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Lanka can help in fighting pirates: Neomal

16 January 2014 05:33 am - 4     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Sri Lanka’s experience in eradicating the threat of the Sea Tigers could be of great use in fighting piracy in the Indian Ocean and providing security cover to vessels of the Gulf countries, Deputy Minister of External Affairs Neomal Perera has told the Oman Tribune.

Minister Perera is in Muscat on an official visit from January 14 to 16.

He said that since the decades-long civil war in Sri Lanka had become a thing of the past, his government wanted to build strong ties with neighbouring countries and the GCC nations, which have a sizeable number of Lankan expatriates.

Perera, who held talks with the secretary-General and under secretary of foreign affairs, said that trade between both nations was one of the main points that were discussed. He stressed that Sri Lanka, which would sign an FTA agreement with China soon, had become a gateway to Southeast Asia for the Arab world.

“It is a very good opportunity for any country to use Sri Lanka as a stepping stone to export their commodities, invest or even re-export their goods to the region,” he explained.

Perera said his visit was also aimed at exploring the possibilities of maritime cooperation between the two nations, as Sri Lanka was the only country in the region with a port that could accommodate large vessels up to 16-metre draft.

“Today, Colombo is one of the few ports in the sea route to Southeast Asia that can berth large mother ships. So our nation can be a hub for Gulf countries like Oman to re-export to the region. They can send in their goods to Colombo and we can provide feeder vessel services to other countries in the region,” he said.
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  • Mathew Fernando Friday, 17 January 2014 08:37 AM

    2013: No pirate attacks records.
    2014: Sri Lankan minister wants to help stop pirate attacks!

    Does that not say something about the governance of the country? Do these chaps even have the IQ of a bacteria??

    Helping Hand Thursday, 16 January 2014 06:45 AM

    Sri Lanka offers help for other countries, but not for it's own suffering people who need urgent help in Sri Lanka.

    Lanka Shantha Thursday, 16 January 2014 06:53 AM

    Wake up Minister!
    No pirates in the sea.
    There were no ship hijacking in the year 2013. All controlled by the US Navy and its allies.

    Goofy Thursday, 16 January 2014 07:08 AM

    It is better to start by eradicating the lawless on the land in Sri Lanka and then think of the open seas. Big thinking, small work.


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