President Maithripala Sirisena said his state visit to the Seychelles helped Sri Lanka and the Seychelles to take several fruitful decisions towards further strengthening mutual relations in the education, health, agriculture, fisheries, technology, tourism and defence sectors. He was speaking to the Sri Lankan community resident in the Seychelles at a ceremony held at the Seychelles International Conference Centre on Tuesday.
The President who expressed his deep appreciation of the opportunity given to meet and address Sri Lankans in the Seychelles at their invitation, said bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and the Seychelles dated back to 30 years. He said he visited the Seychelles at the invitation of Seychelles President Danny Faure.
President Sirisena said he considered Sri Lakans in the Seychelles who are engaged in law, education, health, commercial and other sectors as a very fortunate people. Wherever they are, Sri Lankans were known to give of their best in respect of knowledge, wisdom and experience to their host country. This was a matter of great pride to Sri Lanka. President Sirisena said agreement was reached to grant vocational education scholarships to 10 Seychelles students annually for training in Sri Lanka. They would receive training at the renowned Sri Lanka – German Technical Training Institute.
Almost 90 percent of students who obtained the four-year training at this institute obtained jobs in foreign countries.President Sirisena said during the previous day’s talks, the Seychelles requested a coastal patrol boat from Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka Navy Engineering division was well equipped to produce high-quality patrol boats. Their capability was amply demonstrated during the war.
The Seychelles had also asked for expertise to develop its tourism, education and health sectors. A branch of Lanka Hospitals was opened in the Seychelles the day before, he said.The President said he would direct the Foreign Affairs Ministry to take follow-up action on the agreements reached during his visit.