Sri Lanka and Pakistan want to strengthen trade, defence
ECONOMYNEXT – Visiting Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena and Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had talks on strengthening economic relations and defence co-operation, during talks in Islamabad, a statement said.
The two leaders and "a lengthy discussion on strengthening economic and trade relations as well as defence training programmes between the two countries," a statement from President Sirisena’s office said.
The duo had discussed billion dollar target of economic co-operation between the two countries. The statement did not say whether it was bilateral trade, or any time frame.
Prime Minister Abbasi had said Pakistan was willing to provide their experiences in the fields of oil and natural gas to Sri Lanka.
President Sirisena had also talked about recent anti-Muslim nationalism in Sri Lanka by Buddhist groups.
President was quoted as saying "that a certain group attempted to use this incident a harmful manner and further said that he regrets regarding this incident and will not allow any room to reoccur this kind of incidents in the future."
Analysts say in Sri Lanka anti-minority hate was spread from the latter stages of British rule, by several nationalist philosophers with the advent of print and mass media where ideas can be easily spread, the popular vote and a law-making parliament where chauvinism can be enacted into discriminatory legislation.
Similar ethno-linguistic or ethno religious fascist-nationalism emerged earlier in Eastern Europe with the break-up of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the coming of popular vote with illiberal democracy.
Sri Lanka emerged from a 30-year civil war with mostly an ethnic Tamil speaking minority who are mostly Hindu followers in 2009.
Pakistan is a Muslim majority country.
Large areas of India (present day Pakistan, Bangladesh and many Indian states) were ruled by Muslim Moghul Emperors who were Muslim until the British came. (Colombo/Mar24/2018)