Dhaka, Colombo eye greater cooperation

Bangladesh and Sri Lanka flags

Bangladesh and Sri Lanka started the celebration of the 50 years of diplomatic ties with a hybrid webinar at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute in Colombo Friday, reports UNB.

The speakers highlighted the commonalities and historical linkages between the two countries.

They also discussed the existing bilateral cooperation and the prospect of sectoral cooperation, especially in trade, commerce, shipping, connectivity, and people-to-people contact.

In presence of high dignitaries from Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, the programme began with the national anthem of both the countries followed by an exchange of goodwill messages between prime minister Sheikh Hasina and her Sri Lanka counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa.

With gratitude, Sheikh Hasina recalled Sri Lanka's recognition of independent Bangladesh on 4 March 1972.

Both leaders expressed satisfaction over existing friendly relations between the two countries.

Also, Sri Lanka state minister of regional cooperation Tharaka Balasuriya and Bangladesh foreign secretary Masud Bin Momen attended the webinar.

Sri Lankan foreign secretary Admiral Jayanath Colombage sent his recorded message.

Bangladesh High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Tareq Ariful Islam, Sri Lanka High Commissioner to Bangladesh Sudharshan Seneviratne, Ambassador Kazi Imitiaz Hossain, chairman of the Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies, and Asanka Wijesinghe, research fellow of Institute of Policy Studies, spoke at the webinar.

The panel was moderated by Dayantha Laksiri Mendis, executive director of Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute.

A good number of Colombo-based ambassadors and high commissioners, diplomats, academia and business leaders attended the programme.

Many joined online from both Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.