India’s EAM Krishna visited Sri Lanka; Pakistan’s President Zardari visited Sri Lanka; A MoU between Central Bank of Sri Lanka and Bangladesh signed; Japan provide assistance to Sri Lanka for the reconstruction of five bridges in the Eastern Province;
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  • India’s External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna reached Sri Lanka on November 25 on a three day visit. During his visit, he chaired and addressed the Seventh Session of the India – Sri Lanka Joint Commission with External Affairs Minister of Sri Lanka G.L. Peiris; inaugurated the Consulate General Offices of India in Jaffna and in Hambantota and also inaugurated the works for the reconstruction of Northern Railway Lines in Sri Lanka.1

    Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari visited Sri Lanka along with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Minister of Finance/ Sindh Provicne Sayed Murad Ali Shah, High Commissioner of Pakistan to Sri Lanka Ms. Seema Baloch, Military Secretary to the President Brig. Syed Muhammad Adnan and other Pakistan government officials. During the visit, Sri Lanka and Pakistan signed four agreements which included visa abolition agreement for holders of diplomatic and official passports; Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on agricultural cooperation; agreement on cooperation and mutual administrative assistance in customs matters; and agreement on cooperation in the field of arts and creative studies between National College of Arts (NCA) of Pakistan and University of Visual and Performing Arts of Sri Lanka.2

    In another development, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed between the Financial Intelligence Unit of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and Anti – Money Laundering Department of Central Bank of Bangladesh to share financial information to facilitate investigation and prosecution of persons suspected of money laundering and terrorist financing.3 Meanwhile, a 1.2 billion Japanese Yen (approximately LKR 1.6 billion) grant agreement to reconstruct five bridges in the Eastern Province was signed between Japan and Sri Lanka on November 25.4

    Dr. Manmohan Singh has felicitated President Mahinda Rajapaksa on his assumption of office for a second term.5 Mobile consular services have been initiated to provide assistance to Lankan refugees in Tamil Nadu by the Deputy High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in Chennai.6 A Belgian trade and investment delegation visited Sri Lanka from November 22 to 26 November.7 In other developments, Government of Sri Lanka has financed a sum of US$ 40,000 to the Ministry of Education and Higher Education of Palestine National Authority to strengthen the Primary Education.8

    In other developments, the Zone-2 welfare centre of the Menik Farm relief village in Vavuniya has been closed on November 22 as all the 855 IDPs sheltered there have been resettled. Now, there are only four zones remaining in Menik Farm sheltering IDPs.9