Minister of Foreign Affairs Tilak Marapana concluded a four- day visit to Kenya on Wednesday, 27 June 2018. The Minister’s visit to Kenya was part of Sri Lanka’s broarder policy to expand relations in the African region. In 2016, Sri Lanka established a Permanent Mission to the African Union in Addis Ababa.
During the visit, Foreign Minister Marapana held a meeting with Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Trade of Kenya Ambassador Dr. Monica Juma, where discussions focused on further strengthening relations between the two countries.
The Foreign Minister appreciated Kenya’s support and that of the region to Sri Lanka’s candidature at the recently concluded elections for the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) for the term 2018-2022, where Sri Lanka obtained 122 votes. The Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Trade endorsed the need to collaborate closely as regional groupings to achieve common positions that benefit and strengthen the global footprint of the South.
In response to a request made by the Kenyan Cabinet Secretary to increase investments and value addition in the Coconut sector, Minister Marapana agreed to assist the Kenyan Coconut Industry with technology from Sri Lanka. The two Ministers agreed to convene the Second Joint Trade Committee to review, revitalise and broaden cooperation in the area of trade including increasing the arrivals of tourists from both countries.
The Cabinet Secretary appreciated the Presidential Scholarships offered by Sri Lanka to Kenyan students. She invited Sri Lankan athletes to avail themselves of the training facilities in Kenya and requested Sri Lankan assistance in improving Cricket in Kenya.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs informed that the Government of Sri Lanka would take note and assist in the areas requested. An invitation was extended to the Cabinet Secretary to visit Sri Lanka.
Foreign Minister Marapana also held a meeting with Director General Tony Simons and Deputy Director General (Research) Ravi Prabhu of the World Agro Forestry Centre (ICRAF) in Nairobi. The Minister was briefed on the technical support already provided by the Agro Forestry Centre and proposed future projects in Sri Lanka. The Minister requested for assistance in setting up research facilities to find resilient rice varieties suitable for Sri Lanka’s changing climate conditions. The Director General emphasised the need to establish a longstanding partnership with Sri Lanka in research-based utilization of trees to make farming and livelihood more environmently, socially and economically sustainable at multiple scales.
The Minister was accompanied by a delegation comprised of Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to Kenya Sunil De Silva, Deputy High Commissioner Anzul Jhan and Private Secretary to the Minister Janaka Marapana.
High Commission of Sri Lanka
28 June 2018