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Lanka President Inaugurates Indian Projects Amid Jaishankar’s Visit

This is Jaishankar’s first official visit after the formation of the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi….reports Asian Lite News

Marking strong neighbourhood ties between South Asia’s historical allies India and Sri Lanka, visiting Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Thursday jointly inaugurated the formal commissioning of the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) under a $6 million grant from India.

Placed at vital points in the Indian Ocean Island, the MRCC has centres at the Navy Headquarters in Colombo, a sub-centre in Hambantota, and crucial unmanned installations at Galle, Arugambay, Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Kallarawa, Point Pedro, and Mullikulam.

Jaishankar and President Wickremesinghe jointly unveiled the virtual plaque to mark the formal commissioning of the MRCC established by Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL).

They also joined the virtual handing over of 154 new houses built under the Indian housing development partnership initiative.

“Appreciated the progress made on various bilateral projects and initiatives. Under President Wickramasinghe’s guidance, discussed the way forward for the India-Lanka cooperation, especially in power, energy, connectivity, port infrastructure, aviation, digital, health, food security, education and tourism sectors. Committed to working for the steady development of our traditionally close and friendly ties,” said Jaishankar.

As many as 106 houses have been built in Kandy, Nuwara Eliya and Matale districts while 24 houses each were built in Colombo and Trincomalee districts.

They add to the already-built 3,700 houses which are part of 4000 houses to be built under Phase-3 of the Indian Housing Project (IHP), an initiative taken by India after the destruction caused by the three-decade-long war which ended in 2009.

Following the end of the civil war, the Indian government launched a project to build 50,000 houses at a cost of (Sri Lankan) Rs 33 billion across Sri Lanka, covering all 25 districts including war-torn north and eastern provinces and at the central hills where Indian-origin Tamils work in tea plantations.

This is Jaishankar’s first official visit after the formation of the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He also met PM Dinesh Gunawardena and his counterpart M.U.M. Alisabry.

“Reiterated India’s strong support through development and connectivity initiatives. Confident that our development assistance and capacity building programs will keep delivering for the aspirations of people of Sri Lanka,” the EAM posted on X after his meeting with Gunawardena on Thursday afternoon.

Among other issues, Jaishankar is also expected to discuss the possible visit of PM Modi to Sri Lanka, later this year.

The Sri Lankan President was in New Delhi on June 9 to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Modi.

During his visit, Wickramasinghe invited the Prime Minister to visit Sri Lanka.

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