Kathmandu, December 19
Foreign Secretary Shanker Das Bairagi today congratulated the governments and people of Nepal and Sri Lanka on the occasion of 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Secretary Bairagi said although formal diplomatic relations was established on July 1, 1957, Nepal-Sri Lanka relations was historic and dated back to the era of Gautama Buddha.
“Apart from diplomatic relations, we also have cultural relations. And, we should take this relationship to a new height,” he said at a talk programme organised to commemorate the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Nepal and Sri Lanka’ in Kathmandu today.
Secretary Bairagi said relations between the two countries were not limited to bilateral affairs, but the two countries were also working closely in regional forums such as SAARC and BIMSTEC and multilateral forums such as the United Nations.
He also thanked Sri Lanka for its help in Nepal’s reconstruction endeavours after the 2015 Gorkha earthquake.
On the occasion, Sri Lankan Ambassador WS Pereira talked about the close cultural and religious ties between the two countries.
Stating that every Sri Lankan would want to visit Lumbini, the birth place of Lord Buddha at least once in their lifetime, she said relations between the two counters had gone from strength to strength over the years.
She said resumption of direct flight from Kathmandu to Colombo would be crucial in boosting bilateral ties as well as tourism in both the countries. According to her, although the two countries signed a free trade agreement in 1979, bilateral trade remains almost negligible.
During the event, Lumbini Buddhist University Vice Chancellor Naresh Man Bajracharya underscored the prospects of ties between educational institutions focusing on Buddhist education in the two countries.
A version of this article appears in print on December 20, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.