Sri Lanka’s PM Extends Welcome to New Indian High Commissioner, Ensures Ongoing Collaboration

Mr Jha, who recently assumed his role as the High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka, expressed his honour to be back in Colombo.

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena cordially received India’s newly appointed High Commissioner, Santosh Jha, at the Temple Trees on December 29, 2023, reaffirming the robust bilateral relations between the two nations.

Mr Jha, who recently assumed his role as the High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka, expressed his honour to be back in Colombo. He fondly recollected his previous tenure in Sri Lanka from 2007 to 2010 and emphasized his commitment to working alongside the people of Sri Lanka, under the guidance of Sri Lankan leadership, for the betterment of the country.

During the meeting, there was an extensive discussion on strengthening economic ties and cooperation between the two countries. They explored avenues to expedite the implementation of proposed joint projects and deliberated on the potential for increased Indian investments in various sectors, such as energy, ports, and railways.

High Commissioner Jha emphasized the importance of taking early measures to realize the India-Sri Lanka Economic Partnership Vision and the 14-point program agreed upon by the leaders of both nations. He assured that India’s expertise would be extended to support Sri Lanka’s plans for digital infrastructure development, including the introduction of digital IDs for every citizen and the advancement of IT education.

Prime Minister Gunawardena expressed his gratitude towards India for their valuable assistance during the ongoing economic crisis. India has not only provided debt restructuring facilities but also extended support in the form of relief materials, food, and medicine. The Prime Minister also acknowledged India’s role in helping Sri Lanka secure the IMF package to address liquidity issues.

In addition to the Prime Minister, the meeting was attended by MP Yadamini Gunawardena, Secretary to the Prime Minister Anura Dissanayake, Deputy High Commissioner Satyanjal Pandey, and Counsellor of the Indian High Commission Eldoss Mathews.

This meeting signifies a significant milestone in further strengthening the bilateral friendship and cooperation between India and Sri Lanka.

The interaction between the newly appointed Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Santosh Jha, and Sri Lankan Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena marks a significant milestone in the efforts to enhance bilateral relations. The leaders engaged in a comprehensive dialogue covering various aspects of the multidimensional relationship between the two countries, underscoring their shared commitment to its preservation and advancement.

During the meeting, both parties explored the potential for increased Indian investments across diverse sectors in Sri Lanka, such as energy, ports, and railways. This exploration holds the promise of fostering economic growth and development within Sri Lanka, thereby further solidifying the existing ties. Additionally, the leaders deliberated on expediting joint projects that have been proposed, which, if successfully implemented, could foster greater cooperation and mutual trust between the two nations.

India’s unwavering support and commitment to Sri Lanka during its ongoing economic crisis were also highlighted during the discussions. This support has encompassed debt restructuring facilities, as well as the provision of relief materials, food, and medicine. Such assistance during times of crisis serves as a testament to India’s dedication to Sri Lanka and significantly contributes to the strengthening of bilateral ties.

High Commissioner Jha emphasized the importance of taking early steps to implement the India-Sri Lanka Economic Partnership Vision and the 14-point program agreed upon by the leaders of both nations. These visionary initiatives are poised to yield substantial economic and social benefits for both countries, thereby further fortifying their relationship.

Lastly, High Commissioner Jha assured Sri Lanka of India’s willingness to extend its expertise in digital infrastructure development. This technical assistance has the potential to enhance Sri Lanka’s capacity-building efforts, thereby fostering stronger ties between the two nations. In conclusion, the recent meeting and the fruitful discussions held therein are expected to pave the way for increased cooperation, mutual trust, and a deeper bond between India and Sri Lanka.