We seek friendship and reject domination by others: President

14 December 2019 08:35 pm - 10     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


While reiterating that Sri Lanka does not want to get involved in rivalries among world powers, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday said, “We seek friendship and reject domination by others.”

The President expressed these views during a meeting held with visiting Japanese Foreign Affairs Minister Motegi Toshimitsu who called on President Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday.

Minister Toshimitsu expressed Japan’s commitment to the concept of a free and open Indo – Pacific region and added defence, security and stability were the priority areas of regional cooperation.

In response, President Rajapaksa said, “The Indian Ocean must remain a zone of peace free of any conflict.”

The Japanese Minister, who was accompanied by an eight-member high-level delegation, congratulated President Rajapaksa on his election victory and called Sri Lanka “a special friend of Japan”.

Extending an invitation to the President to visit Japan, he said “we will be hosting an international conference titled ‘Friends of Asia’ which will be held in May next year. It would be an appropriate time for your visit to our country”. President Rajapaksa was in agreement, the President's Media said.

The visiting Foreign Minister expressed Japan’s hope that continuous progress in bilateral relations would be made under President Rajapaksa’s leadership.

“Japan wishes to set up a bilateral mechanism to oversee the successful implementation of mutually agreed development projects. It will help to introduce high-tech Japanese companies to Sri Lanka”, Minister Toshimitsu said.

President Rajapaksa said, “Ours is a small economy. But we have a skilled, educated and talented workforce. My intention is to build an employment-oriented, technology-driven economy. We seek Japan’s assistance to reach that goal.”

The President also said that he was open to foreign investments from all countries, especially the countries from the region such as China, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia and Singapore.

The Japanese Minister said that his country would stand for peace, stability and reconciliation among communities in Sri Lanka.

President Rajapaksa in response said the political process of reconciliation must move forward together with overall economic development, infrastructure upgrading and raising the living standards of people, especially in the North and East.

At the meeting, Sri Lanka and Japan reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthen bilateral cooperation in vital sectors of economic development and identify key areas of such cooperation.

Information and communication technology (ICT), harbour infrastructure including Eastern Container Terminal (ECT), expressways, agriculture, digitalisation of television transmission, disaster prevention and security cooperation are some of the areas identified.

Japanese Ambassador Sugiyama Akira, Japanese Minister’s Executive Assistant Matano Motosoada and Dr. P. B. Jayasundera, Secretary to the President were also present. (Lahiru Pothmulla)


  Comments - 10

  • Anmanpan Saturday, 14 December 2019 05:27 PM

    When one is poor and in debt, he or she will be dominated. This applies to nations too. Very simple, basic and unbiased logic. How come I did not take to politics? Simple, a dirty profession.

    Tamil Saturday, 14 December 2019 08:52 PM

    The Japanese Minister calling for a free and open Indo- Pacific region is laughable when his country has permanent American military bases since 1945. I wish some Sri Lankan Journalist had asked him this question.

    RAM Saturday, 14 December 2019 09:01 PM

    Tamils in Sri Lanka say the same thing to Sinhalese

    SL Sunday, 15 December 2019 09:31 AM

    you may explain what Tamils wants which Sinhalese get except your mythical homeland where mono ethnic Tamils wanna live in.IF NOT KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT

    herath dhammika Sunday, 15 December 2019 03:32 AM

    said the dictator!!

    Max Sunday, 15 December 2019 06:29 AM

    Yes you should maintain this stance and people of sri lanka will back you

    jay Sunday, 15 December 2019 08:49 AM

    Sri lankan do not dominate Tamil. Just South Indan Tamil have been dreaming to dominate Sri lankan. This is the reason for the war. Why Indian do not want to take their Tamil labours because they want to keep them and use them to dominate Sri lanka. This case already proven.

    Sokrates Sunday, 15 December 2019 10:55 AM

    Then end the contact with China. China is a nefarious and Orwellian dictatorship that keeps its opponents and an entire ethnic group in concentration camps. China is only a friend as long as a country could be sucked out financially. China's goal is to make countries economically dependent and to dominate them.

    parakum Sunday, 15 December 2019 05:22 PM

    Beggars cannot be Choosers. Thank to your Bro' we are a Debt laden Banana Republic full of Donkeys

    ganesh Monday, 16 December 2019 09:18 AM

    Hey Jay-if the Indians take back their labours from SL who will cultivate tea for you

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