High Commission of Sri Lanka in India

Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao calls on Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail

Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao during her official visit to Sri Lanka, called on Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama on 8th March, 2010. Mrs. Rao who is the first senior Indian official to come to Colombo after the conclusion of the Presidential Election of last January, has used her visit to reiterate the felicitations of Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh concerning President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s re-election by a decisive majority.

Minister Bogollagama expressed to the Indian Foreign Secretary his appreciation of her visit, which also included the inauguration of the Sri Lanka – India English Language Training Centre in Peradeniya established with the assistance of the Indian authorities. The Foreign Secretary had also announced that the present corpus fund of the India-Sri Lanka Foundation which consists at present of Indian Rs.60 million on the basis of equal contributions by India and by Sri Lanka, will shortly be augmented by another Indian Rs.15 million that India wishes to donate. The Foreign Minister welcomed this forthcoming Indian initiative which would add to the capacity of the Foundation to undertake more activities. The Minister also said that Sri Lanka deeply values the help rendered by India for the post-conflict recovery and rehabilitation, which extends among other areas to housing and livelihood related assistance for the internally displaced.

During the conversation between the Minister and the Foreign Secretary, the need for continued vigilance against allowing terrorism to threaten the South Asian region, was underlined. The Minister mentioned that Sri Lanka has successfully eliminated within her territory the terrorist menace that lasted almost three decades. Nevertheless, there were signs of the residues of the LTTE operating in overseas locations, attempting to revive this scourge. The Minister added that the overall vigilance against terrorism, should extend to such endeavours as well.

Minister Bogollagama said Sri Lanka is thankful for the support and co-operation extended by India during Sri Lanka’s tenure as the Chair of SAARC, which commenced at the August 2008 Colombo Summit and will terminate when Bhutan assumes that responsibility, at the forthcoming April 2010 Summit in Thimphu. It is indeed welcome that SAARC is now moving from a phase of declaration to implementation, with many key regional projects due to be shortly operationalised.

During the discussion on bilateral relations, Minister Bogollagama pointed out that President Rajapaksa was conferred at the Presidential Election the historic responsibility of leading the nation for another seven years. Given that the President’s vision is for Sri Lanka’s rapid regeneration and economic growth, there is accordingly now a very conducive atmosphere that would contribute for even greater dynamism in the economic and development partnership between India and Sri Lanka.

Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao pointed out that she had brought with her an invitation for President Mahinda Rajapaksa to visit India. She appreciated the acceptance of the invitation and noted that the forthcoming visit would give further important impetus to the bilateral collaboration including in areas such as economic and trade co-operation, the promotion of investments and scientific and cultural exchanges.

The Indian Foreign Secretary was joined in the call on the Minister by the Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Mr. Ashok Kantha.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
08 March 2010