Enhancing defence and security relations between Sri Lanka and Thailand was emphasised when Prime Minister of Thailand Yingluck Shinawatra called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo this morning.
"Sharing our experience and expertise in these fields will no doubt contribute to eradicate terrorism and other security threats in the region," President Rajapaksa said emphasising the close co-operation between the two countries in security related information and intelligence sharing.
As maritime nations, we should work towards strengthening our maritime security capabilities, President Rajapaksa said while Prime Minister Shinawatra agreed by saying maritime cooperation between nations is necessary to maintain the peace and security in the region.
Thailand will have better connectivity with Myanmar leading to a corridor for better association for ASEAN and India which can benefit Sri Lanka too, the Prime Minister added.
President said Sri Lanka much appreciate the Thailand government's firm support for us, at both the 19th and 22nd Sessions of the UN Human Rights Council.
In the context of the complex issues Sri Lanka had to deal with, we should be entitled to have time and space to proceed with a dedicated process of national reconciliation. We also seek the assistance and understanding of Thailand in mitigating undue pressure directed at Sri Lanka in both international and regional fora, the President added.
President Rajapaksa pledged Sri Lanka's assistance for Thailand's candidacy to the Human Rights Council in the period, 2015 – 2017.
Sri Lanka is now emerging as a competitive and vibrant destination for trade and investment. There are many opportunities in the area since May 2009. It is the right time to consider joint investments between our investors and invite the Thai government to invest in our government debentures, President further said.
Thai Prime Minister said her government will encourage Thai investors to make use of the opportunities that Sri Lanka has to offer.
We also should work closely in promoting more business opportunities in the small and medium industrial sector.
"We share same cultural and religious values and also the commitment to peace and democracy," Prime Minister Shinawatra said.
Sri Lanka had made great strides under your able leadership, she told President.
Thailand will always extend support to maintain peace and stability in Sri Lanka, the Prime Minister added.
The Thai Prime Minister offered 260 scholarships to Sri Lanka to mark the 260th anniversary of the establishment of Siyam Nikaya in the areas of development close to the people.
Following bilateral discussions, Sri Lanka and Thailand signed four Memorandum of Understandings on visa exemption for diplomats and official passport holders, tourism cooperation, scientific and technological cooperation and commerce and banking cooperation.