High Commission of Sri Lanka in India

India - Sri lanka Relations

Confidence and hope for Indo-Lanka bi-lateral relations – Nirupama Rao PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail

The Indian Foreign Secretary Shrimathi Nirupama Rao who met President Mahinda Rajapaksa today congratulated the President for his resounding victory in the recent Presidential Election, said she observed that so much had taken place for the better in Sri Lanka since she was last here as High Commissioner.

During the meeting at Janadhipathi Mandiraya she said the victory of the President gave much cause for confidence and hope for bi-lateral relations between India and Sri Lanka in the future, and that the Indian Prime Minister looked forward to an early visit by President Rajapaksa to India.

Discussing current political developments in Sri Lanka, she said that the presence of more than 1,000 candidates for the forthcoming general election and the North and Eastern Provinces alone showed the enthusiasm of the people for the democratic process, and the change that had taken place with the restoration of peace. “There is a great sense of hope and optimism in the air wherever I have been to”, she said.

The Indian Foreign Secretary is here to participate in the opening of the Sri-Lanka-India Centre of English Language Training ( SLICELT) at Peradeniya earlier today, said the President’s vision to promote the teaching of English in Sri Lanka deserved commendation, and that India was glad to assist in this task. President Rajapaksa thanked India for the assistance given to the furtherance of his policy of providing English as a Life Skill to Sri Lankan youth.

Smt. Nirupama Rao also said the participation of more than 3,000 pilgrims from India at the recent feast at the shrine of St, Anthony in Kachchativu was a further indication of the good interaction between the Sri Lankan and Indian people.

Commenting on the forthcoming general election, President Rajapaksa said there was much enthusiasm by the people to participate in it, being the first nation-wide election of representatives to parliament after the restoration of peace, and that he was looking forward to working with the many new faces and leaders who are expected to be elected, especially from the North and the East.

The Indian Foreign Secretary was of the view that Sri Lanka had made considerable success on the resettling of IDPs in the North and the East, with the number now standing at less than 70,000, and noted that this issue had now gone away from the attention of the international community. She expressed India’s willingness to continue assisting Sri Lanka in the resettlement of the IDPs. Similarly, India was also keen to assist in the complete restoration of the railway line in the North, she said

Among other matters of mutual interest discussed were that of the problems faced by fisherman from both counties, the proposed coal powered power project in Trincomalee, and the necessity for understanding between India andSri Lanka on the protection of the environment and the eco-systems.

President Rajapaksa later hosted Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao to lunch at Janadhipathi Manidiraya. She was accompanied by the Indian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka Shri Ashok Kantha. President Rajapaksa was accompanied in the cordial discussions by Secretary to the President Mr. Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary, Foreign Affairs Mr. Romesh Jayasinghe and the Governor of the Central Bank Mr. Ajith Nivard Cabraal.

Presidential Secretariat
March 07, 2010

High Commission celebrates Independence and National Day PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail

The grand Reception held at the High Commission in New Delhi to celebrate this year’s Independence and the National Day was attended by a cross section of distinguished personalities in New Delhi and the diplomatic community.  Union Cabinet Minister of Human Resource Development of India, Kapil Sibal represented the Government of India as the Chief Guest.  The event included a Cultural Show presented by Sri Lanka Navy Cultural Troupe and was embellished with authentic specialty Sri Lanka cuisine prepared by the two prominent chefs from Sri Lanka.
The celebrations of the Independence and National Day commenced in the morning of 4th February with the offerings of alms to the Buddhist clergy in India by the staff of the High Commission at the Residence of the High  Commissioner followed by the flag hoisting ceremony with the participation of the Sri Lankans living in New Delhi.  A multi religious ceremony with the participation of the clergy of Buddhist, Christian, Hindu and Islamic faiths commemorated the day and the National Day Messages of the President, Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister were read.  High Commissioner Prasad Kariyawasam speaking on the occasion described the recent successful Presidential election as “ a yet another manifestation of the deep rooted democratic traditions in Sri Lanka” and said that “  It was a profound expression of the will of the people to march along with an enlightened political leadership for greater progress and prosperity.  Having defeated terrorism which disturbed the country for nearly three decades, His Excellency President Rajapaksa has announced a vision for the future to make Sri Lanka a “wonder of Asia” and an inclusive and free society.”  High Commissioner Kariyawasam, called upon those present to help strengthen bilateral cooperation with India and to march forward together towards greater prosperity in the region and to make Sri Lanka truly the “Pearl of the Indian Ocean.”
Sri Lanka High Comission
New Delhi
5 February 2010

Indo-Lanka relations have reached "an unprecedented level of depth and quality today" PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail

India’s relations with Sri Lanka have reached “an unprecedented level of depth and quality today”, observed Indian Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon at his meeting with Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama on Friday, during his two-day visit to the island. The Foreign Secretary further observed that it is during difficult times that the true quality of a friendship becomes most evident, and that the Indo-Lanka relationship is one such friendship that has effectively withstood the test of time and adversity.

Minister Bogollama warmly welcomed Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon to Sri Lanka, and indicated that this visit is a reflection of India’s steadfast friendship with Sri Lanka as well as the maturity of the Indo-Lanka relationship. The Minister extended the warm appreciation of the Sri Lankan government for the continued understanding of India on issues of mutual concern. Reiterating that the Sri Lankan government perceives the Indo-Lanka Accord as the key to seeking a political solution to the conflict, the Minister observed that the present juncture offers a window of opportunity to implement the Accord, given the decisive victories gained by the government in combating LTTE terror on all fronts. In this context, he observed that the government is currently in the process of exploring several avenues of implementing the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. The Minister highlighted the government’s sincere commitment to evolving a broadbased and an inclusive peace process in order to achieve a durable peace, acceptable to all communities living in the island.

Foreign Secretary Menon expressed his appreciation of the sentiments expressed by Minister Bogollagama on the Indo-Lanka Accord and the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. Minister Bogollagama and Secretary Menon agreed that a moment of political opportunity has been made available to Sri Lanka today to bring about an inclusive peace process with credible political representation by the Tamil people within the country’s democratic process. Minister Bogollagama in this context thanked the Indian government for the humanitarian assistance extended during this period to further augment the steps being taken by the Sri Lankan government to ensure the welfare of civilians living in northern Sri Lanka. He welcomed continued humanitarian assistance by India to the affected people.

Secretary Menon extended his appreciation of the proactive role played by Sri Lanka both multilaterally and in the regional context in combating terrorism, and extended the unstinted support of the Indian government in this exercise. Secretary Menon briefed Minister Bogollagama on the current status of the investigation on the Mumbai terror attacks and indicated that India would continue to work closely with Pakistan to bring the perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice. He emphasised that concerted and collective international action is needed in combating the scourge of trans-national terror. Minister Bogollagama, in response, indicated that as a country that has itself been the victim of terror which had proliferated with international links and support, Sri Lanka is well placed to understand the gravity of the threat of trans-national terrorism. He reiterated Sri Lanka’s support in combating terror at every level in order to secure a sustainable peace within the region.

The Minister also reiterated Sri Lanka’s interest in cooperating with India on maritime security in the Indian Ocean, both bilaterally and within the framework of regional groupings such as BIMSTEC.

On Indo-Lanka economic relations several issues of mutual interest were discussed. Minister Bogollagama expressed Sri Lanka government’s satisfaction at the increase in bilateral trade within the framework of the Indo-Lanka Free Trade Agreement, and expressed the government’s desire to work closely with India in upgrading the bilateral FTA to a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement in the foreseeable future. The discussions also referred to the need to address Sri Lanka’s widening trade deficit with India in a meaningful manner.

The two sides discussed the Indo-Lanka Joint Commission which last met in 2005, and agreed to look at the possibility of convening the forthcoming session of the Joint Commission after May 2009. It was agreed to convene the sub-committees of the Joint Commission in the interim.

On the delimitation of the outer edge of the Indo-Lanka continental margin, the two sides agreed to further discuss attendant legal issues, and work closely in resolving outstanding issues, in a manner reflective of the close friendship existing between the two countries.

The two sides discussed progress within SAARC, including issues concerning the Standing Committee and the Council of Ministers sessions due to take place in Colombo shortly. The Minister observed that he looks forward to a successful outcome at the SAARC Council of Ministers Meeting that would bring on board many issues that concern the region. Secretary Menon in response pledged the fullest support of the Indian government to SAARC and observed that it looked forward to playing a constructive role in the forthcoming Council of Ministers Meeting.

Minister Bogollagama expressed his sincere appreciation of the role played by the Indian government in releasing Sri Lankan fishermen captured in the Indian waters, and for providing them with safe passage. He appreciated the cooperation and flexibility shown by the Indian government in this matter.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Foreign Secretary Menon informed Minister Bogollagama that India’s External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee looked forward to an early visit to India by Minister Bogollagama. This invitation was welcomed by the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister.

Minister Bogollagama was assisted at the meeting by Foreign Secretary Palitha Kohona, Additional Secretary/Foreign Affairs Prasad Kariyawasam and other senior officials. Foreign Secretary Menon was assisted by India’s High Commissioner in Sri Lanka Alok Prasad, Joint Secretary/External Affairs T.S. Tirumurti, India’s Deputy High Commissioner in Sri Lanka Vikram Misri and other senior officials.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Colombo, Sri Lanka
16th January 2009

Foreign Minister condemns terrorist outrage in Mumbai PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail

Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama has strongly condemned the multiple terrorist attacks on the Indian financial hub of Mumbai last night (26 November 2008), which claimed the lives of over a hundred civilians and left scores of others injured.  

In a message to his Indian counterpart, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister has stated that the savage terrorist attacks underscore the urgent need to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. He has also expressed Sri Lanka’s readiness to stand shoulder to shoulder with India in the fight against this menace, with resolve, which poses a clear danger to international peace and security.

Full text of the message:

27 November 2008

His Excellency Shri Pranab Mukherjee
Minister of External Affairs
New Delhi.

Your Excellency,

I have received with deep shock, news of the dastardly terrorist attacks in Mumbai last night which have killed over a hundred innocent civilians and left scores of others injured.

As reports emerge, the true magnitude and the well-coordinated nature of these multiple attacks on civilian targets, including hospitals, a key railway station, major hotels and other public locations, point to a well-planned terrorist conspiracy to cause maximum civilian casualties and disrupt normal activity in this bustling metropolis of India.

I strongly condemn these savage terrorist attacks, which underscore the urgent need to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. Sri Lanka stands ready shoulder to shoulder with India in the fight against this menace, with resolve, which poses a clear danger to international peace and security.

I extend my sincere condolences to the bereaved families. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who have been injured and wish them a speedy recovery.

Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.

Rohitha Bogollagama M.P.
Minister of Foreign Affairs

Statement of the Foreign Minister in Parliament, 4 November 2008 PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail

Hon. Speaker,

I am sure that Hon. Members are closely following developments in the country, especially the ongoing operations by our security forces in the North, to disarm the LTTE, and restore democracy, peace and stability to the region. In this context, our close and regular interaction with India, whose friendship and goodwill which we greatly value, has assumed critical significance in recent times.

Of particular importance has been the recent visit of Hon. Basil Rajapaksa MP., Senior Advisor to the President, as the Special Envoy of the President to New Delhi. The successful outcome of his discussions with the Indian leadership is most reassuring for the peoples of India and Sri Lanka and all those friends and well wishers who desire lasting peace in Sri Lanka. Of course, it goes without saying that the enemies of peace and the prophets of doom, who had predicted otherwise, are naturally disappointed!


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