GL emphasized passage for SL fishermen through Maldivian waters
The right of passage for Sri Lankan fishermen through Maldivian waters as a means of access to the high seas was among the matters taken up by Professor G.L. Peiris, Minister of External Affairs, at the Joint Commission with the Maldives at the Ministry of External Affairs on Wednesday (10).Practical strategies by the two countries to derive the maximum benefit for their people from the evolving concept of the blue ocean, with proper management of the exploitation of marine resources, formed a central theme of the discussions. South – South co-operation, especially in respect of value addition, through canning, filleting and other forms of processing of fisheries products, so as to ensure optimal benefits from exports, received emphasis. Matters connected with shipping, disaster management and research in diverse fields of oceanography, received the attention of the two delegations.Progress among Sri Lanka, India and the Maldives in a tripartite partnership at National Security Adviser Level in respect of ocean security was surveyed. Prof. Peiris briefed his Maldivian counterpart with regard to Sri Lanka’s contribution to initiatives the discussion at the Indian Ocean Rim Association currently chaired by Australia.
Prof. Peiris expressed Sri Lanka’s appreciation of the observation by the President Abdulla Yameen of the Maldives, in his capacity as current Chair of SAARC, at the inauguration of the last SAARC Summit, that all the countries of SAARC should raise their collective voice against any unfair treatment meted out to any of the member countries from an outside quarter.Economic co-operation, tourism, youth and skills development, employment, collaboration in the fields of health and higher education, as well as consular and community issues were discussed.The delegation expressed complete satisfaction with the quality of the relationship at the political level, and made plans for enhancing economic co-operation in the future.