President Mahinda Rajapaksa agreed to assist school and higher education sectors in Maldives in every possible way. President pledged this in response to a request made by Vice President of Maldives Dr. Mohamed Jameel Ahmed when he called on President Rajapaksa at the Kurumba Island Resort today (26).
Sri Lanka is willing to assist Maldives in the areas such as awarding full and half scholarships to Maldivian students, establishing higher education institutions and promotion and teacher training, President Rajapaksa said. Maldivian Vice President said his country highly appreciates the educational assistance currently received by the students as well as supports in the future.
During the discussion between the Sri Lankan President and the Maldivian Vice President attention was drawn to welfare of Sri Lankan migrant workers in Maldives and Maldivian people living in Sri Lanka. There are around 9,000 Sri Lankan workers who are employed in Maldives especially in holiday resorts. Foreign remittances earned by them during the past year were approximately USD 17 million. Maldives Vice President said his government has already taken action to address their pension issue. Common problems faced in the fisheries sector by both the countries were also discussed and it was agreed that those problems can be solved by the Joint Commission.
President Rajapaksa also accepted a request made by the Vice President for the assistance in supplying skilled workers in the health sector and enhancing facilities.
Minister of External Affairs Prof. G.L. Peiris, Minister of Higher Education Mr. S.B. Dissanayake, Monitoring MP of the Ministry of External Affairs Mr. Sajin de Vass Gunawardena, Secretary to the President Mr. Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to the Ministry of External Affairs Mrs. Kshenuka Senewiratne and Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in Maldives Mr. Dixon Dela Bandara were also present at the discussion.