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Indonesia praises relief efforts in Vanni

Senior Presidential Advisor on goodwill visit to Indonesia:

Senior Advisor to the President, Basil Rajapaksa, MP is in Indonesia on a goodwill visit on the personal invitation of Indonesian Foreign Minister Dr. Hassan Wirajuda.

Board of Investment of Sri Lanka Chairman, Dhammika Perera is accompanying him.

Senior Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapaksa MP with Banda Aceh Province Governor Irwandi Yusuf.

The Senior Advisor who called on Dr. Hassan Wirajuda on June 29 2009 had a cordial discussion on a wide range of issues, which are beneficial to Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan Ambassador, Nanda Mallawaarachchi was also present.

MP Rajapaksa thanked the Indonesian Government for the consistent support extended concerning human rights issues in the multilateral fora, particularly supporting Sri Lanka at the Human Rights Council Special Session in Geneva and for the strong statement issued on behalf of Sri Lanka.

Recalling Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama's courtesy call on the Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on the sidelines of the Bali Democracy Forum in December 2008, the Senior Advisor appreciated the President's assurance of the support of the Republic of Indonesia to safeguard the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka.

MP Rajapaksa also briefed the Foreign Minister of the comprehensive development initiative launched by the Government called Uthuru Vasanthaya which envisions the rehabilitation, reconstruction of the Northern Province while reintegrating the North once again to the national economy.

The Sri Lankan Government is fully committed to a political solution to address the grievances of the Tamil community in Sri Lanka, he said.

Both sides noted that bilateral relations between the two countries are now at its peak and recent exchanges of bilateral visits have paved the way for improved bilateral relations. The two sides stressed the need to carry forward the existing cordial relationship towards practical areas of mutual interest for the benefit of the people of both countries.

Senior Advisor Rajapaksa also thanked Dr. Hassan Wirajuda for reiterating Indonesia's strong support extended during his recent visit to Sri Lanka and for the warm hospitality and courtesies extended to him during his stay in Indonesia. Senior Advisor Rajapaksa also thanked the Indonesian Foreign Minister for the humanitarian assistance pledged to Sri Lanka for the use of IDPs in the North.

The Indonesian Foreign Minister congratulated Senior Advisor Rajapaksa and the Government of Sri Lanka for the recent victory over defeating terrorism in the country and expressed hope that the Government of Sri Lanka has the courage and ability to move forward the rehabilitation and reconstruction process in the North of Sri Lanka.

Dr. Hassan Wirajuda, hosted a dinner in honour of Senior Advisor Rajapaksa on June 29. Senior Advisor Rajapaksa and the delegation consisting of Sri Lanka's Ambassador Nanda Mallawaarachchi, Board of Investment Chairman Dhammika Perera and Director/Promotion of BOI C. Ignatius called on Governor of Banda Aceh Province Irwandi Yusuf who himself was a former rebel, on June 30, 2009 and discussed many issues.

Both parties collectively agreed to the common aspect that both countries being faced the natural disaster Tsunami and the man made internal conflict.

Commenting on the successful completion of the Aceh Peace Process in April 2009, Senior Advisor Rajapaksa said Sri Lanka has a deep admiration for the way Indonesia handled the peace process.

The Senior Advisor has shown a keen interest on the Aceh Peace Model and the Aceh Peace Reintegration Program which provided social support for persons and families affected by the conflict as well as economic empowerment funding for ex-combatants and amnestied prisoners and affected civilians.

The Governor hosted a dinner in honour of Senior Advisor Rajapaksa at his Official Residence attended by the Deputy Speaker of the Provincial Parliament, Provincial Ministers, Members of Parliament and other dignitaries, including the Ambassador of Sri Lanka and Chairman, Board of Investment of Sri Lanka.

Senior Advisor Rajapaksa also inspected a Metal Workshop run by a former combatant in Aceh Province that has been facilitated and supported by the International Organization for Migration.

He also had meetings with senior officials of the Aceh Sustainable Reconstruction Agency (BKRA) which has been created with a clear mandate to coordinate reconstruction and rehabilitation activities led by the Governor of Aceh. BKRA has been assigned the task of completing the balance six percent of the Aceh rehabilitation and reconstruction programs.

Senior Advisor Rajapaksa had meetings with Officials of the Aceh Peace Reintegration Board which was established in February 2006 to offer social support for ex-combatants and affected civilians in Aceh Province.



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