President and Dr. Jaishankar discuss resumption of India-aided development projects

Tuesday, 11 June 2024 01:24 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Dr. Jaishankar announces plans to visit Sri Lanka soon to oversee progress of projects, coordinate upcoming visit by Indian Prime Minister 
  • Shares India’s plan to establish industrial zone in Trincomalee

President Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday met with Indian External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar to discuss the swift resumption of halted development projects in Sri Lanka, funded by Indian investments. 

Dr. Jaishankar emphasised India’s commitment to fast-tracking these projects and announced plans to visit Sri Lanka soon to oversee their progress and coordinate an upcoming visit by the Indian Prime Minister.

During the meeting, Dr. Jaishankar reiterated India’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy, highlighting plans for an industrial zone in Trincomalee. This project, spearheaded by the Indian Government, aims to attract numerous Indian investors and potentially others from around the globe, boosting economic collaboration between the two countries.

Wickremesinghe briefed Dr. Jaishankar on Sri Lanka’s new Economic Transformation Act, which aims to devolve powers in agriculture, health, education and economic management to the Provincial Councils. 

Additionally, he mentioned the forthcoming submission of the Truth and Reconciliation Bill to Parliament by July, underscoring the Government’s commitment to addressing historical grievances and promoting national unity.

The discussions also touched upon the agricultural modernisation program currently underway in Sri Lanka and the ongoing issues between Sri Lankan and Indian fishermen, with both leaders expressing a commitment to finding a swift resolution.

Wickremesinghe also announced plans to designate line rooms as estate villages through a gazette notification. The move will facilitate their development under the Home Affairs Ministry improving living conditions for estate workers.

The President extended warm congratulations to Dr. Jaishankar on his reappointment and reiterated his invitation to the Indian Prime Minister to visit Sri Lanka in the near future.

The meeting was attended by several key officials, including Secretary to the President Saman Ekanayake, Foreign Ministry Secretary Aruni Wijewardene, Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India Kshenuka Senewiratne and President’s Private Secretary Sandra Perera.