photo (Foreign Minister Koumura)

Mr. Masahiko Koumura, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Pays Courtesy Call on Sri Lankan President H.E. Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa

December 14, 2007

 Mr. Masahiko Koumura, Minister for Foreign Affairs, paid a courtesy call on H.E. Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa, President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, for about thirty minutes from 10:00 a.m. on December 10 (Mon).  Following is an outline of the visit.

1.  Peace Process

 Mr. Koumura expressed his hope that the earliest proposal of a devolution package for political settlement of the conflict, which the Government of Sri Lanka is working on, will be proposed shortly to all the parties concerned including the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).  Mr. Koumura also said Japan would support the peacemaking efforts under the leadership of Mr. Yasushi Akashi, Representative of the Government of Japan.  In response, Mr. Rajapaksa said that he was confident that using force would not settle the conflict, and that he would make efforts to prepare the devolution package, and he hoped that the international community would put pressure on the LTTE to return to talks.  He then expressed his appreciation for Japan’s support for the peace process.

2.  Human Rights Issue

 Mr. Koumura said he expected that the Government of Sri Lanka would make further efforts to produce concrete results of the investigation of the human rights violation cases.  In response, Mr. Rajapaksa said he was engaged in human rights protection activities before assuming office as a President, and expressed his appreciation for Japan’s contribution to international expert group on human rights issues.

3.  Economic Cooperation

 Mr. Koumura stated that Japan intends to implement economic cooperation to support the medium and long-term economic development, poverty eradication and promotion of the consolidation of peace in Sri Lanka.  In this regard, Mr. Koumura explained that Japan will make a formal decision on grant aid of 1,900 million yen next week.  President Rajapaksa expressed gratitude for Japan’s economic cooperation.  He also expressed his hope that Japan would extend cooperation for the multi-purpose development projects in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka and the LNG thermal power plant.

4.  Cooperation in the International Arena

 Mr. Koumura expressed appreciation for Sri Lanka’s support for Japan’s permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council, and requested continued cooperation.  In response, President Rajapaksa stated that Sri Lanka supported Japan’s position on the UN reform and would support Japan’s candidacy for a permanent member of the UNSC.


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