High Commission of Sri Lanka in India

Joint Statement on the visit of Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe,11 June 2002 PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail

His Excellency Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe visited India between June 8-12, 2002 at the invitation of the Government of India. He was accompanied by His Excellency Milinda Moragoda, Minister of Economic Reform, Science and Technology, and other high officials.

During the visit, wide-ranging discussions were held in a cordial atmosphere reflecting the close relations between the two countries.

His Excellency Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe met Indian leaders across the political spectrum. Substantive discussions were held with Prime Minister and External Affairs Minister. His Excellency apprised the Indian leadership of the current status of the process to initiate talks to end the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka. Government of India reiterated its commitment to the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka and to the restoration of a lasting peace through a peaceful, negotiated settlement that meets the just aspirations of all elements of Sri Lankan society. Government of India remains fully supportive of the measures taken by the Sri Lanka Government to take the peace process forward.

The two Prime Ministers expressed appreciation at the progress made so far in the implementation of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Following the meeting of the Minister of Commerce of the Republic of India Mr. Murasoli Maran and the Minister of Trade of the Republic of Sri Lanka Mr. Ravi Karunanayake, it was decided that an Indian delegation will visit Colombo in the first week of July to resolve outstanding procedural issues.

Taking into account Sri Lankan Prime Minister’s intention to widen the ambit of the FTA to include the services sector and impart renewed impetus and synergy to the process it was agreed to set up a Task Force for “FTA II & beyond”. This would comprise officials from the Policy Development Ministry in Sri Lanka and the Ministry of Commerce in India and could include other officials and specialists appointed by them from relevant Ministries.

Given the close relations between the two countries and following a request from the Government of Sri Lanka, India has agreed to a further softening of terms of the Line of Credit of US$100 million already extended to Sri Lanka. This envisages a 15 year repayment period, with a 5 year grace period, for contracts to be processed in the Line’s second and third tranche.

The two Prime Ministers noted with satisfaction the progress made in operationalisation of the bilateral agreement for the supply of wheat to Sri Lanka.

India also offered to share its experience and technical expertise in agriculture and to work together with Sri Lanka for farm and food security in the region.

The two Prime Ministers noted that an MoU between the Indian Oil Corporation and the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation is to be signed to enable IOC, through a newly incorporated Sri Lankan subsidiary, to engage in retail trading in Sri Lanka and to manage and operate, on a long lease, the Trincomalee oil tankages.

It was noted that a preliminary study regarding the proposed land bridge between the two countries has been completed. Both sides agreed to initiate a multi-disciplinary feasibility study envisaging private sector expertise and investment under the guidance of the Planning Commission of India and the Policy Development Ministry of Sri Lanka.

The two sides agree that global terrorism is a threat to international peace and security. They agree that terrorist acts cannot be justified on political, ethnic, religious, social, economic, or other grounds. Terrorism is an absolute evil; it is a global scourge to be collectively countered.

The discussions reflected the high priority attached by both countries to the maintenance of close and friendly relations based on mutual trust and understanding.

New Delhi,
June 11, 2002