Sri Lanka’s Deputy Minister of External Affairs Neomal Perera during his two-day official visit to the Maldives from July 30th to August 2nd, 2011 has successfully negotiated the immediate release of the seven fishing boats which were held in custody in the Maldives, and also requested the Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture Dr. Ibrahim Didi, for speedy legal procedures when dealing with future such cases.
Deputy Minister Neomal Perera also held bilateral discussions with the Maldivian Government, reviewing the existing l ties between the two countries with a view to expanding the political, economic and cultural relations, and also to enter into new areas of cooperation.
During the discussions with the Maldives’ Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Ahmed Naseem, the Deputy Minister noted that since the Maldives has signed and ratified the Prisoner Transfer Agreement, Sri Lanka now looks forward to its early implementation to facilitate the transfer of the Sri Lankan prisoners back to Sri Lanka.
Deputy Minister Perera requested for the early finalization of the two agreements on the Mutual Legal Assistance, and Investment Promotion & Protection, the drafts of which have been forwarded to the Maldives in 2007. He also suggested the possibility of an agreement for avoidance on double taxation, and undertook to forward the draft text of the agreement to the Maldives.
During the discussions, the Deputy Minister Perera reiterated Sri Lanka’s request of to obtain a plot of land in the Maldives to build the Sri Lanka Chancery, and was assured that the Government of Maldives is looking into the matter. The Deputy Minister undertook to provide Sri Lanka’s assistance for the 17th SAARC summit to be held in the Maldives later this year.
It was noted that the Maldives have finalized the granting of scholarships to Sri Lankans for higher education and technical and vocation opportunities.
During a meeting with the Police Chief in the Maldives, the Deputy minister was informed that the Sri Lankan expatriates working in the Maldives are law abiding and do not cause problems in the Maldives.
Deputy Minister Perera during his visit in Maldives also called on the Vice President of the Maldives. Dr. Mohamed Waheed.