President arrives in Myanmar

Tuesday, 4 March 2014 00:48 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

President Mahinda Rajapaksa arrived at Myanmar’s Nay Pyi Taw International Airport yesterday afternoon to participate in the BIMSTEC Summit. The President was received at the airport by Myanmar’s Minister of Labour Aye Mint, Deputy Foreign Ministers Tin Oo Lwin and Thant Kyaw, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Myanmar H.R. Piyasiri and Myanmar’s Ambassador in Sri Lanka Min Thein Zan. Sri Lanka’s Minister of External Affairs Prof. G.L. Peiris and Secretary to the Ministry of External Affairs Kshenuka Seneviratne, who are already in Myanmar to participate in the ministerial level meetings of the BIMSTEC Summit, were also on hand at the airport to greet the President. The Sri Lankan delegation headed by the President will be hosted by President of the Republic of Myanmar Thein Sein to a banquet at the Myanmar International Conference Centre. President Rajapaksa will address the third BIMSTEC Summit tomorrow (4). BIMSTEC is the English acronym for the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi–Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation. It is a regional grouping of seven South and South-east Asian countries, namely Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand. The first BIMSTEC Summit was held in 2004 in the Thai capital of Bangkok while the second was held in the Indian capital of New Delhi. Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga is also with the President for the visit.    

 Indian FM to discuss key issues with Lankan counterpart in Myanmar

  Reuters: India’s foreign minister, Salman Khurshid, on Monday (March 03) said that many issues are there to discuss with Sri Lankan counterpart in the ongoing Bay Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC). “This is a BIMSTEC (Bay Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) gathering. There are lot of bilateral between heads of government and its part of that, there will be a meeting between them as well, they know each other and they are heads of two neighbouring countries and therefore they may have whole lot of things to discuss. Maybe they will discuss progress that we expect to happen in Sri Lanka. Maybe they will discuss how the housing process is going on, or maybe they will discuss what happened in the visit of the Sri Lankan delegations to South Africa,” said Khurshid. Indian delegation headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is in Myanmar capital Nay Pyi Taw to attend (BIMSTEC). Earlier in the day, Singh met Myanmar President Thein Sein, during what could be his last foreign visit as PM. He’s in the country for a two-day economic summit and called for a “collective vision” to deal with security challenges. Singh also met his Nepal counterpart Sushil Koirala on the sidelines of a two-day economic summit in Myanmar. Singh is likely to use this conference to renew contacts with the seven-nation leaders. Representatives from India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar, Bhutan and Nepal will attend the summit. India and Sri Lanka, who enjoy strong cultural bonds, have shared a complex diplomatic relationship since the 1980s. India first trained Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger rebels - fighting for a separate Tamil state in the north and east of the island - in the early 1980s but later sent peacekeeping troops to enforce a peace accord. New Delhi, however, moved away from the island’s bloody conflict after the assassination of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991, blamed on the Tamil Tigers. Earlier in the day, Singh urged South and East Asian countries for a “collective vision” to deal with security challenges stemming from terrorism as well as international crime and drug trafficking, to bring about peace, stability and development in Asia.