Sri Lanka pledges closer ties with Uganda
He made the pledge at a reception hosted by Velupillai Kananathan, the first high commissioner-designate of Sri Lanka to Uganda in Kampala on Monday.
The minister hailed his country’s establishment of a High Commission in Uganda, describing it as a symbol of growing relations between the two countries.
President Yoweri Museveni opened the new High Commission of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka in Uganda at the Imperial Royal Hotel in Kampala on the same day.
Peiris noted that Sri Lanka and Uganda were faced with similar challenges especially in the oil and gas sector, presenting the opportunity for collaboration.
He said highly skilled entrepreneurs in his country were keen to invest in Uganda, and observed that Uganda had a lot to learn from his country, whose population had a 97% literacy rate.
He said the visit by his country’s President, Mahinda Rajapaska, was part of ‘a cluster of initiatives he has embarked on to give to a new and imaginative orientation to Sri Lanka’s foreign policy.’
”Our country suffered three decades of terror. But President Rajapaska has changed that and we are keen to work with ether to achieve our objectives,” he noted.
He said his country, which previously had only four missions in Africa, was looking toward the continent for partnerships because of its economic advantages.
Among several dignitaries in attendance were ministers Ruhakana Rugunda (ICT), Irene Muloni (energy), Jachan Omach, Henry Banyenzaki (economic planning) and Chinese Ambassador, Zhao Yali.
Foreign affairs state minister, Okello Oryem said: ‘Uganda’s relations with Sri Lanka and the visit by the President, marks a high standard in our relationship, which is cordial and warm.’