- Working with Sri Lanka a very high priority for Indian govt. and leadership
By Kelum Bandara
Newly appointed Indian High Commissioner Gopal Baglay, who presented his credentials to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at a ceremony organised through video conferencing, stressed in a brief, exclusive comment to the Daily Mirror that joint efforts between Sri Lanka and India were important to fight challenges in development, COVID-19 and terrorism.
In his remarks, Mr. Baglay said Sri Lankan leaders- President Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa had useful, cordial interactions with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and they had reached ‘very good understanding’ to develop cooperation in all spheres.
He said ‘neighbourhood first ‘is India’s policy and Sri Lanka is India’s closet maritime neighbour located in the Indian Ocean region.
“Working with Sri Lanka is a very, very high priority for my government and leadership. It is very fortunate to come here as India’s High Commissioner here,” he said.
He said he would work very closely with the leadership of Sri Lanka to develop friendly relations.
Prior to his current assignment, Mr. Baglay served as Joint Secretary in Prime Minister’s Office in India since 2017. Earlier, he had worked in the Indian Ministry of External Affairs and also as the Official Spokesperson of the Ministry, Joint Secretary (External Publicity) Division, Joint Secretary (Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran), and Joint Secretary (States) from 2014-’17. He also served as the Deputy High Commissioner of India to Pakistan (2011-2014), and in Indian Missions in Kathmandu, London, Russia and Ukraine. A Master’s of Science, he speaks Hindi, Urdu, English and Russian languages and has also studied Sanskrit, Ukrainian and Nepali. He is currently observing the stipulated health protocols, at India House.