High Commission of Sri Lanka in India

India - Sri lanka Relations


Board of the India-Sri Lanka Foundation meets to approve projects PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
The India-Sri Lanka Foundation will hold a Board Meeting in New Delhi from 2-3 July 2010 with a view to fostering bilateral relations through the enhancement of economic, scientific, educational, technical and cultural cooperation, as well as promoting greater understanding between the peoples of the two countries.
 
Activities funded so far by the Foundation include research and other education activities at institutions of learning located in India and Sri Lanka; Facilitating visits and exchanges of scholars, academics, professionals, artists and experts of the two countries; Assisting activities such as seminars, symposia and workshops on subjects of common interest and extending financial support to those voluntary civil society organisations in both India and Sri Lanka whose work facilitates achievement of the objectives of the Foundation.
 
Since its formation, the Foundation has financed and extended assistance to nearly 200 projects ranging from archaeological studies, exchange programs of academia, research related to Indo-Lanka relations, assistance to participate in seminars/workshops, publications, art exhibitions, training programs and travel assistance for participation in events in the realm of art & culture, student exchange programmes involving schools and colleges and film festivals in both countries.
 
The Foundation encourages individuals and organisations to forward worthwhile proposals falling under its objectives to be considered by the Board for supporting.
The India-Sri Lanka Foundation was established through a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the governments of India and Sri Lanka on   28th December 1998 with equal contributions of SLR. 40 Million and INR. 20 Million respectively to the Corpus Fund. The Government of India has made additional contributions to the Corpus Fund recently, making its total contributions to INR. 45 million.
 
The management and direction of the affairs of the Foundation are vested in a Board of Directors consisting of 6 Directors. The High Commissioners of Sri Lanka to India and the High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka are Co-Chairpersons and the two governments have nominated two Members each to the Board.
The two Board Members nominated by the Government of Sri Lanka are Mr. Sunimal Fernando, Advisor to the President of Sri Lanka and Mr. Thirukumar Nadesan, Managing Director, Asia Project Services Ltd., while the two Board Members from India are Mr. M. Rasgotra, Former Foreign Secretary of India and Prof. P.V. Indiresan, Former Director of IIT-Madras.
  
High Commission of Sri Lanka
New Delhi
 
1 July 2010 
 
Speech made by President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Banquet hosted by President Smt. Pratibha Patil, 9 June 2010 PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Your Excellency Srimathi Pratibha Devisingh Patil, President of India,
Your Excellency Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India,
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen.

The distinguished gathering this evening and the elegant setting of Rashtrapati Bhawan, bring back memories of the warm goodwill of my first State visit to India in 2005 soon after my first election. Today, I have the pleasure of being here after being re-elected for a second term of office, with the strength of the historic mandate conferred on my Government.

Bonds between our two countries go back to the mists of history. Since the days of Emperor Asoka, whose kindness led to Sri Lanka receiving the noble Message of the Buddha, the value systems and wisdom of the Indian sub-continent, have been a source of inspiration and counsel for our people. The contemporary economic, geographic and strategic imperatives compel us more than ever before to stand together.

Excellencies,

On behalf of the Government and the people of my country, I express appreciation to the Government and the people of India for their understanding and substantial support for our efforts to establish peace. We look to your continued cooperation and encouragement, and we recognize with gratitude that in the provision of medical aid, in de-mining, humanitarian assistance to the displaced and infrastructure restoration, the Government of India has been in the forefront, complementing and supporting our own efforts.

Excellencies,

The recent national elections enabled the people living in the North and the East of our country to exercise their franchise freely after several decades. We are committed to strengthening this democratic process. Provincial Council elections were held in the East, no sooner the province was cleared of terrorists.  We now intend to hold Provincial Council elections in the North at the earliest.

I am fully aware that the measures for economic progress and for the revival of democratic governance, must be paralleled by measures to heal the hurt in the minds of our people arising out of conflict.  We are determined to introspect and learn from the events of that difficult era.  With this intention, a Commission on Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation has now been appointed.  We are confident that this Commission with its wide ranging mandate would guide us towards a process of further strengthening national amity.

Excellencies,

With our focus now on delivering the peace dividend and prosperity to our people, our economic relations with India assume an even more fundamental importance.  Sri Lanka’s locational advantage and human resource potential can couple easily with India’s vast market, business skills and core technological competencies. There must be  greater interaction between our business and professional communities, who are in fact the change agents for economic cooperation and integration.

Just as much as we in Sri Lanka hail the economic rise of India, we also salute her achievements in deeply entrenching democratic governance.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and I, joined by our respective delegations have had fruitful discussions today and reached agreement on many issues. I am confident that these decisions will strengthen our endeavours to fashion a partnership that can become a model of deep trust, friendship and cooperation between two very close neighbours.

Excellency,

While thanking you and the Government of India for the warm welcome and generous hospitality extended to me and my delegation, I take this opportunity to invite you to visit Sri Lanka. The people of my country will be most honoured to receive you.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me now propose a toast to the good health, success and happiness of Her Excellency Srimathi Pratibha Patil and to the long-lasting friendship between the peoples of India and of Sri Lanka.

To Friendship !

Thank you.

 
India-Sri Lanka Joint Declaration - 09/06/2010 PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail

1.  At the invitation of the President of India, Smt. Prathiba Devisingh Patil, the President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa, is paying a State Visit to India from 8th – 11th June 2010. The President is accompanied by Mrs. Shiranthi Rajapaksa.

2. The President of Sri Lanka was accorded a ceremonial welcome at Rashtrapathi Bhavan on 9th June 2010. During the visit, the President of Sri Lanka was received by the President of India, who hosted a banquet in his honour.

3. Finance Minister Shri. Pranab Mukherjee, External Affairs Minister Shri. S.M. Krishna, Leader of Opposition Smt. Sushma Swaraj and Chairperson of the United Progressive Alliance Smt. Sonia Gandhi called on President Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa.

4. The President of Sri Lanka had a meeting with the Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh, on 9th June 2010, which was followed by delegation level talks.

5. The official discussions between the two sides were marked by friendship, mutual respect and understanding. The President of Sri Lanka and the Prime Minister of India agreed that the shared cultural and civilizational heritage of India and Sri Lanka and the extensive people-to-people interaction provided the foundation to build a vibrant and multi-faceted partnership. India-Sri Lanka relations have matured and diversified with the passage of time, encompassing all areas of contemporary relevance, including trade, services and investment, development cooperation, science and technology, culture and education.

6. In consonance with their vision of the future of the India-Sri Lanka relations, the two leaders agreed to further harness the enormous potential available for consolidating and strengthening the bilateral partnership by building on shared values and principles of democracy and pluralism, leveraging common strategic concerns and interests, enhancing connectivity between the two countries, increasing the integration of their economies, and reinforcing the institutional framework for cooperation.

7. The Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh, congratulated the President of Sri Lanka, Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa, on his recent electoral victories and conveyed that the recent elections, together with the cessation of hostilities in Sri Lanka in May 2009, provided a historic opportunity for the country's leaders to address all outstanding issues in a spirit of understanding and mutual accommodation and to work towards genuine national reconciliation. The Prime Minister emphasised that a meaningful devolution package, building upon the 13th Amendment, would create the necessary conditions for a lasting political settlement. The President of Sri Lanka reiterated his determination to evolve a political settlement acceptable to all communities that would act as a catalyst to create the necessary conditions in which all the people of Sri Lanka could lead their lives in an atmosphere of peace, justice and dignity, consistent with democracy, pluralism, equal opportunity and respect for human rights. Towards this end, the President expressed his resolve to continue to implement in particular the relevant provisions of the Constitution designed to strengthen national amity and reconciliation through empowerment. In this context, he shared his ideas on conducting a broader dialogue with all parties involved. The Prime Minister of India expressed India’s constructive support for efforts that build peace and reconciliation among all communities in Sri Lanka.

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India-Sri Lanka Foundation assists award winning Sri Lankan Students PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail

Four students from various institutions in Sri Lanka, whose participation was financed by the India-Sri Lanka Foundation, won four awards at the Birla Institute of Technology & Science (BITS) Model United Nations Summit 2010 held at Pilani, Rajasthan from 12-14 February 2010. 

The India-Sri Lanka Foundation (ISLF) is a trust jointly set-up by the governments of Sri Lanka and India, to promote better understanding between the people of the two countries. The ISLF financed the participation of six (06) students from prominent educational institutions in Sri Lanka. 

Mr. Yohan Senarath of Colombo International School won the Best Delegate award at the Security Council, while Mr. Zainul Meeadh of D.S. Senanayake College was presented the Higher Commendation award at the Human Rights Council. The Special Mention award at the General Assembly was given to Ms. Danushka Medawatte of the University of Colombo and the Special Mention award at the Economic and Social Council was given to Mr. Laknath Gunathilake of the University of Kelaniya. 

The Model United Nations Summit is an academic simulation of the United Nations, wherein the students take up the role of delegates of various countries and reflect, deliberate and debate on issues of importance to the world. The event was organized in collaboration with the United Nations Information Centre in New Delhi.

 

New Delhi

19 February 2010

 

 
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
Colombo
March 07, 2010

 


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