Parents and guardians of students studying in Sri Lanka will now be able to get guardian visas until the student reaches the age of 18 years with no lower age limits, says Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe.
Giving his address at the Maldives parliament on Tuesday, the Sri Lankan Prime Minister said that, as a special arrangement, visas of grandparents of students will also be facilitated so that they could spend time with their grandchildren in Sri Lanka.
In his address, the Prime Minister also said that Maldivians can now undergo organ transplant in Sri Lanka including kidney, and liver transplant in all hospitals in Sri Lanka and that Sri Lanka will also assist the Maldives to set up a drug rehabilitation center in Addu atoll and provide all necessary assistance in setting up this facility.
Sri Lanka will also assist in setting up two schools in Maldives, said the Prime Minister, adding that his government has also signed an agreement on higher education and vocational training and will allow Maldivian and Sri Lankan students to achieve higher education in both countries.
The Prime Minister also noted the agreements the governments of Maldives and Sri Lanka signed during his visit.
“In order to fortify the mutual relationship between our countries further several agreements of cooperation in the areas of visa facilitation, water supply, youth development, vocational training, higher education, and social empowerment were signed between our two countries during my visit.”
~ Sri Lankan Prime Minister
Speaking on the two countries’ historical relationship, the Prime Minister said that Sri Lanka and the Maldives have maintained convenient supportive bilateral relationships and that in recent times Sri Lanka has been assisting Maldives in the areas of education and capacity building of the Maldivian military and police.
He also said that, today, the diversification of trade is a strong component of the bilateral relation between Sri Lanka and Maldives, since Maldives is the third largest export destination of Sri Lanka among the SAARC countries after India and Pakistan. He said that the value of trade between the two countries was USD 271 million in 2017, which increased to USD 304 million in 2018.