India’s High Commissioner in Sri Lanka Y. K. Sinha his country is ready to work with the new government of Sri Lanka to take the bilateral relationship between the two nations to the next level and stands ready to continue to provide support and partnership to the closest neighbor in realizing its people's aspirations.
"India looks forward to working with the new Government of Sri Lanka to take the bilateral relationship to the next level for the benefit of the people of the two countries and the South Asian region as a whole," the High Commissioner said at the 66th Republic day celebrations held at the India House Monday.
Speaking about the state of India-Sri Lanka relations, High Commissioner highlighted that India shares a special relationship with Sri Lanka which is not just geographical, but dictated by ties of shared religions, cultural practices, family linkages, linguistic commonalities, economic inter-linkages, and political understanding between two democracies.
Congratulating the people of Sri Lanka on the peaceful conduct of the elections, Mr. Sinha said that India stands ready to continue to provide support and partnership to Sri Lanka in realizing its people's aspirations. He noted that electoral victory of Sri Lankan President, Mr. Maithripala Sirisena, is a tribute to his capacity to respond to Sri Lankan people's yearning for change.
High Commissioner stated that India and Sri Lanka enjoy a vibrant and growing economic and commercial partnership, with both trade and investment expanding sharply in recent years.
Bilateral trade witnessed an upswing in 2014 and in the period January- November 2014, amounted to nearly US$ 4 billion.
Robust trade in goods has promoted bilateral investment and premier Indian companies have displayed great interest in Sri Lanka .The 'Make in India' initiative will attract more Sri Lanka companies to invest in India.
High Commissioner said that both countries should now focus on attention on investments and services sector by forging linkages across the production and supply chains of the two countries. The High Commissioner emphasized that one important pillar of modern India-Sri Lanka relations is development cooperation, which has been built on the foundation of mutual trust and understanding.
India's flagship housing project in Sri Lanka for the displaced makes excellent progress, he said, adding that the project reached its target of constructing 16,000 houses during 2014. A total of 27,000 houses have been constructed under the project to date.
The reconstruction of the railway line up to Jaffna, carried out under a concessional Indian Line of Credit of about US$ 800 million, was a seminal moment, the High Commissioner noted. With the inauguration of this segment of the railway track, the "Yal Devi" Express that used to ply on this route, resumed its services to Jaffna, reconnecting Jaffna to Colombo by rail after more than 24 years.
"All these projects illustrate the tangible benefits that can be achieved through South-South cooperation," he said.
High Commissioner said that the prosperity and security of the two countries is indivisible.