Speaker thanks Japan for Rs 1,360 million grant | Sunday Observer

Speaker thanks Japan for Rs 1,360 million grant

2 May, 2021

Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardane extended his gratitude to the Government of Japan for providing Rs 1,360 million grant for the provisioning of medical equipment such as MRI Scanner, CT scanner, bed side X-Ray Systems and Central Monitors to strengthen the Covid -19 preventing activities in Sri Lanka.

Delivering the welcome speech at the revival meeting of the Sri Lanka-Japan Parliamentary Friendship Association for the ninth Parliament held at the Parliament complex recently he also thanked the Government of Japan for providing US $ 3 million through UNICEF to support the cold chain system in Sri Lanka to strengthen delivery of Immunisation services in response to the Covid -19 pandemic.

The meeting was held under the patronage of Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana, Ambassador of Japan Akira Sugiyama and Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Dasanayake and was attended by Ministers, State Ministers and Members of Parliament.

The Speaker said that “the bilateral relations between the two countries in the early days have mainly been in the religious and cultural spheres. These traditional bonds were developed into more valued political and economic ties in the latter half of the last century.”

He said, “Sri Lanka was one of the nine Asian countries that participated in the San Francisco Peace Conference in Japan which was held in September 1951. Then Finance Minister, J.R Jayawardene’s speech on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka at the conference urged the participating countries to accept Japan into the committee of nations without any reparation in the spirit of the Buddha’s teachings, continues to be deeply appreciated by Japan.”

“As we all are well aware that, Sri Lanka and Japan established Diplomatic Relations shortly after the signing of the Peace Treaty in April 1952. A Japanese Mission was set up in Colombo in February 1952 and in May 1953 Sri Lanka established a Legation in Tokyo. This month (April, 2021) marks the 69th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries,” the Speaker said.

Minister Abeywardana said, “Since 1993, delegations from both the Parliamentary Friendship Associations paid reciprocal visits. Apart from the visits of the Members of the Parliamentary Friendship Associations there were many high-profile bilateral visits that were undertaken by the Leaders of both the countries and Japanese Prime Minister’s Shinzo Abe’s visit in September 2014 to Sri Lanka is a significant milestone in this context.”

“Ambassador and dear Members, I strongly believe that we, the Parliamentarians, representatives of the people have the ability to promote our interests through the interaction of the Parliamentary Friendship Groups.

“I hope this meeting will also contribute to further strengthen the relations between the two countries and the Legislature,” the Speaker said.

At this meeting, Minister of Plantation Dr. Ramesh Pathirana was elected as the new President of the Sri Lanka-Japan Parliamentary Friendship Association. Member of Parliament Anura Priyadharshana Yapa was elected as the new Secretary and MPs Selvarajah Gajendren, J. C. Alawathuwala and Premnath C. Dolawatte, were elected as the Vice Presidents.

In addition, MP Ajith Rajapakse was elected as the Treasurer and MPs Sivagnanam Shritharan and Major Sudarshana Denipitiya, as the Assistant Secretaries.