Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has praised Sri Lanka for the support rendered in one of the major Australian national issues of human smuggling, which has drastically reduced illegal boat arrivals from Sri Lanka.
Abbott made this comment when Sri Lankan High Commissioner Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe paid a courtesy call on the Prime Minister to formally hand over the invitation for CHOGM from President Mahinda Rajapaksa to the Prime Minister of Australia, the High Commission said in a statement.
“Mr. Abbott recalled on this occasion with gratitude the Sri Lanka’s President’s noble and friendly gesture of telephoning him within two days of his election victory,” it said.
The Prime Minister also recalled the savage and brutal terrorism that Sri Lanka had to confront even to the extent of losing the country’s President and key leaders and emphasised the value of eradicating the most ruthless terrorist organisation out of Sri Lanka and ushering peace to the country and its people.
Whilst appreciating the progress made within a short period of time, Australian Prime Minister said that he was very happy and enthusiastic to visit Sri Lanka for the CHOGM to see for himself the achievements and to interact and engage with Sri Lanka’s leadership and the other participating Commonwealth Leaders.
He took the opportunity to thank the Government of Sri Lanka for the support rendered in one of the major Australian national issues of human smuggling and that the government of Australia was grateful for the genuine and willing assistance which has drastically reduced illegal boat arrivals from Sri Lanka.
The High Commissioner in response conveyed Sri Lanka’s President greetings and Sri Lanka’s desire to welcome the Prime Minister and his delegation to Sri Lanka and thanked with gratitude the support rendered by Australia at various international fora, specifically the period leading to the CHOGM.
The High Commissioner explained Sri Lanka’s progress made in successful Northern elections and achievements in the fields of security, economic development, poverty alleviation, health, education, infrastructure, connectivity, rehabilitation, reconciliation and accountability under difficult conditions which the Prime Minister termed as fundamental requirements of progress. High Commissioner also expressed that Sri Lanka would continue to cooperate with Australia in the field of human smuggling.
The High Commissioner also had the opportunity of calling on Julie Bishop, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Australia on 11th October and discussed CHOGM, human smuggling and other bilateral issues in a very friendly and cordial atmosphere. Julie Bishop also indicated that she was eagerly looking forward to her forthcoming visit to Sri Lanka for the CHOGM and also possible visit to the North and the East to observe to herself once again the post conflict achievements of Sri Lanka.