B. Muralidhar Reddy

Colombo: President of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed, on a two-day official visit to Sri Lanka, met with President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the President’s House in Anuradhapura and discussed a wide range of issues of both bilateral and regional interest.

The Foreign Ministry said Mr. Nasheed congratulated Mr. Rajapaksa on his leadership to eliminate the LTTE terrorism.

“The end of terrorism and the dawn of peace have brought new challenges of re-building infrastructure in the liberated areas. It is the priority of the government of Sri Lanka to create an atmosphere conducive for all the people,” President Rajapaksa told his guest. The Ministry said the two leaders agreed to set up a joint mechanism to crack down on LTTE executing their illegal activities, including money laundering and drug trafficking.

President Rajapaksa agreed to put in place a framework to make Sri Lankan Rupees readily available in the Maldivian market.

Meanwhile, the Defence Ministry said Israel has dispatched a shipment of humanitarian aid for the use of the war displaced sheltered in welfare centres in the North and a shipment of medical equipment and drugs has been delivered. The Ministry further said fishing restrictions that had been in force in the Jaffna lagoon were removed with immediate effect. It quoted Basil Rajapaksa, Senior Presidential Advisor, as giving the news to fishermen in Gurunagar, Jaffna on Friday afternoon.

In another development, the Presidential Secretariat said the Sri Lankan insurance market had received a boost with the Joint Cargo Committee (JCC) London lowering the risk rating from 3.4 to 3.0, following a reassessment of the war risk level currently pertaining in Sri Lanka.

The removal of war risk rating by the JCC follows negotiations initiated by the Insurance Board of Sri Lanka.