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Prime Minister Emphasizes Strengthening Trade and Buddhist Ties with Myanmar

May 17, Colombo (LNW): Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena highlighted the significant potential for enhancing trade, economic, and Buddhist ties between Myanmar and Sri Lanka. This statement was made during a meeting with Myanmar Charge d’ Affairs Lei Yi Win at Temple Trees on Thursday (16).

The Prime Minister emphasized that there are numerous opportunities to strengthen economic and trade relations in sectors such as gem and jewellery, tea and coconut trade, minerals, and tourism, with a particular focus on Buddhist tourism. He also proposed barter trade involving tea and coconut, noting Myanmar’s interest in exporting coconuts to Sri Lanka for processing and re-export to third countries.

Acting Ambassador Lei Yi Win suggested that Sri Lanka participate in the ‘Yangon Trade Fair’ to explore potential areas for imports, exports, and broader economic collaboration. She mentioned that this year marks the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Myanmar and Sri Lanka, and Myanmar will also celebrate 1,000 years since the establishment of Theravada Buddhism during the Bagan Dynasty in the 11th Century.

Prime Minister Gunawardena noted the enduring influence of Buddhist teachings over 2,600 years, which have fostered strong religious and diplomatic ties between the two nations. He expressed gratitude for Myanmar’s role in organizing a Higher Ordination in Sri Lanka in the 19th Century, which contributed to the establishment of the Ramannya and Amarapura Nikayas sects.

Parliamentarian Yadamini Gunawardena, Prime Minister’s Secretary Anura Dissanayake, and Counsellor Thep Zaw Toe of the Myanmar Embassy were also present at the meeting.

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