Embassy of Sri Lanka in Maldives
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SRI LANKA-MALDIVES RELATIONS
Sri Lanka–Maldives Relations, or official and economic relations between the neighboring Indian Ocean countries of the Maldives and Sri Lanka has been positive since the Maldives became independent in 1965. The Maldives first established a mission in Sri Lanka in July 1965, and today has an Embassy in Colombo. Sri Lanka has an Embassy in Malé. Both countries were founding members of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) in December 1985.
HISTORY
The earliest settlers in the Maldives were probably from southern India. Indo-European speakers followed them from Sri Lanka in the fourth and fifth centuries BC. In the 12th century AD, sailors from East Africa and Arab countries came to the islands. Today, the Maldivian ethnic identity is a blend of these cultures, reinforced by religion and language. According to Maldivian legend, a Sinhalese prince named KoiMale was stranded with his bride, daughter of the king of Sri Lanka, in a Maldivian lagoon and stayed on to rule as the first sultan. The Maldivians speak Dhivehi, closely related to the Sinhala language of Sri Lanka. The Maldives became a British Protectorate in the 19th century and the Maldivian monarchs were granted a good measure of self-governance. The Maldives gained total independence in 1965, and soon after established formal diplomatic relations with Sri Lanka.
OFFICIAL RELATIONS
In July 1976 the governments of the Maldives, Sri Lanka and India reached an agreement fixing the trijunction point between the three countries in the sea beyond the Gulf of Mannar. In April 2006 officials including the Ministers of Education from the two countries participated in a 5- day workshop sponsored by UNESCO to establish plans for measuring progress towards EFA (Education for All) goals.

In February 2007, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa made a three-day official visit to the Maldives, expected to further consolidate the existing bilateral links between the two countries, and to strengthen cooperation in trade, tourism, education and fisheries. At a January 2009 meeting of Energy Ministers and Senior Officials of SAARC countries in Colombo, the two countries discussed closer collaboration in joint energy policies. In June 2009, the President of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed made a two-day official visit to Sri Lanka where he met with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and discussed issues of bilateral and regional interest. Mr. Nasheed congratulated Mr. Rajapaksa on eliminating LTTE terrorism.

In 2014 June 25th At the invitation of President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom and First Lady Fathimath Ibrahim, President Mahinda Rajapaksa and First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka have. The Sri Lankan President and First Lady were greeted on arrival at the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport, by President Yameen and Madam Fathimath Ibrahim. Later, on arrival at the Malé Official Jetty, President Rajapaksa and Madam Shiranthi Rajapaksa were greeted by Vice President Dr. Mohamed Jameel Ahmed and his spouse Hawlath Faheem. In 2015 July 25 th ,Srilankan President Maithripala Sirisena of Sri Lanka has arrived in the Maldives on a State Visit to participate in the events held to mark the Golden Jubilee of National Independence. The visit is being made at the invitation of President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom.

The Sri Lankan President was greeted on arrival at the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport by Vice President, Ahmed Adheeb Abdul Ghafoor, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Dunya Maumoon, Minister at the President’s Office, Hon. Mohamed Hussain Shareef, and Minister of Environment and Energy, Hon. Thoriq Ibrahim. President Sirisena was also given an Honour Guard on arrival at the airport, by the Maldives National Defence Force.
DEFENCE
Maldives Defence Forces trained by Sri Lanka Military. Specially Special Forces of the MNDF were trained at the Sri Lanka Army Commando Regiment regiment school and Sri Lanka Army Special Forces Regiment training academy in Maduru Oya, Sri Lanka. Maldivian Coast Guard fleet consists of vessels made by Colombo Dockyard.
ECONOMIC RELATIONS
Until the early 1970s, 65% of the Maldives imports from South Asia came from Sri Lanka, compared to 32% from India. The economy of the Maldives is heavily dependent on tourism, with tour operators often based in Sri Lanka and packages including both countries. [12] In 2006 Sri Lanka Telecom and the Maldives state-run telephone company Dhivehi Raajjeyge Gulhun commissioned a US$20 million joint venture to lay an undersea fibre-optic cable connecting Male to Colombo in Sri Lanka, with Japan’s NEC Corp as the main supplier. In 2005, the International Finance Corporation, part of the World Bank, launched the US$10 million Sri Lanka-Maldives Enterprise Development Program to assist small and medium enterprises in the two countries.
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