High Com­mis­sioner of Sri Lanka to Pak­istan

The Diplomatic Insight - - Interview -

The Pearl of In­dian Ocean, Sri Lanka is a small is­land na­tion­with ex­tra­or­di­nary fea­tures. Sri Lanka is spread over an area ap­prox­i­mately 65,525 sqk­mand is off the south-eastern shores of In­dia. The coun­try is strate­gi­cally sig­nif­i­cant as it forms a link be­tween West Asia and South East Asia. Sri Lanka is world's fa­mous for its tea, beau­ti­ful beaches, land­scapes, vi­brant cul­ture and charm­ing peo­ple. Renowned writer SirArthur C Clarke once re­marked about Sri Lanka as “The Is­land of Sri Lanka is a small uni­verse; it con­tains as many vari­a­tions of cul­ture, scenery, and cli­mate as some coun­tries a dozen times its size . . . I find it hard to be­lieve that there is any coun­try which scores so highly in all de­part­ments – which has so many ad­van­tages and so few dis­ad­van­tages.” With such a di­verse back­ground, Sri Lanka has al­ways been sig­nif­i­cant for Pak­istan. Both coun­tries es­tab­lished diplo­matic re­la­tions soon af­ter in­de­pen­dence of Pak­istan in 1948. Since the in­cep­tion of the ties, both coun­tries took ev­ery step to en­hance the co­op­er­atin and ce­ment the friend­ship to­much higher level. TheDi­plo­mat­icIn­sight ar­ranged an ex­clu­sive sit­ting with H.E Air Chief Mar­shal Jay­alathWeer­akkody, High Com­mis­sioner of Sri Lanka to Pak­istan. H.E is a re­tired Sri Lankan Air Force of­fi­cer who has served as com­man­der of the Air Force from 1998 to 2002. In 2007 he was pro­moted to the rank of Air Chief Mar­shal. The ex­cerpts of in­ter­view are pro­duced be­low. Sincethecom­mence­mentofre­la­tions­be­tweenPak­istanandSri Lanka,howyoutermthere­la­tion­sand­whatarethe­var­i­ous as­pects of it Do you agree that th­ese re­la­tions are not as dy­nam­i­cas­theyshouldbe? Diplo­matic re­la­tions be­tween Pak­istan and Sri Lanka were es­tab­lished in 1948 af­ter M. Ali Jin­nah met with Sri Lanka's first Prime Min­is­ter Hon. D.S. Se­nanayaka met for the first time. Since that time, both coun­tries are en­joy­ing deep rooted his­toric, po­lit­i­cal and diplo­matic re­la­tions. Both are mem­bers of South Asian As­so­ci­a­tion for Re­gional Co­op­er­a­tion (SAARC) and var­i­ous other in­ter­na­tional and re­gional fo­rums where they are sup­port­ing each other in ev­ery sphere. Both coun­tries have con­ver­gence of view on re­gional and in­ter­na­tional is­sues. Sri Lanka helped Pak­istan in var­i­ous is­sues over the course of his­tory in­clud­ing war of 1965 and later in 1971. Pak­istan In­ter­na­tion­alAir­line planes were re­fu­eled in Colombo af­ter In­dia

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