By Roy Silva
President Maithripala Sirisena, on a two day official visit to Singapore, held bilateral discussions with the Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong on January 25, and said that the Sri Lanka government will bring amendments to the Sri Lanka-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (SLSFTA).
According to the media release issued by the Presidential Media Division, President Maithripala Sirisena has said that while drafting SLSFTA, certain weaknesses were evident from the Sri Lankan side and it is expected to make certain amendments emphasizing the importance of working towards that in the future.
At the meeting the two leaders agreed to further strengthen trade, tourism, and industrial relations between the two countries.
The threat of drugs is a main challenge not only to Sri Lanka but also to the entire region and the Singapore Prime Minister, referring to the steps taken under the leadership of President Sirisena against drug trafficking in Sri Lanka, extended the fullest support of the Government of Singapore to the drug eradication programmes.
A number of Sri Lankans are engaged in different professions in various fields in Singapore and the President was thankful for the Prime Minister of Singapore for the support given by his Government for the Sri Lankans who are employed in that country and the welfare of the Sri Lankan students engaged in higher education.
The Minister of Environment of Estonia and the fourth chairman of United Nations Environmental Summit, Slim Kiisler also met President Sirisena and held discussions and appreciated the programme of the Sri Lankan government through the guidance of President Sirisena to ensure sustainable development of the country by preserving the environment.
President Sirisena has set a model to the world on environmental conservation and Minister Slim Kiisler was grateful for the suggestions made by the President Sirisena. Expressing his gratitude, Minister Kiisler said that the proposals would be of internationally significance.
The President appreciated the support given by the United Nations to Sri Lanka at the time of protecting environment and in the face of challenges that arise from climatic changes.
The President briefed the Minister on the strict rules and regulations of the Sri Lankan government to protect the environment and the program of the Sri Lankan government for the preservation of the environment and the assistance of the Armed Forces for the protection of the environment.
Attention was drawn to developing existing bilateral ties between Estonia and Sri Lanka in new field.