiris said.
The External Affairs Minister also said that he was personally touched by a remark that his Seychelles counterpart made in that small countries should not necessarily think small to which he had responded that it was exactly the same vision of the two Presidents, Mahinda Rajapaksa and James Mitchell.
There were the many aspects that Sri Lanka and Seychelles shared in common, which shaped the destinies of the two island nations. A lot had to do with the sea and the blue economy as the resources of the ocean were called and they could enhance the economies of the two nations, he said.
"It is not only in the areas of fisheries that Sri Lanka could offer its expertise but also in the arena of boat building in the leisure sector which will have an accentuated emphasis of the development of our two economies", Prof. Peiris told the local and the Colombo based international media.
Visiting Seychelles Foreign Minister Jean Paul Adam said that he was delighted to work with Sri Lanka and share expertise for the mutual interest of the two countries and said that he was touched by the hospitality of the Sri Lankans, o what was his maiden visit to the country.
He said that his country was looking forward to enhancing on the aspects of the blue economy and also hydro power generation as well. His country needed cost effective strategies as well and added that Sri Lanka fited the bill in that regard.
He and his delegation were to have meetings with Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa, Fisheries Minister Rajitha Senaratne and Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa as well.
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