Kathmandu. Union MP Eknath Dhakal met with Sri Lankan Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena in Colombo, Sri Lanka. In the meeting held on December 7, MP Dhakal proposed that the Sri Lankan government enhance bilateral cooperation with Nepal, especially in the areas of tourism and shared cultural values.
Dhakal informed Prime Minister Dinesh about the newly opened international airport (Gautam Buddha International Airport) in Lumbini and sought the help of the Sri Lankan government for a direct flight from Colombo to Lumbini. Dhakal is on a four-day friendly visit to Sri Lanka at the invitation of Sri Lankan Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywarden. Dhakal discussed the parliamentary exchange between Nepal and Sri Lanka in a courtesy meeting with Sri Lankan Speaker Abeywardena.
Dhakal also addressed a special conference titled “Accountability in Action: Promoting Transparency and Good Governance among Members of Parliament” held in Committee Room 01 of the Parliament of Sri Lanka. Addressing the conference, Dhakal, who is also the Asia Pacific President of the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP) of Nepal, said that the credibility of democratic institutions depends on citizens’ trust in elected officials.
He noted that in the Asia-Pacific region, where diverse cultures and political systems coexist, the call for accountability resonates deeply and is the basis of sustainable development and regional stability. Describing South Asia as both a vibrant and complex sub-region, MP Dhakal said that South Asia is at the intersection of progress and challenges.
He sees not only the need to promote accountability among parliamentarians but also as a catalyst to advance regional cooperation and harmonious development. Dhakal expressed regret over the inaction of the regional organization SAARC and urged the member states to uphold the founding ideals of SAARC for building a sustainable, inclusive, and resilient South Asia.
Talking about his country, Nepal, Dhakal said that Nepal is a country with a rich tapestry of history and is committed to democratic values. He highlighted Nepal’s important democratic journey, despite various challenges. Dhakal said, ‘Just like the citizens of the world, the citizens of Nepal have also demanded transparency and accountability from their government and elected representatives. Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, and former President Maithripala Sirisena were present at the conference.
Parliamentarians from Sri Lanka and the Asia-Pacific region were present. While in Colombo, MP Dhakal had separate meetings with former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and opposition leader Sajit Premadasa. Dhakal also visited the Buddhist temple, Belanvila Rajamaha Vihar, and respected Dr. Belanvila. He met Dhammaratana Nayak Thera. Dhakal is also the president and former minister of Nepal, Parivar Dal.