Sri Lanka-Vietnam ties based on shared values - PM
‘Today a long-standing desire of the peoples of our two countries has
been fulfilled with the opening of this Mission. The establishment of an
Embassy in Colombo by the Vietnam government symbolizes the ever
expanding ties between our two nations and the giant strides that have
been made in recent years to consolidate our bilateral relations,’
states Prime Minister DM Jayaratne at the opening ceremony of the
Vietnamese Embassy in Colombo on Saturday.
The PM said, first and foremost let me take this opportunity to
congratulate Your Excellency on your election as the President and head
of State of Vietnam at the recent National Assembly Session.
‘Relations between Sri Lanka and Vietnam are based on the firm
foundation of shared values and historical experiences. Both Sri Lanka
and Vietnam have undergone common experiences such as a colonial past
and a prolonged conflict.
Sri Lanka was one of the very first nations to recognize the
Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam
and later, following reunification, Sri Lanka was one of the first
countries to establish diplomatic relations with the Socialist Republic
of Vietnam in the seventies. The people of Sri Lanka were firmly behind
and supportive of the national liberation struggle of the people of
Vietnam. We celebrated with you on the 30th of April 1975 on hearing of
the liberation of whole of Vietnam,’ Prime Minister Jayaratne said.
‘These bonds that have stood the test of time have been further
strengthened with the establishment of the Sri Lanka Embassy headed by a
resident Ambassador in Hanoi from 2003,’ the PM said.
‘During Sri Lanka’s long years of struggle against terrorism, Vietnam
was a true friend extending cooperation both at the bilateral and
multilateral levels. We extend our sincere appreciation to the
Government of Vietnam in this regard, especially for the support
extended to us in multilateral fora. We remember the extensive support
from Vietnam at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva when attempts were
made to discredit our country,’ he said.
‘I wish to recall here the historic visit made by President Mahinda
Rajapaksa to Vietnam in October 2009, the first such visit by a Sri
Lankan Head of State to your beautiful country. During that visit
several significant bilateral agreements were signed enhancing
cooperation in the public security, trade and investments, aquaculture,
agriculture, sports and cultural sectors. It was also during this visit
that the Vietnam side pledged to reopen its Embassy in Colombo which had
been closed in the early 1990’s. We are delighted to note here that not
only have the Vietnam government fulfilled its promise but also done so
while according to us the highest possible honour by opening this
mission during the state visit of His Excellency Truong Tan Sang,’ he
‘The opening of the Vietnam Embassy in Colombo will further allow
people to people contact between our countries. We note here the
tremendous potential to expand bilateral tourism as both our countries
emerge as attractive global destinations. Greater air links envisioned
through the bilateral air services agreement will further contribute to
this endeavour. Therefore I hope that a speedy conclusion of an air
services agreement would further enhance connectivity between our cities
and contribute greatly to the people to people contacts. At the meantime
we note here with great pleasure that a number of bilateral agreements
have been signed during Your Excellency’s State visit encompassing a
wide array of sectors.
‘The political, economic, social, defence and cultural relations
between our two countries have been expanding at a most favourable pace
in recent years. The State visit by H.E. Truong Tan Sang to Sri Lanka
and the opening of the Vietnam Embassy in Colombo will no doubt further
strengthen these excellent relations. I wish Your Excellency and your
able representatives in Colombo all the very best, the PM said.