Lanka Thanks India, Notes Joint Efforts


Wickremesinghe expressed his commitment to maintaining a strong partnership with India to achieve Sri Lanka’s development goals…reports Asian Lite News

Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Sunday thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister (EAM) S. Jaishankar for their “continued support” to the island nation.

Wickremesinghe met EAM Jaishankar in Colombo on Thursday as both jointly inaugurated the formal commissioning of the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) under a $6 million grant from India.

“I met Indian Foreign Minister Dr S Jaishankar during his official visit to Sri Lanka, marking the first diplomatic exchange between India and Sri Lanka under the new government. We inaugurated houses built under the Indian Housing Project in Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, and Matale,” the Sri Lankan President posted on X on Sunday evening while mentioning the project which benefits the Indian-origin Tamil community in the country.

“We also handed over houses from model villages in Colombo and Trincomalee. We formally commissioned the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre, with a main centre in Colombo, a sub-centre in Hambantota, and unmanned installations across Sri Lanka’s coastline. I thank PM Narendra Modi and S Jaishankar for their continued support to Sri Lanka,” he added.

After meeting Jaishankar, the President delivered what his office called “a compelling vision for the future of Sri Lanka-India relations” during his address at the 31st All India Partner’s Meet 2024 held in the Sri Lankan capital.

Wickremesinghe expressed his commitment to maintaining a strong partnership with India to achieve Sri Lanka’s development goals and emphasised the urgency to expedite joint initiatives while highlighting a comprehensive agenda aimed at transformative bilateral projects.

“It won’t be individual projects. We’ve discussed a fair number of them. First is the grid interconnection between Sri Lanka and India, so that sustainable energy can be transmitted to India, where you all need that very badly. We have the Sampur solar power project, which is a Government to Government (G2G) project, and a three island project, which is where we hope the ground breaking can take place in July,” he said.

He mentioned that both countries are looking at developing the Palk Strait for wind and solar energy which would transform the economy of the northern province, a region worst affected by the long civil war.

India, he stated, is also helping Sri Lanka expand the Kankesanthurai Port – a major port on the Jaffna Peninsula.

“Additionally, there is a focus on a project to establish land connectivity between Sri Lanka and India. Extensive discussions have also taken place regarding expediting the Trincomalee Development Project, which encompasses industrial investment zones and tourist areas. Furthermore, plans are underway to construct a multi-product oil pipeline from Nagapattinam to Trincomalee, pending the final observation report,” he said.

The Sri Lankan President was in New Delhi on June 9 to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. During his visit, Wickremesinghe also invited Prime Minister Modi to visit Sri Lanka.

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