Visiting Singapore FM says Jaffna holds special significance to Singapore

Thursday, 20 July 2017 01:16 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}



Singapore Foreign Minister Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan after visiting Jaffna and meeting with the Northern Provincial officials yesterday said Jaffna holds special significance for Singapore given the strong cultural and people-to-people ties between the two sides.

He said the relationship has evolved from the early days of government administrators to present day institutions such as the Singapore Ceylon Tamils’ Association.

“Some of our pioneer leaders in politics, education and medicine had hailed from Jaffna. Today, we are here to strengthen these enduring ties and give back to Jaffna,” Dr. Balakrishnan said. During his visit to Jaffna on Wednesday the Singapore Minister met with Governor of the Northern Province Reginald Cooray, and Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran.

The provincial officials have shared insights with the Minister into the development of Jaffna and the ongoing reconciliation efforts since the end of the 26-year civil war in 2009, Dr. Balakrishnan said in his Facebook page.

The visiting Foreign Minister presented a gift of 500 books to the Jaffna Public Library on behalf of Singapore National Library Board. The two libraries share a longstanding partnership in capacity-building and education initiatives. The latest tranche of books will add to the 11,500 books Singapore had earlier donated.

“We hope to support Jaffna’s development through the gift of education and knowledge,” the Minister said.

Minister Balakrishnan also visited the Jaffna Teaching Hospital and the University of Jaffna Medical Faculty to launch the Orthopedic Development Program spearheaded by SingHealth and the Lee Foundation.

“This is personally meaningful for me as I have had the privilege of learning from outstanding doctors of Jaffna origin during my days as a medical student. Glad to see Singaporean entities giving back and contributing to improving the healthcare of Jaffna,” he said.