President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh held bilateral discussions yesterday on the sidelines of the BIMSTEC Summit in Myanmar.
During the friendly and cordial meeting that took place at the Myanmar International Convention Center in Nay Pyi Taw, the two leaders discussed a number of areas that were of mutual importance to both countries. President Rajapaksa briefed Prime Minister Singh on the progress of the National Plan of Action (NPoA) for the implementation of the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).
The Indian Prime Minister asked about the interaction between the Government and the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) to which President Rajapaksa stated that the Government extends its cooperation to the NPC.
The two heads of state also discussed matters pertaining to the fishermen of both countries. In response to remarks by the Indian delegation, President Rajapaksa stated that it is a problem of considerable magnitude where almost 1,500 Indian fishing boats sail into Sri Lankan waters on a daily basis. He further told the Prime Minister that the use of bottom trawlers lead to a depletion of fishing resources, which ultimately adversely affects the northern fishermen.
The discussions also touched on other areas of mutual interest as well, including further strengthening ties between the two nations.
India’s Minister of External Affairs Mr. Salman Khurshid accompanied the Prime Minister at the bilateral discussion.
Secretary to the President Mr. Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to the Ministry of External Affairs Mrs. Kshenuka Seneviratne and Sri Lanka's Ambassador to Myanmar Mr. H.R. Piyasiri were also present at the bilateral discussions.