President Maithripala Sirisena returns to the island today following the conclusion on his official Bangladesh tour which brought in many benefits to the country. President Maithripala Sirisena left for Bangladesh on a three day official tour on an invitation from the Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The Sri Lankan President was warmly welcomed at the Dhaka International Airport by Bangladesh President Mohamed Abdul Hamid. President Maithripala Sirisena paid floral tributes to the Bangladeshi National Heroes Monument. It has been built to commemorate heroes of the 1971 Bangladeshi Freedom Fight. President Maithripala Sirisena also visited Bangabndu National Museum in Bangladesh. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina accorded a very warm welcome to President Maithripala Sirisena. Bilateral talks between the two leaders commenced after the cordial meeting between them. During their talks they drew attention to establishing a special economic zone and entering into a trade agreement. These also included the exchange of experiences in the fields of agriculture and fisheries. Discussions focused on both countries working in collaboration in the field of Information Technology and cracking down on terrorism. The two leaders focused attention on securing technical knowhow from Bangladesh to increase paddy production in Sri Lanka. The Bangladeshi Prime Minister commended the freedom and democracy consolidated within Sri Lanka under the leadership of Maithripala Sirisena. Sheikh Hasina underscored that Bangladesh is ready to frequently work in cooperation with Sri Lanka in the fields of trade and economy and also regional wise. She pointed out the capability of the two countries working together in finding solutions to the issues of drug trafficking and illegal migration, the two countries have to face. President Maithripala Sirisena called on the Bangladeshi leader to direct investors from her country to Sri Lanka. The President emphasized that he is prepared to extend them all facilities needed. The President invited the Bangladeshi Prime Minister to join in a tour of Sri Lanka. Accepting this invitation, she expressed optimism that their meet would pave the way to successfully carry forward the new relations established. Several new agreements were signed between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh after the bilateral discussions.
The first agreement to be signed in the presence of the two leaders was related to standardization. It was inked by Minister Ravi Karunanayake and the Industries Minister of Bangladesh. The agreement to enhance economic cooperation between the two countries was signed by Minister Ravi Karunanayake and the Commerce Minister of Bangladesh. An agreement on agricultural cooperation was also signed. State Minister Wasantha Aluvihare and the Agriculture Minister of that country inked it. Deputy Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna and the Information Technology Minister of Bangladesh signed the agreement on Information Technology. They also inked the agreement on Radio and Television Development. The Agreement on cooperation in the Shipping sector was signed by Deputy Minister Nishantha Muthuhettigama and the Shipping Minister of Bangladesh. Two agreements related to training foreign services officials and the establishment of Foreign Services Training Unit was also signed on the occasion. These were inked by the two Foreign Ministers. The Agreement to free diplomatic and official passports from visas was signed by Minister Ravi Karunanayake and the Bangladeshi Home Affairs Minister. Bangladesh President Mohamed Abdul Hamid said that he appreciated the services rendered by President Sirisena, who has also come from the village like him, to the Sri Lankan people. A special cultural pageant and a dinner was hosted to President Sirisena by Bangladeshi President and the Prime Minister. The meeting between Bangladeshi Speaker Shirine Charmin Chawudur and President Sirisena took place in Dhaka. President Maithripala Sirisena also met Bangladeshi Opposition Leader Rowsa Ashad. Health and Family Welfare Minister of Bangladesh Mohamed Nazim held talks with President Sirisena about the matters related to his field. President Maithripala Sirisena had a meeting with frontline Bangladesh Businessmen in Dhaka. They held lengthy discussions on broadening business and investment opportunities.