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Sri Lanka Parliament Speaker concludes a successful visit to Oman

 A multi-party Parliamentary delegation led by Hon. Karu Jayasuriya, Speaker of the Parliament of Sri Lanka undertook an official visit to the Sultanate of Oman from 11th to 16th March 2018 on the invitation extended by His Excellency Dr. Yahiya Bin Mahfood Al-Manthri, Chairman of the State Council of Oman (Upper House of Parliament of Oman). The visit was a significant milestone in Sri Lanka-Oman bilateral relations as it was the highest level political visit to the Sultanate from Sri Lanka after the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 1981.

The exchange of Parliamentary delegations between the two countries was initiated following the establishment of the Sri Lanka-Oman Parliamentary Friendship Association by the Parliament of Sri Lanka in August 2016 and the Shura Council (lower house of Parliament of Oman) in November 2017. H.E. the Chairman of the State Council of Oman visited Sri Lanka along with a delegation in December 2017, paving the way for closer relations between the national legislatures of the two countries.

His Highness Sayyid Shihab bin Tariq Al Said, Advisor to His Majesty the Sultan received the Hon. Speaker and the delegation on behalf of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos and conveyed the greetings of His Majesty to the Sri Lankan delegation. The delegation also met with His Excellency Dr. Yahya Mahfoodh Al Manthri, Chairman of the State Council, His Excellency Khalid bin Hilal Al Mawaly, Chairman of the Shura Council, His Excellency Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs and His Excellency Mohamed bin Al Zubair bin Ali, Advisor to His Majesty for Economic Planning.

During the meetings, the bilateral relations between the two countries were reviewed. The two sides expressed their satisfaction over the cordial relations between Sri Lanka and Oman and stressed the need for enhancing the existing relations into new areas of cooperation. Hon. Speaker also highlighted the importance of early finalization of the pending agreements, particularly the agreements on Avoidance of Double Taxation and Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investments, which would be instrumental in enhancing economic cooperation between the two countries.

The Omani dignitaries highly commended the skilled Sri Lankan workforce employed in various sectors in Oman for their contribution towards the development of the country. They acknowledged the importance of enhancing and expanding Oman-Sri Lanka partnership in diverse spheres, including at the legislative level, and assured the support of the Government of Oman towards this end. During the interactions, Hon Speaker also briefed the Omani dignitaries on the measures taken by the Government of Sri Lanka to curb the recent unfortunate incidents in the Kandy district.

Productive meetings were held with His Excellency Dr. Salim Nasser Al Ismaili, Chairman of the General Authority for Investment Promotion & Export Development and His Excellency Qais Mohamed Al Yousif, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry during which the Sri Lankan delegation discussed cooperation with the Government of Oman in the fields of agriculture and fisheries particularly through private sector involvement. Hon. Speaker and the delegation noted that the visit has opened up new vistas of cooperation in the bilateral relations and emphasized on the value of strengthening economic cooperation between the two countries. The Parliamentary delegation also expressed its interest in exploring the possibility of purchasing urea from Oman having learned that the country has emerged as the biggest supplier of urea to South Asia in the recent past.

The Sri Lankan delegation was accorded a warm reception by the State Council of Oman and was received and seen off by His Excellency Dr. Yahya Mahfoodh Al Manthri, Chairman of the State Council and a high level delegation from the State Council. They were also hosted to an Official Dinner by His Excellency the Chairman of the State Council on 12th March 2018, while their programme also included visits to Wilayat Nizwa, Al Jabal Al Akhdhar, the Sultan’s Armed Forces Museum and the National Museum.

On 16th March 2018, the Embassy, in collaboration with the Sri Lankan School Muscat (SLSM) organised a community reception to welcome the Hon Speaker and the delegation. SLSM was established in 1989 as a community school to facilitate the education of children of Sri Lankan families resident in the Sultanate. Hon Speaker and the delegation expressed their great satisfaction over the achievements of the students of SLSM.

During the visit, Hon Speaker and the Delegation also visited the Embassy premises and interacted with the Embassy staff and the female migrant workers at the safe house. The delegation discussed the ways and means of assisting the stranded Sri Lankan female migrant workers, particularly those who are sent to Oman via UAE, without been registered with the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE).

The Parliamentary delegation accompanying the Hon. Speaker consisted of Hon. A.H.M. Fowzie, State Minister of National Integration and Reconciliation, Hon. Faizal Cassim, Deputy Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine, and Members of the Parliament Hon. Nihal Galappaththi, Hon. Seeniththamby Yoheswaran, Hon. M.H.M. Mohamed Navavi, Hon. Sanath Nishantha Perera, Hon. Imran Maharoof and Mr. Dhammika Dasanayake, Secretary General of Parliament. Hon Speaker and the delegation was joined by Ambassador M.K. Pathmanaathan in all the events.

   

Embassy of Sri Lanka

Sultanate of Oman

23.03.2018

 

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