Bolstering ties: Sri Lankan president to visit Pakistan on Feb 10

Published: February 9, 2012

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksha. PHOTO: FILE

COLOMBO: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksha will be visiting Pakistan on a three-day tour, beginning on February 10, at the invitation of President Asif Ali Zardari who last visited Colombo in 2010.

During his stay in Islamabad, President Rajapaksha will meet President Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani.

Diplomatic sources commenting on the visit said this is a part of the Sri Lankan president’s efforts to seek support from regional countries and the international community in view of the UN Human Rights Council meeting to be held in Geneva later this month.

Sources in the President House, Colombo said on Wednesday that the two sides will hold discussions for further strengthening political, defence, cultural, tourism, media, economic, business and trade links between the two countries of the region. A number of bilateral agreements are also expected to be signed between the two sides.

According to sources, “The visit is aimed at enhancing bilateral ties between people of the two countries who share a common interest in regional peace and stability and the fight against militancy and terrorism”.

Diplomatic relations between Pakistan and Sri Lanka were established in 1948 and since then the two countries have consistently maintained a close, cordial and mutually supportive relationship and enjoyed common perceptions on all global and regional issues.

Pakistan is also the second largest trading partner with Sri Lanka in the region with Sri Lanka being the first country to sign the Free Trade Agreement with Pakistan.

The Sri Lankan delegation will include Sri Lankan External Affairs Minister Prof. GL Peiris, Member of the Sri Lankan parliament Sajin de Vass Gunawardena, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga, Foreign Secretary Karunatillake Amunugama and other senior officials.

President Rajapaksa will also visit the Buddhist heritage site in Taxila.

The last high-level contact between the two countries took place on the sidelines of the 17th SAARC Summit in the Maldives last year when Prime Minister Gilani met President Rajapaksa.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 9th, 2012.

Reader Comments (16)

  • Realistic
    Feb 8, 2012 - 3:56PM

    Ones this gentleman given an statement that India is behind unrest in Sri Lanka but revert back?????

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  • Ali Hassan
    Feb 8, 2012 - 4:05PM

    We welcome you Mr President. Indeed, a good friend of Pakistan.

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  • American Muse
    Feb 8, 2012 - 4:28PM

    Shame on Pakistan for inviting Mr. Rajapaksa who heads a regime in Colombo accused of genocide and crimes against humanity. It is certainly not surprising that he is soliciting Mr. Zardari’s support for the upcoming UN Human Rights meeting that will look into the Tamil genocide in Sri Lanka.

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  • Zeee
    Feb 8, 2012 - 6:12PM

    Welcome Mr. President

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  • Zeta
    Feb 8, 2012 - 6:56PM

    Sri Lanka and Pakistan have very good ties and i hope the bond becomes even more strong

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  • Feb 8, 2012 - 7:16PM

    Welcome home Mr. Rajapaksha. Pakistan INSHALLAH, will go all the way to give your beautiful country our full and wholesome support. Viva Sri Lanka. Salams to Pakistan

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  • Salman
    Feb 8, 2012 - 7:25PM

    Pak has UN seat for two years and Sri Lankans are our friends so we should be more then useful to them on HRI

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  • adeel759
    Feb 8, 2012 - 8:54PM

    Welcome Mr President. I noted when Salala Tragedy occured, Sri Lanka was the only country where there was a rally in support of Pakistan. He should be given Grandeur Welcome, Guard Of Honor, and PM should accompany him to Taxila.

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  • Feb 8, 2012 - 9:28PM

    Srilankan people are very Humble I like them, Welcome Mr. president

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  • narayana murthy
    Feb 8, 2012 - 10:01PM

    Pakistanis get overly emotional when it comes to China, Srilanka, Turkey and to an extent Saudi.

    Is it because Pakistan has very few friends?!!!Recommend

  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Feb 8, 2012 - 10:27PM

    Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksha is one of the greatest President among SAARC Countries.

    I place him after the former Prime Minister Mohatir Mohamd who took Malaysia to the heights.

    His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksha is heading Srilanka which has become one of the important place in the world for tourism and has the highest of literacy.

    I hope that President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari will share the information from the Srilankan President as how did Srilanka get rid of Tamil Tigers and took Srilanka to the heights.

    My hope is that Pakistan should also go similar to the heights similar to Malaysia and Srilanka in the world.

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  • A2Z
    Feb 8, 2012 - 11:17PM

    @American Muse
    Shame on you and Americans who commmit genocide and crimes against humanity in Iraq, Afghanistan and lot of other countries.
    When Israelis kill Palestinians, they are are defending themselves but when Sri lankans kill Tamils they are commiting genocide.

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  • G. Din
    Feb 9, 2012 - 1:00AM

    @Mohammad Ali Siddiqui:
    “Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksha is one of the greatest President among SAARC Countries. I place him after the former Prime Minister Mohatir Mohamd who took Malaysia to the heights.”
    Didn’t know that Malaysia is part of SAARC!!!!!!!

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  • razaq
    Feb 9, 2012 - 12:37PM

    Indian FM in china- news.
    Pakistan should send pak FM to china immediately.

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  • Lakshmansingh
    Feb 9, 2012 - 2:26PM

    American muse should know that genocide and crimes against humanity was committed only by the demonic, ruthless, murderous LTTE Tamils in Sri Lanka for over 40 years. Now the so called “diaspora” Sri Lankan Tamils live in the west sucking up to the media and politicians, with their ill-gotten blood money. The Tamil LTTE rump do not care whether the Tamils in Sri Lanka live or die. Know your facts before you put pen on paper.

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  • Adil
    Feb 10, 2012 - 7:58AM

    @narayana murthy:

    Yeah that’s why Pakistan won a UN Security Council seat last year in October i.e. 5 months after the OBL incident. And you know what,embassies of many nations are still functioning in Pakistan. I know you must have some strong perception or perhaps misconception that Pakistan is isolted and blal blah blah after reading TOI,Indian Express etc…..I have a suggestion, kindly visit other countries websites and forums too just for a change.

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