Sri Lanka has sought the support of Seychelles in its application to become an observer member of the Indian Ocean Commission, the outgoing High Commissioner said on Monday.
The Sri Lankan High Commissioner, Tikiri Herath Gunathilake, told SNA that he has made a request to the government of Seychelles and awaits confirmation.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed it has received the request which is being processed. Seychelles currently holds the presidency of the Indian Ocean Commission.
The Indian Ocean Commission is an intergovernmental organisation set up in 1982 and comprises of Seychelles, Madagascar, Comoros, Mauritius, and Reunion, a French Overseas Department.
The outgoing High Commissioner said although he is leaving he is happy and proud to have spent four and half year in Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean.
"One important thing for me since I have been here is that I have a wonderful hobby and that is taking photographs. I have now 250 more photographs because every day I took pictures. I am leaving for Sri Lanka and my first idea is to exhibit these photographs of Seychelles."
Gunathilake said during his tenure he made several major accomplishments in the areas of healthcare, medical tourism, maritime security, the Blue Economy, and especially education.
"One of my remarkable and valuable achievements is getting a plot of land of 3,000 square metres land capacity from the Seychelles government to set up the Sri Lanka High Commission building complex. This is opposite the Supreme Court," he said.
The highlights of Gunathilake's tenure was the three-day visit of Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena in October 2018 which came after the state visit of President Danny Faure to Sri Lanka in 2017.
Last year Sri Lanka gifted Seychelles two NOS wave rider inshore patrol units to assist the Seychelles Coast Guard with maritime security matters.
Some of the initiatives taken are ongoing and this includes establishing a Sri Lanka-Seychelles joint commission. This week representatives of Future Holdings will be coming to Seychelles. Future Holdings is a tourism investment consultant and business matchmaking company who offers a comprehensive one-stop solution for tourism Investments in Sri Lanka.
Gunathilake told SNA that said he is happy to have achieved everything he had planned during his tenure.
Last week he paid a farewell visit to Vice President Vincent Meriton, who is in charge of the Foreign Affairs portfolio.
Meriton expressed his deepest appreciation and gratitude for the persistent support and assistance readily provided by Sri Lanka.
"We wish you great success in your next journey and we hope to welcome you back to our shores in the near future," said Meriton.
High Commissioner Gunathilake was accredited on October 6, 2015.