South Africa extends fullest cooperation to reconciliation process, development

Monday, 13 August 2012 00:21 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

South Africa will extend its fullest cooperation for Sri Lanka’s reconciliation process and its drive for economic development according to Deputy Minister of International Relation and Cooperation Republic of South Africa Ebrahim Ebrahim when he met Senior Adviser to the President and Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa at the Ministry of Economic Development on Friday.

He said he had meeting with different political and representatives of the different social segments and views expressed at these meeting reflected the desire of Sri Lankan people to have a meaningful reconciliation process.

Rajapaksa said after the end of the conflict Sri Lanka had made a speedy progress in the resettlement process. But there are some delays in resettlement process of the old Muslim IDPs. Thousands of Muslim people left or chased away from the conflict affected areas. As the government was able to resettle all the new IDPs now it is paying attention on resettlement of old IDPs but with many difficulties. For smooth reconciliation process all the IDPs must resettle he said. Rajpaksa said end of the conflict has brought many benefits to the people of the North Eastern provinces. The Northern Province recorded the highest growth rate and increased its share of the national economy driven by an expansion in agriculture, fishing, construction, transportation and financial services.

Minister and Deputy Minister reviewed the progress made in the recent understanding on the air traffic arrangements and decided to expand the facilities for the direct air links between the two countries. They have agreed to facilitate for more exchanges between business communities between two countries and to strengthen the cooperation between business organisations. The proposed visit of Ebrahim will help to furtherance the economic cooperation between the two countries, the South African Deputy Minister said.

Roelf Meyer, Prof. Ivor Jenkins, Mohomad Bhabha, Advisers to the Deputy Minister, G.Q.M. Doidge, High commissioner of the South Africa in Sri Lanka, S.B. Divarathna, Secretary, Presidential Task Force and Prof. Sunanda Madduma Bandara Director General of the Ministry of Economic Development also participated at this occasion.

Pic by Chaminda Hittatiya