The Minister of Foreign Affairs H. E. Ms. Dunya Maumoon has said that the Maldives will always remain a reliable friend and a partner of Sri Lanka. Speaking at the function to mark the 67th Anniversary of Sri Lanka’s Independence, Minister Dunya impressed on the important historical facts that signified the longstanding and enduring ties of friendship between the two countries. ‘As the Maldives marks the Golden Jubilee of Independence this year, it is important to remember that most of the crucial negotiations in the run-up to the Independence Agreement were held in Colombo’ Minister said. The first diplomatic mission that the Maldives established overseas was in Colombo.
In her address, the Minister praised the democratic achievements of Sri Lanka, and noted the maturity that Sri Lanka displayed during the recent presidential elections. The Minister also highlighted her visit to Sri Lanka to congratulate President Maithripala Sirisena on his election to office.
Minister Dunya also recalled the important role played by Sri Lankan teachers in the foundation of English medium education in the Maldives and highlighted the active cooperation with Sri Lanka in the areas of higher education, youth and sports and health sectors. While speaking at the function, she also noted the high flow of tourists from Maldives to Sri Lanka. ‘The Maldives is one of the largest source markets for Sri Lankan tourism; in 2014, more than eighty-six thousand Maldivian tourists visited Sri Lanka’ said the Minister.