SL President visits India

[TamilNet, Thursday, 04 November 2004, 10:56 GMT]
Sri Lanka President Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge, accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Lakshman Kadirgamar and Minister of Power and Energy, Mr Premaajayantha left for India on a working visit from 3 to 5 November, a media release by Ministry of External Affairs in Colombo said Wednesday.

Full text of the news release follows:

"H.E.Mrs Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, President of Sri Lanka, will be on a working visit to India from November 3-7, 2004 at the invitation of President. Her last visit to India was in April, 7-10, 2003. She will be accompanied by a high-level delegation including H.E. Mr Lakshman Kadirgamar, Minister of Foreign Affairs and H.E. Mr Sushil Premaajayantha, Minister of Power and Energy.

2. India-Sri Lanka relations have seen significant progress in the recent past. Political relations are close, trade and investments have increased dramatically, infrastructural linkages are expanding, defence cooperation is under discussion and there is a general, broad-based improvement across all sectors of bilateral cooperation.

3. The dynamism imparted to the bilateral economic relationship by the success of the Indian Sri-Lankan Free Trade Agreement is symbolic of the dynamism of the relationship. Bilateral trade has more than doubled after the FTA was signed and exceeded US $ 1.5 billion dollars in 2003-4. India was the largest investor in Sri Lanka in 2002 and 2003. Discussions on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement to further deepen and widen the relationship have already been initiated.

4. During her visit, President Kumaratunga will have meetings with President, Prime Minister and other Indian leaders. Issues of mutual concern will be discussed and ways and means of further strengthening bilateral relations will be identified.

5. Apart from a review of bilateral relations, the visit will provide an opportunity to discuss the latest developments in the peace process in Sri Lanka. The Government of India is committed to the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka and to the restoration of a lasting peace through a peaceful, negotiated settlement that meets the just aspirations of all communities. Peace in Sri Lanka can only contribute to the further deepening and expansion of Indo-Sri Lankan ties to mutual advantage and benefit.

6. President Kumaratunga and her entourage will travel to Bodh Gaya during her visit to India."

 

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