High Commission of Sri Lanka in India

Visit of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to India, 28 - 29 November 2006 PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail

President Mahinda Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka during his visit to New Delhi on 28th and 29th November 2006 met with Dr. Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister of India, and with other senior Indian political leaders including Smt.Sonia Gandhi, Chairperson, UPA, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, External Affairs Minister and Shri L.K Advani, Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha. President Rajapaksa was accompanied on his visit by among others Mr. Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. K.N. Douglas Devananda, Minister of Social Services and Social welfare and Mr. Rohitha Bogollagama, Minister of Enterprise Development and Investment Promotion.

Prsident Rajapaksa reiterated the clear commitment of his administration to a negotiated political solution. He detailed the several steps taken for establishing a broad national consensus, including progress made in elaborating a framework for devolving power, through the All Party Conference process and the Memorandum of Understanding between the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and the United National Party.

The two delegations also discussed several important areas of bilateral cooperation. The substantial ground covered with regard to the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) negotiations was noted. It was agreed that these negotiations should be progressed expeditiously, with a view to their being concluded at an early date on a mutually beneficial basis.

Among the many other areas of ongoing cooperation discussed were the allocation of a block to India for an Indo - Lanka joint collaboration in the Mannar Basin for oil and gas exploration; the forthcoming joint venture to establish a coal powered electricity plant in Trincomalee; the further strengthening of civil aviation ties, and the continued cooperation between the two countries with regard to the demarcation of the outer limit of the Continental Margin, in accordance with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. On all of these, positive understandings were reached as to the paths ahead. It was also agreed that the experts of the two sides discussing issues pertaining to the Sethusamudram Ship Channel Project would meet once more at an early date, to take forward their useful discussions, including on a Joint Environmental Management Plan.

The meetings between the two sides took place in a cordial and frank manner, in keeping with the close bilateral relationship between India and Sri Lanka.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
29 November 2006