High Commission of Sri Lanka in India

Visit of President. Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, 22-25 February 2001 PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail

The President of Sri Lanka. H.E. Mrs. Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, is visiting India from February 22-25, 2001. She is accompanied by the Hon. Mr. Lakshman Kadirgamar, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Mrs. Suganthie Kadirgamar. 

The Sri Lankan President is scheduled to call on the President and Shrimati Usha Narayanan later in the evening. Earlier during the day, she held talks with the Prime Minister, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The Minister of External Affairs, Shri Jaswant Singh, called on the Sri Lankan President. 

The talks between the two sides were held in an atmosphere of cordiality and understanding and covered bilateral, regional and international matters of mutual interest. Both sides expressed great satisfaction at the excellent state of bilateral relations and the warmth and understanding that exist between the two countries. 

The Prime Minister expressed India's appreciation for Sri Lanka's generous contribution towards earthquake relief in Gujarat. 

The two sides noted with satisfaction the progress in the implementation of the India-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement, which took effect on March 1, 2000 and reiterated their commitment to the realization of the full potential of the Agreement. They agreed that the two sides would attend to any problems in the implementation of the FTA and resolve them. 

Problems faced by fishermen of both countries were discussed. It was agreed that the issue must be addressed in a spirit of compassion and understanding. India's concern at firing on Indian fishermen was reiterated and the need to avoid such incidents was emphasized. The Sri Lankan side stressed the need to expedite the ongoing process for the release of Sri Lankan fishermen in India.

The Sri Lankan President apprised the Indian leadership of the current status of the process to initiate talks to end the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka and to pursue Constitutional reforms.

India reiterated its consistent support for the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka and for a negotiated political settlement of the conflict, as the only way to restore lasting peace which would meet the aspirations of all elements of Sri Lankan society.

It was agreed that the SAARC Standing Committee would meet in the second half   of May subject to the convenienc of all member countries.

The discussions reflected the high priority attached by both countries to the maintenance of close and friendly relations based on mutual trust and understanding.

 

New Delhi 
23 February 2001

 

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