Citizens of both countries should be informed of bilateral decisions …
President told Indian Foreign Minister.
- Let’s rebuild the relations between the two countries that existed in the 60s and 70s..
- Indian Ocean region as a zone of peace..
- Sri Lanka’s position needs India’s support..
- Invitation open to Indian investors..
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa told Indian Foreign Minister Harsh Vardhan Shringla that residents of both countries should be properly briefed on decisions made by both sides to reach an agreement. The President stressed the need to act with the consent of the majority of the people by explaining the advantages and disadvantages.
The president made the remarks when he met with India’s foreign minister at the presidential secretariat today (05).
The President explained the need to restore the friendship and relations between India and Sri Lanka that existed in the 60s and 70s. President Rajapaksa said he hoped to gain India’s support to move forward the 1971 proposal made by Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike to declare the Indian Ocean a zone of peace. Both sides were of the view that the short and long term steps that should be taken to bring the relations between the two countries to a higher level should be properly identified.
President Rajapaksa stressed that the long-standing problems facing fishermen in both countries could be resolved by identifying immediate solutions to existing problems and providing the benefits rightfully owed by the fishing community. Explaining the trade imbalances between the two countries, the President stressed the need for rapid solutions in this regard.
Recalling his experiences during the liberation of Jaffna Fort, the President said he was well aware of the consequences of war, including missing persons, as well as widowhood caused by war.
The President stressed the urgent need to understand the weaknesses as well as the strengths of the 13th Amendment and act accordingly. President Rajapaksa told Indian Foreign Minister Harsh Vardhan Shringla that he wanted to create an environment conducive to the return of Tamils, who left Sri Lanka, and that he had openly invited the Tamil diaspora and living Tamils. abroad to the United Nations General Assembly to support the Government’s efforts in this regard.
Explaining the measures taken by his government for the development of the North and East in the recent past, the President said that more than 90% of land acquired during the war for security purposes has been released to date. The families of the missing are compensated and the president explained the need to speed up the resolution of other problems that arose during the war.
President Rajapaksa stressed that Sri Lanka would not be allowed to be used for any activity that could pose a threat to the security of India, as there is a clear understanding of the geographic location of the two countries.
The president explained the relations with China comprehensively and informed the Indian foreign minister to have no doubts about it.
A global environment has been created for investment opportunities in Sri Lanka. The president said Indian investors would also be openly invited to invest. The president said the minister in charge of the matter had been tasked with resolving the situation regarding the Trincomalee oil reservoirs in a way that is beneficial to both countries.
The promotion of the tourism industry between the two countries was also discussed at length. Attention was also drawn to the expansion of training opportunities available to Sri Lankan armed forces personnel in India.
Attention also shifted to sharing electricity between the two countries after identifying peak times in the use of electricity.
The Indian Minister of Foreign Affairs congratulated Sri Lanka on the success of the Covid vaccination program and praised the measures taken to control the spread of covid-19. Welcoming the president’s in-depth explanation, the foreign minister said the friendship between the two countries could be further strengthened since the two countries share similar views.
The President also informed the Minister of Foreign Affairs that he had invited the Indian Prime Minister to pay a state visit to Sri Lanka.
Indian High Commissioner Gopal Baglay, Secretary to President PB Jayasundera, Senior Advisor to President Lalith Weeratunga and Minister of Foreign Affairs Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage, were also present.