President Ranil Wickramasinghe has left the island to deliver the keynote speech at the 7th Indian Ocean Summit, which will be held in Perth, Australia from February 9th to 10th. The President has been invited by the Indian Foundation and the Australian Government.
The Presidents media division said that Ranil Wickramasinghe will be looking into investment opportunities available to Sri Lanka during this visit.
The President was just returned to the island after a 11 day foreign visit after participating in the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland and the Non Aligned Conference In Kampala Uganda,
Visits to 15 Countries
As of February 2024, Ranil Wickremesinghe has made 14 foreign trips to 15 countries.
The visited countries include the United Kingdom,Japan, Singapore,China, Cuba, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Maldives, Philippines, Switzerland, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United States.
Leader of the NPP Anura Kumara Dissanayake (AKD) raised the issue of expenditure incurred in foreign travel of the President .
AKD said that Ranil Wickremesinghe, had sought Parliamentary approval for Rs. 200 million under a supplementary estimate for foreign visits, fuel and vehicle maintenance in addition to the budgetary allocations.
“We talk about financial discipline in Parliament. The President must uphold the financial discipline in the first place. He has visited the United Kingdom on four occasions, and twice to Japan. He has taken 14 foreign trips in 14 months,” AKD said.
State Minister of Foreign Affairs Tharaka Balasuriya, has defended the President’s recent foreign trips against criticism. He dismissed claims that the trips were unnecessary, emphasizing their importance in strengthening Sri Lanka’s foreign relations and securing new partnerships.
Tharaka Balasuriya stressed that Sri Lanka cannot afford to be isolated on the global stage.