Visiting Indian prime Minister Narendra Modi today pledged his support for Sri Lanka`s reconciliation process and said it could be expedited by implementing 13th Amendment and going beyond.
He said India stood side by side with Sri Lanka in efforts to build a future that accommodated the aspirations of all sections of society, including the Sri Lankan Tamil community, for a life of equality, justice, peace and dignity in a united Sri Lanka
“I conveyed our sincere support and good wishes to Sri Lanka`s new journey of peace, reconciliation and progress. We believe that early and full implementation of the 13th Amendment and going beyond it would contribute to this process,” he said.
Mr. Maithripala Sirisena, President of Sri Lanka,
Members of the media,
I am delighted to be in Sri Lanka, in this beautiful city of Colombo.
I have eagerly looked forward to visiting one of our closest neighbours and a nation with which we share so much.
I am truly honoured by your warm welcome and friendship.
I am conscious of the significance of this visit. It is the first standalone bilateral visit to Sri Lanka by an Indian Prime Minister since 1987.
Last month, President Sirisena honoured us by making India his first foreign visit as President. I am glad to be here so soon.
This is how it should be between neighbours. We should meet regularly.
It helps us understand each other better; find solutions to mutual concerns; and, move our relationship forward.
That is what we achieved in my meetings with President Sirisena today.
Economic ties are a key pillar of our relationship.
The progress we have made reflects our shared commitment to stronger economic cooperation.
Our trade has seen impressive growth over the past decade. I am aware of your concerns about trade with India. As I said in Delhi, we will try and address them.
The agreement today on cooperation between our customs authorities is a step in that direction. It will simplify trade and reduce non-tariff barriers on both sides.
We are not just looking at addressing problems. We are also focusing on new opportunities.
Today, Lanka IOC and Ceylon Petroleum Corporation have agreed to jointly develop the Upper Tank Farm of the China Bay Installation in Trincomalee on mutually agreed terms.
A Joint Task Force will be constituted soon to work out the modalities. India stands ready to help Trincomalee become a regional petroleum hub.
I also look forward to early commencement of work on the ground in the Sampur Coal Power Project. This landmark project would meet Sri Lanka`s energy needs.
The ocean economy is a new frontier that holds enormous promise for both of us. It is a priority for our two countries. Our decision to set up a Joint Task Force on Ocean Economy is a significant step, especially because of our proximity.
People are at the heart of our relations. We have taken a number of decisions to encourage people to people contacts, improve connectivity, and increase tourism.
We will extend the facility of “Tourist Visa on Arrival – Electronic Travel Authorization” Scheme to Sri Lankan citizens from the Sinhala and Tamil New Year on 14 April 2015.
Air India will soon start direct flights between New Delhi and Colombo.
We will cooperate in developing a Ramayana Trail in Sri Lanka and a Buddhist Circuit in India.
We will organize a Festival of India in Sri Lanka later this year. Sri Lanka is where Buddhism has truly flourished. We will be organizing an exhibition showcasing our Buddhist heritage as part of this festival.
The Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in youth affairs is an important long term investment in our relationship.
India is privileged to be a development partner for Sri Lanka.
We will provide a fresh Line of Credit of up to US$ 318 million for the railways sector. This will be used to procure rolling stock, and to restore and upgrade existing railway track.
We are pleased to provide assistance for the construction of the Rabindranath Tagore auditorium at Ruhuna University in Matara.
Tomorrow, I will visit, some of the projects, being financed by India, including the housing project. I am pleased that more than 27,000 houses have already been built.
The Reserve Bank of India and the Central Bank of Sri Lanka have agreed to enter into a Currency Swap Agreement of US$ 1.5 billion. This will help keep the Sri Lankan rupee stable.
We discussed the fishermen’s issue. This complex issue involves livelihood and humanitarian concerns on both sides. We should handle it from this perspective. At the same time, we need to find a long term solution to this issue.
It is also important that fishermen`s associations of India and Sri Lanka meet at the earliest to find a mutually acceptable arrangement. It can then be taken forward by both governments.
I also took this opportunity to convey our admiration for President Srinisena`s efforts to build an inclusive future for Sri Lanka.
I conveyed our sincere support and good wishes for Sri Lanka`s new journey of peace, reconciliation and progress.
We stand with you in your efforts to build a future that accommodates the aspirations of all sections of society, including the Sri Lankan Tamil community, for a life of equality, justice, peace and dignity in a united Sri Lanka.
We believe that early and full implementation of the 13th Amendment and going beyond it would contribute to this process.
I also conveyed India`s commitment to further strengthening our partnership in advancing peace and prosperity in our region, including our common maritime neighbourhood.
I would like to once again thank President Sirisena for the warm welcome and hospitality.
The meeting today has been very productive. It gives me great confidence and optimism about the future of our relations.
Comments - 29
Ravi Friday, 13 March 2015 04:40 PM
Implement the 13th Amendment now and beyond 13th Amendment can follow later. Just talking is not good enough, we need to see progress and do not want to go around the bush again and again. Nobody wants to go back to the state of 30/40/60 years ago. We have to move on, one step at a time; do not want to delay the progress by talking about the future that is too far away.
Bamboo Friday, 13 March 2015 05:04 PM
The solution is whatever given to North and East should also be given to West and South.That is all. No complain and problem resolved.
Selva rajah Friday, 13 March 2015 05:05 PM
We should work together with India to build up our Nation Economically and Politically powerful. All Srilankan live free and equal citizen.
Ganesha Friday, 13 March 2015 05:07 PM
13 th amendment to the constitution is not a viable or durable solution that can be reversed by the central government unilaterally at any time and the Tamils can not become clowns which has been pointed out to the then Prime minister Rajive in 1987 itself. Now there should be a better solution within an undivided country
unity Saturday, 14 March 2015 05:12 AM
y 13.y 13A. treat all citizen alike . game over. via DM Android App
Gayan Friday, 13 March 2015 05:30 PM
May be your advisors did not inform you, there are many ethnic groups other than tamils in Sri Lanka. Reconciliation should be beneficial to all communities, not juat one sir.
lakrawana Friday, 13 March 2015 05:38 PM
What is the meaning of beyond 13...I think we are in truble...........
dilip Friday, 13 March 2015 05:51 PM
Well said Mr.Pradeep.I fully agree with what you have said. Americans, British, Indians, they are all telling our politicians how to run the country. Very soon it will be the Malldivins
ranga Friday, 13 March 2015 05:55 PM
There goes the last hope for a UNP government down the drain...
ranga Friday, 13 March 2015 06:14 PM
China came and did their business...yet never interfered in local politics...now we can do business with India under their political conditions...yipeee...
WKCosta Saturday, 14 March 2015 08:30 AM
Mind your work where 40% of yours is suffering from extreme poverty under 1% of maharajas.
Eng.M.V.R.Perera Friday, 13 March 2015 07:41 PM
remember 13 th is a white elephant forced on Sri Lanka and it is dead letter as India did not carry out its part of the agreement as such it is no use talking about it . Also Sampoor Coal Power is of high cost to Sri Lanka we coulget a much better deal if we go for competitive bidding for BOT projects with a fair pricing formula
Giabao Saturday, 14 March 2015 08:41 AM
It is funny why people keep saying Sri Lankans and Indians share close similarities. This is utter rubbish. Indians as people do not like Sri Lankans and vice versa. It is a cultural trait and i do not think it is changing. No point wasting time trying to build on something which will not work.. Instead Sri Lanka should try to ink more ties with nations where people can related to Sri Lankans better.
Subha Friday, 13 March 2015 08:01 PM
India will forever be our biggest threat.. only China can save us..
Freebird Saturday, 14 March 2015 08:13 PM
Tamils are tired about hearing all these 13 13 federal etc. No meaningful solution for their burning issue via DM Android App
insane Friday, 13 March 2015 08:26 PM
There must be something insanely wrong with Sri Lanka. That is why most civilized countries are advising to solve the minority issue in Sri Lanka. It is pathetic to read comments here from people who want to continue to live with the unsolved issue for ever. Is this due to the fear that giving equal rights to minorities they will outsmart the majority?
Mandayan Friday, 13 March 2015 08:59 PM
Perfect time to resolve the issues as MS of SLFP and RW of UNP are ruling the country.
Ganesha Saturday, 14 March 2015 09:24 AM
Yes it was made white elephant since the system was spread unwarranted to other provinces to develop politics and earn money for the last 28 years. No many ethnic groups only two majority Sinhala and Tamil speaking minority. Central government can ever never ignore the needs of Sinhala people like Tamils and Muslims so they need to look after their needs
Sinhala Saturday, 14 March 2015 10:46 AM
This is a Sinhala country, we conquered this country 1500 years ago.
jagan sriram Friday, 13 March 2015 10:30 PM
I dont understand why you srilankans or Sinhalese to be precise reacting in this manner.there is a problem in your country if you had managed it in your own no outsider is going to interfere.my only regret is Indian interference is or was half baked.if it had been like China srilanka would have been in a far difficult position. try to grow up consider India as a big market encourage entrepreneurship that will bring economic prosperity not this bravado which is nothing but empty. via DM Android App
Dev Friday, 13 March 2015 03:37 PM
Stop lecturing us. Minorities are way finer in SL than minorities (ethnic, religious and caste) in India.Going beyond 13A will only alienate different ethnic groups.
Pradeep Friday, 13 March 2015 03:41 PM
Even 13A was forced upon Sri Lanka under duress by then Rajiv government. No race or community should be given lopsided or special devolution or powers. All devolution must be vested to all Sri Lankans alike. There should not be any special devolution to Thamil community. Moodi has no right to tell how Sri Lanka should govern herself. What is needed is not devolution but environment for all Sri Lankans to live with dignity, security and freedom. By devolution special political powers to North and East will aggravate the problem.Stop poking on our nose.
xplatforms Friday, 13 March 2015 03:43 PM
I think that is for the SL Parliament to decide.
Rajan Friday, 13 March 2015 11:02 PM
Modi came to SL on 13th to tell Sri Lankans about 13h Amendment and beyond.
Bandara Friday, 13 March 2015 03:52 PM
Now Champika can explain to us the meaning of this going beyond 13 for reconciliation.
sam Friday, 13 March 2015 03:56 PM
I dont know why our leaders kept the Trinco Tank Farm deal as a secret until Modi comes. Pls dont give that. We know they vote against us in UNHRC. Ranawaka should answer, and should tell us the truth...
miaalies Friday, 13 March 2015 04:18 PM
words of a wise man.
bartict Friday, 13 March 2015 04:26 PM
we also think that India should immediately hold the UN mandated plebiscites that should allow citizens of Occupied Kashmir to choose their own fate. All atrocities committed by the Indian security forces against Kashmiri citizens must be thoroughly investigated, perpetrators brought to book and victims or their kin be compensated.
Sri Wickrema Saturday, 14 March 2015 12:23 PM
13th A applies to the whole country and not only for the North.
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