Wed, 24 Apr 2024 Today's Paper

Sri Lanka indebted to India: Harin

21 February 2024 06:21 pm - 51     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


By Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana

Colombo, Feb 21 (Daily Mirror) - Justifying the recent remark he had made in Mumbai that Sri Lanka is a part of India, Minister of Tourism and Lands Harin Fernando told Parliament today that Sri Lanka is indebted to the South Asian giant.

“Sri Lanka is indebted to India. India has come forward to help Sri Lanka during the recent difficult times. We have to be grateful to India for sending more and more tourists to Sri Lanka. India has also begun setting up its first overseas hotel in front of Galle face Hotel Colombo. Those who criticize me want to prevent investments such as this,” the Minister said whilst highlighting that India has been a brother to Sri Lanka.

“India and Sri Lanka are traditionally connected. Take the story of Rama and Seetha, Arahath Mahinda came from India and so did Vijaya, Sri Lankan music and film industry are also connected to India,” he said justifying his earlier comment.

“Let anyone accuse me of violating the Constitution and take me to court. I am willing to defend myself before the judiciary,” he also said.

At the same time the Minister alleged that the 15 minute speech he had made at a road show in Mumbai was edited and distorted. 

“Editing and distorting a statement is common in the social and electronic media. This is the reason why Sri Lanka needs the Online Safety Bill today,” he stressed.


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  Comments - 51

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  • Ari Wednesday, 21 February 2024 06:33 PM

    India doesn't "send" tourists to Sri Lanka. It is by choice of the individual who decides to come to our country like any other foreign tourist. Hence we can promote our country as the destination of choice by promoting what we can offer as opposed to praising other countries.

    Subash Wednesday, 21 February 2024 06:37 PM

    This guy is becoming like Namal now... inland revenue department should check his TIN and find why these words are coming out of his mouth

    Humble Thursday, 22 February 2024 01:38 AM

    Harin is right. All the guys who try to take a powerful stand should first settle the outstanding loans to India before writing stupid comments. Beggers should not be , but sincere.

    India's safety. Friday, 23 February 2024 07:53 AM

    @Humble. Aren't you ashamed to exibit your ignorance and low IQ in public? Let's be frank. India got involved to avoid China getting more and more involved in SL. So India was not helping SL but was ensuring their security is not further jeopardised. Period.

    ravin Wednesday, 21 February 2024 07:06 PM

    Is this foul mouth know what he is uttering? In that case our country is part of China India Japan America and many more countries as well as belong to all creditors? Does his mouth and brain work together?

    NV Jen Wednesday, 21 February 2024 07:21 PM

    According to a theory, India, Sri Lanka and Antarctica were one landmass called Gondwan. About 140 million years ago when the crustal plates moved these countries were separated. Harin must have been talking about this only in India. What a backward thinking!

    VJ Wednesday, 21 February 2024 07:47 PM

    All’s well about India helping Sri Lanka during a critical phase. We should be grateful for the kind gesture. But does this kindness warrant making Sri Lanka part of India. His big mouth has got him in trouble again.

    Sunil Wednesday, 21 February 2024 07:52 PM

    How can you say first overseas hotel built in Sri Lanka.What about Oberoi and Taj that went overseas many years ago.



    Yoga Thursday, 22 February 2024 06:43 AM

    Shows how knowledgeable are our ministers on their subject

    Joshua Wednesday, 21 February 2024 08:06 PM

    When we have politicians of these calibre in that parliament, what good statement can you expect?

    Mahila Thursday, 22 February 2024 04:09 AM

    What about Calibre - WHO ELECT THEM!!??

    Ram Wednesday, 21 February 2024 08:19 PM

    You blasted Ranil before he became President and now singing hosanas to please him to safeguard your position

    Professor Shanthikumar Wednesday, 21 February 2024 08:25 PM

    In a cultured society like Sri Lanka , unfortunately the political class is filled with semi educated low life men and women.

    ivar chan Thursday, 22 February 2024 03:22 PM

    Cultured Society ?????

    Ama Wednesday, 21 February 2024 08:36 PM

    The reason Sri Lanka indebted to India because MR borrowed heavily to lead a luxury life. Do you speak about CORRUPTION?

    Yoga Thursday, 22 February 2024 06:59 AM

    Pointing at 'MR' is more political than being based on economic facts. During yahapanala Ranil's time the debt was doubled with no real development taking place, and made it not practical to pay it back for whoever took govt there onwards unless taxes and prices of commodities were made sky high as did on his return.

    nadarajah Wednesday, 21 February 2024 08:50 PM

    This fools loose talk has done a lots of damage to Ranil's election campaign

    Tissa Fernando Wednesday, 21 February 2024 09:03 PM

    India came forward and gave USD 4B credit line which was used for importing goods from India which included substandard medicines, lorry busses, Russian oil , all at inflated prices. Then they engaged in asset grabbing exercise and probably got USD 40 Billion in return. So , do you call this being indebted or being harrased. Wednesday, 21 February 2024 09:19 PM

    India gave credit line to buy cheap Indian products. This is nothing but business by India to sell their products

    Prabodha Thursday, 22 February 2024 12:03 AM

    Right.. wonder how many more think on stupid terms like this commentator?

    ahmed Wednesday, 21 February 2024 10:07 PM

    what kind of statement is this ? protecting your sovereignty and having cultural bonds are two different things

    Jeanne Thursday, 22 February 2024 02:43 AM

    We have no sovereignty left. Or for that any dignity. We sold out to China some years ago. Now we are selling out to India. There must be bright sign around the world saying "SRI LANKA FOR SALE". Which is why everyone seems to be suddenly "visiting" Sri Lanka. Now we have Iran visiting us. Why? Sri Lankan masses and politicians beware! Enjoy your arrogant attitudes and ill-gotten gains while they last as the end of Sri Lanka as we know it, is coming to an end.

    Karalasingam Sivalingam Wednesday, 21 February 2024 10:43 PM

    India is our giant neighbour, intertwined with, culture, language and religion, we can survive only, if we forget ahead with, economic, scientific and defense cooperation with India.

    Arnold Thursday, 22 February 2024 06:24 AM

    India, specially under Modi, does not give anything for summa. They make sure they get more that what they give to Sri Lanka or any other country for that matter. They "helped" with a few million dollars and they forced us to give part of the port and the giant solar power project to Adani, which by the way could have been done easily by local investors. Its time we got rid of this beggar/slave mentality.

    Lalith Thursday, 22 February 2024 01:02 PM

    forging ahead with India on the aspects listed by you is one thing and saying that we are a part of India is another and should not be confused with one another

    Sonic Sonic Thursday, 22 February 2024 12:42 AM

    This man is now consuming Sonic tonic to entertain us

    Nodaking kalakanniya Thursday, 22 February 2024 01:53 AM

    Well said Harin Patel. We should bend over when ever we see an Indian master.



    Disgusted with these politicians Thursday, 22 February 2024 02:00 AM

    We desperately need the NPP to rescue the country from worms like these.

    Tissa Fernando Friday, 23 February 2024 10:03 AM

    Really? NPP has been bought fully by India with just one invitation to visit them. They are no longer opposing Harin's comments.

    Jeanne Thursday, 22 February 2024 02:38 AM

    Harin, where were Rama and Seetha when Tamil Nadu was harbouring and training the Tigers? Where were Arahath Mahinda and Vijaya when the Sinhalese started persecuting the Tamils that were "traditionally connected" to Ceylon? What a load of political BS from an overambitious cocky little upstart. Another Namal in the making. God help us all!

    dotv Thursday, 22 February 2024 04:13 AM

    This Minister spoke in Parliament defending his statement ..He forget that the phrase 'part of India ' was error a Minister of a nation that caused ripples of angst . ..He cites cultural similarities between the two countries of the orient ..I remember Martin Wickremasingha in one of his books advocating the cultural the similarities may be the result of settlers coming from the north and the invasions stemming but yet our pride of the unique nature of our culture the culture of the little isle . humans adapting to a unique environment ..England has many a European influence but is proud of her nation state not beholden to any ,except may be to its colonial empire .to be Great Britain ..Tourists come to escape the weary days of working, and we offer a super hospitality cheaper than many others .so why feel so beholden ..Minister be more careful with your words when you speak for the nation ..end of story .

    mario Thursday, 22 February 2024 04:41 AM

    This guy is very smart. When in a foreign country, you say things to appease that country to gain maximum benefits.

    Raj Soma Thursday, 22 February 2024 05:00 AM

    Why do SL have to beg money from others if the Politician since independence were patriotic and did what good for the country? Our Politicians elected by the masses come to the parliament to rob the country. Also , most of them uneducated , have no knowledge whats going on in the country or outside. I think, we the Public are to be blamed electing them in the first place for 77 yrs. No questions , No protest or challenging them in Parliament .. SL needs a good Patriotic and educated smart Man on top with minimum number of parliamentarians ., if not , much more of the country will be sold and people of SL will be Kotta Udda...

    Sonic Sonic Thursday, 22 February 2024 06:26 AM

    India also sent more and more terrorists in the past and drop parippu. Now they also send boats to bottom trawl and steal our fish resources and destroy. They will flex their muscle when needed like the way they do to Maldives

    Oh my Lanka Thursday, 22 February 2024 06:28 AM

    Harin is a fool, to think governments "send" tourists like they probably do in North Korea. Indians are avid bargain hunters and will take the cheapest option, wherever they go. Lanka will be better off without them so that the limited hotel rooms could be made available for tourists of other origins who spend more money.

    Ranjith Thursday, 22 February 2024 07:52 AM

    Srilanka is indebted to India and other countries because Ranil and Rajapakses ruined our country as a country we don't have to go through all these but due to the high corruption in srilanka and mismanagement of economy also due to wrong decisions made by our politicians since lately by Ranil and Rajapakses.

    Lalith Thursday, 22 February 2024 01:08 PM

    This is typical "koheda yanned malle poll" statement. Totally irrelevant to the topic under review.

    Ranjith Thursday, 22 February 2024 07:57 AM

    Please don't talk bullshit and get mixed up with past history and what you are doing now , during the last 2500 years our kings never betrayed our country but maintained excellent relationships , what are doing how trying to protect your self.

    wsw Thursday, 22 February 2024 08:16 AM

    Blithering idiocy coming out of politicians of this calibre. In order to secure cheap political mileage, this moron like many, will utter anything in public, totally oblivious to its ramifications.

    Gundan Palam Thursday, 22 February 2024 08:18 AM

    All politicians waste SL public money? How much did you spend while people are starving and dying with no medicine? You must be sacked very soon if SL has good leaders with strong bones? Do we have one? NO - NO - NOOOOO!

    Amith Thursday, 22 February 2024 08:21 AM

    Well said Harin...kudos to you

    Eper Thursday, 22 February 2024 08:24 AM

    Since independence, our lazy and foolish/ non patriotic politicians were not interested in production and country development. Instead all they did was getting indebted and selling our resources to foreigners.We have no option but to suffer, unless look for a system change and follow Lee Kuan Yu’ principles. If they cannot develop, THEY SHOULD GET LOST RATHER THAN DEPEND ON LOANS

    YLG Thursday, 22 February 2024 08:37 AM

    SriLanka is not part of India. But we do share pretty much everything else. Think that's what he meant. Besides India is doing a much better job with their country than we are. The whole of SL is corrupt unfortunately.

    Lalith Thursday, 22 February 2024 01:04 PM

    you cant say something and subsequently say that what was meant was different. This especially so as a rep of the country.

    Attempt to get attention or divert attention? Thursday, 22 February 2024 08:38 AM

    I don't care what Harin said as long as he does not become another Keheliya! Wimalaya is a pussa,, an empty headed individual who try to divert attention to cover up his crime. And we talk on what Wimalaya uttered?

    Ranjith Perera Thursday, 22 February 2024 12:32 PM

    Nobody gives us anything free , there is a price attached to it. Foreign policy is based on three pillars as I believe in, namely Geopolitics, Domestic policies and history .What is at challenge before us is that how to manage this three areas that promote our interests with matters related to our sovereignty ,economic wellbeing ,security and social factors and minimize negative fall outs on the country and it’s people Bad mouths and promoting self interest of politicians as it look like in this case will have negative factors on the country and it’s people.

    Raven Thursday, 22 February 2024 01:36 PM

    Excellent speech. He truly believes in Sir W, Churchill: “You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.” Good answer to all his detractors and Wimal W.

    Cherath Friday, 23 February 2024 05:13 AM

    Having CONNECTIONS for centuries isn't exactly being 'part of India', is it? Sri Lanka had connections with China for centuries and the Roman Empire during King Parakramabahu I reign and no one said, we are part of China or Rome. Admit you slipped your tongue in your paranoic haste to appease the Indian audience. You don't have to be like JRJ who was rude and dismissive to people with ordinary backgrounds but crept and crawled before whites and Indian aristocrats.

    Bandu Friday, 23 February 2024 10:00 AM

    Lets send this minster as a servant to India to serve there for the rest of his life. Sadly, too many dim witted ministers. Thats the reason country went bankrupt

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