The Sri Lankan President was on his second day of a three-day State visit to Seychelles on the invitation of President Danny Faure. President Sirisena’s busy day started very early with a visit to the Botanical Garden at Mont Fleuri on Mahé. At the Botanical Garden, President Sirisena had the honour of planting a Lodoicea maildivica nut (coco de mer endemic nut) on the left side at the near entrance close to a breadfruit tree.
Following this, he strolled uphill towards the tortoise pen, admiring the scenic view along the way, in the company of the Minister for Environment, Energy and Climate Change, Wallace Cosgrow; the principal secretary for Energy and Climate Change, Wills Agricole; the chief executive of the National Botanical Garden Foundation, Raymond Brioche, and other officials from the ministry. There, he fed the tortoises with their favourite food (leaves).
The President of Sri Lanka then travelled to the Vallee de Mai on Praslin to enjoy the natural splendor of this internationally renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site. The President was in the company of Dr. Frauke Fleischer-Dogley the CEO of the Seychelles Island Foundation, and staff of the SIF Vallee de Mai welcomed him to the Vallee de Mai.
The CEO of SIF Dr. Fleischer-Dogley escorted the President on a short tour around the visitors center and thereafter spent a little extra time inside the forest. The President of Sri Lanka was eager to see the place that the Coco de Mer came from since he had planted that very morning a Coco de Mer nut on Mahe. President Maithripala Sirisena got the chance to see the female as well as male Coco de Mer trees. Dr Fleischer Dogley explained to the visiting President the significance of this forest to Seychelles’ biodiversity and why it was very special. The President observed his visit as he signed in the visitors’ book placed at the entrance gate of the forest.