Thailand supported Lanka in times of need - Minister Basil
Thailand supported Sri Lanka at international forums, especially at
the recently concluded UNCHR sessions. Longstanding historical relations
between the two countries strengthened as Thailand supported Sri Lanka
when the country faced critical issues in the international arena,
Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa said.
Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa with new
ambassador of Thailand to Sri Lanka Poldej Worachat
Minister Rajapaksa said so when the new ambassador of Thailand to Sri
Lanka Poldej Worachat paid a courtesy call on him at the ministry
Ambassador Worachat said relations between the two countries have not
been confined to economic and political issues.
"Throughout history, the two countries have maintained a close
cultural relationship because Theravada Buddhism has enlightened the
lives of the people of both countries. Buddhism is the main reason
behind the close cultural relations," he said.
Minister Rajapaksa said Sri Lanka has a rich agricultural history as
is evident by the tanks built by kings, but the occupancy by western
powers destroyed the rich heritage and Sri Lanka become a rice importing
country dependent on others for her food items.
"Sri Lanka has now become a rice exporting country. The country will
export its first shipment of maize production this month," the minister
When Sri Lanka initiated the maize development programme four years
ago, the biggest problem was to get the required seeds. However the Thai
government provided them, he said thanking the Thai government.
Minister Rajapaksa and the Thai ambassador discussed ways and means
of improving economic relations between the two countries. They agreed
to have close cooperation on road development, agriculture, tourism,
small industries and handicraft development, fishing and textile sector
The minister said Sri Lanka will give priority to highway development
while safeguarding the interests of the people.
The northern highway is under construction and will link Colombo,
Kurunegala, Kandy and Trincomalee. The government will not destroy the
country's hill area and will link Kandy through Kurunegala not affecting
the mountain or the environment, he said.