Hanoi–Colombo flights, youth exchange programme soon | Daily News


SL envoy calls on Hanoi People’s Committee chief:

Hanoi–Colombo flights, youth exchange programme soon

Mementos being exchanged between Sri Lankan Ambassador to Vietnam Prasanna Gamage and Chairman of the People’s Committee of Hanoi  Dr. Nguyen Duc Chung.
Mementos being exchanged between Sri Lankan Ambassador to Vietnam Prasanna Gamage and Chairman of the People’s Committee of Hanoi Dr. Nguyen Duc Chung.

Sri Lankan Ambassador to Vietnam Prasanna Gamage met with Chairman of the People’s Committee of Hanoi Dr. Nguyen Duc Chung at the Headquarters of the People’s Committee of Hanoi on October 31, a press release issued by the Sri Lankan Embassy in Hanoi said.

At the outset, assuring his fullest support and cooperation, the Chairman conveyed his best wishes to the Ambassador for a successful tenure in Hanoi. He recalled his successful visit to Sri Lanka in 2014, during which he was able to understand the huge potential in bilateral cooperation in the areas viz. agriculture, education, trade and investment, culture and tourism.

The Chairman stated that Buddhism could be used as the most effective avenue in furthering cultural relations and building people-to-people contacts between the two countries, given the strong Buddhist cultural heritage being shared. He stated that he was fortunate to visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic in Kandy in 2014 and for his experience of the rituals being performed there. Dr. Nguyen Duc also said that he visited the Colombo Public Library to pay respects to the statue of the late President Ho Chi Minh, established at the forefront of the Library.

The Chairman said Sri Lankan cultural troupes should visit Vietnam in 2020 during the celebration of 50 years of formal diplomatic relations between the two countries, for which he would extend his fullest support. Acknowledging the fact that there are no direct air linkages between the two countries, the Chairman expressed his confidence that VietJet Airlines of Vietnam would be able to commence flights between Hanoi and Colombo next year, which would greatly increase the movement of people between the two countries for tourism, trade and investment.

Ambassador Gamage thanked the Chairman for reemphasizing the importance of bilateral cooperation and said that the Sri Lankan government would extend its full cooperation through the Embassy in enhancing relations. The Ambassador said Sri Lanka has a lot to learn from Vietnam on the best practices being adopted in high-tech agriculture, aquaculture and fisheries sectors.

He revisited the important decisions made at the recently concluded bilateral meeting on Sub-Committee on Trade and said those decisions, including the Work Plan on Agriculture Cooperation for 2020 – 22, should be fully implemented. The Ambassador assured the Chairman that Sri Lanka would make arrangements for cultural performances and culinary events etc to be organised during celebrations of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations in 2020.

The Ambassador proposed that the two countries should initiate a youth exchange programme, since the youth are the ones who can continue people-to-people contacts and further the connectivity in future generations. Dr. Chung appreciated and welcomed the proposal and stated that the programme should commence in 2020, with a youth delegation from Ho Chi Minh Youth Union of Vietnam to Sri Lanka.

Third Secretary/Commercial of the Embassy Prasadi Boomawalage assisted Ambassador Gamage during the meeting and Dr. Chung was assisted by Director General of the Foreign Affairs Department of the Hanoi’s People’s Committee Nguyen Anh Dung and Chief of Staff of the Chairman, Vu Dang Dinh.

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