- Discussions held with the Indian Foreign Minister and Rajya Sabha Chairman.
A delegation from Sri Lanka led by Hon. Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana, the Speaker, who is on an official visit to India, recently met the Speaker of the Indian Lok Sabha, Hon. Om Birla. The close relations between the two countries in many aspects, including culture, were discussed at these discussions held. The Indian Speaker pointed out that the close relationship between Sri Lanka and India, which has existed for thousands of years, should be maintained strongly in the future. Furthermore, the Speaker of the Indian Lok Sabha assured that India will be a strength to Sri Lanka during this economic crisis.
A meeting was also held between the Speaker of Sri Lanka and the Indian Foreign Minister Hon. Dr. S. Jaishankar. The Indian Foreign Minister stated that he will provide all support to overcome the economic challenge that Sri Lanka has to face. He also mentioned that steps will be taken to increase the number of Indian tourists visiting Sri Lanka. Discussions were also held regarding expediting visa facilities for Sri Lankans visiting India and providing free visa facilities to Indian tourists visiting Sri Lanka. Attention was also paid to the need to provide a solution for the large increase in onion prices in this country.
The Speaker also invited Indian investors to invest in Sri Lanka. The Indian Foreign Minister stated that many Indian investors are willing to invest in Sri Lanka and they are encouraged to do so.
Furthermore, the Speaker expressed his gratitude to the Indian Foreign Minister for standing up for Sri Lanka’s democracy when the country’s democracy was threatened during the previous crisis. The Speaker also thanked the Indian Minister of Foreign Affairs for giving two more years to pay off the 550 million Indian Rupees loan that was given to be paid in three years. The Speaker expressed his special respect for the support provided to this country as a true relative of Sri Lanka more than any other country.
The delegation led by the Speaker also met the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha and Vice President of India Mr. Jagdeep Dhankhar. Expressing his happiness regarding this meeting, Rajya Sabha Chairman stated that such a delegation from Sri Lanka came in after five years. It was discussed that the deep relationship between the people of the two countries should be further protected. The chairman of the Indian Rajya Sabha also pointed out the need for both countries to follow a lenient policy when arresting fishermen, as the crossing of the sea border in the fishing industry of the two countries may not happen intentionally.
Deputy Speaker Hon. Ajith Rajapakse, Deputy Chairperson of Committees Hon. Angajan Ramanathan, Minister Hon. Keheliya Rambukwella, Members of Parliament Hon. Niroshan Perera, Hon. Mohomad Muzammil, Hon. Waruna Liyanage, Hon. Weerasumana Weerasinghe, Hon. M. Udayakumar, Hon. M. Rameshwaran, Hon. Jagath Samarawickrama, a group of officials including the Secretary General of Parliament Mrs. Kushani Rohanadeera, Chief of Staff and Deputy Secretary General Mr. Chaminda Kularatne were part of the delegation.