In response to the reports on social media regarding the invitation extended to the Foreign Minister of Myanmar to attend the 17th BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting, the Foreign Ministry said Sri Lanka as the Chair of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) has invited all Member States including Myanmar.
In a statement, the Ministry said Sri Lanka also as the host of the Ministerial Meeting had to invite all Member States to participate in the discussions in order to finalise documents of the 5th BIMSTEC Summit.
Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal and Thailand are among the Member States.
Meanwhile, MP Dr. Harsha de Silva in a Twitter message criticised the Government’s decision to invite the Foreign Minister of Myanmar.
“To recognise Myanmar Military coup by inviting their illegitimate foreign minister for the BIMSTEC summit later this month is a shame Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Minister Dinesh Gunawardena. It only goes to show that Sri Lanka is condoning the crushing of democracy in that country,” Dr. de Silva tweeted.
Myanmar's military recently seized power after detaining Aung San Suu Kyi and other democratically elected leaders. (Sheain Fernandopulle)