High Commission of Sri Lanka in India

Special Lecture delivered by the Executive Director of the LKIIRS PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Tuesday, 30 January 2018 13:54

A special lecture on the “Role of Sri Lanka in South Asia and Beyond: Emerging new Contours” was delivered by Dr. Dinusha Panditaratne, Executive Director, Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of Sri Lanka on 19 January 2018 at the Habitat Centre, New Delhi.  The special lecture was organized by the Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) in New Delhi.

At the inception the welcome remarks were made by Prof. Sachin Chaturvedi, Director General of the RIS and the session was chaired by Ashok Sajjanhar, former Indian Diplomat.

Dr. Panditharatne reflected on four emerging contours and Sri Lanka’s role in South Asia and beyond.  She identified contours as;

-    Sri Lanka in the centre of the Indian Ocean gaining a south asian geographic identity

-    In the past focusing on political diplomacy, but now more towards economic diplomacy

-    Strategically non-aligned, but cautious and actively engaging with regional powers

-    Seeking to demonstrate that Sri Lanka follows regional and international norms.

The presentation encapsulated the discernible shifts in these characteristics. She noted that these four developments in Sri Lanka’s foreign relations are nascent, but generally positive. Pursued in combination, these developments will elevate Sri Lanka’s standing, while strengthening its neighbourhood relations. The experiences of successful small states like Singapore, the Netherlands and New Zealand, are instructive for Sri Lanka in this regard. 

Dr. Panditaratne also noted in her lecture that, Sri Lanka is being rebranded in the present context in order to aspire to be major trading hub in Asia.  Furthermore, she noted that Sri Lanka has been able to bring its Free Trade Agreements (FTA) into force which in turn impacts positively to the rebranding process.  She stated that economic diplomacy is given priority, adherence to the rule of law and good governance gave a new face to the rebranding process.  Sri Lanka has also pursued non-alignment in the current context and non-alignment according to Sri Lanka’s national interest.  This has shaped the international norms within Sri Lanka’s foreign policy and framing a South Asian geographic identity.

At the end of the special lecture, H. E. Mrs. Chitranganee Wagiswara, High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in India made special remarks referring to current developments in which she highlighted that Sri Lanka has to face many challenges.  She emphasized that Sri Lanka is a resilient country and that Sri Lanka is developing the economy in order to play an important role as a hub in the region while pursuing political stability and promoting links with the international community. The High Commissioner referred to India’s neighbourhood policy and Sri Lanka – India linkages which contributes to closer engagement between the two countries.

Mr. Tim Hitchens, CEO to CHOGM called on the State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Vasantha Senananayke PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Wednesday, 24 January 2018 13:40

Mr. Tim Hitchens, the CEO of CHOGM called on the State Minister for Foreign Affairs Vasantha Senanayake in New Delhi to review the matters ahead of the Sri Lanka’s participation at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2018 which is scheduled from 18-20th April 2018 in London, United Kingdom.  The two dignitaries discussed ways of addressing common challenges and contributing to the further improvements of suggested theme for the conference i.e. ‘Towards a Common Future’.

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka , Vasantha Senananayke attends the Raisina Dialogue 2018 in New Delhi PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Wednesday, 24 January 2018 13:31

State Minister for Foreign Affairs , Vasantha Senanayake was a panelist at the discussion on 'Towards a Bay of Bengal Community: Development, Growth & Security'.  The panel was moderated by Baijayant Panda, Member of Parliament of India, and other speakers included Preeti Saran, Secretary, (East), Ministry of External Affairs, and Shankar Das Bairagi, Foreign Secretary, Nepal. 

Opening the Panel Discussion Bhaijant Panda noted that BIMSTEC serves as a bridge between SAARC & ASEAN nations. It is a platform to fulfill key foreign policy objectives. The growth rate of the BIMSTEC nations are 6%. These nations constitute 2.6% of global trade. 

In his opening remarks Minister Vasantha Senanayake stated that the Bay of Bangal region is the least integrated regions in the world and that BIMSTEC has the potential to pool in strengths from both South and Southeast Asia. He further said that as much as we have become competitive in the asian century, we need physical connectivity, institutional connectivity, information connectivity and trade and investment facilitators to integrated each group in the bay of Bengal region.  He stressed that there are both security and non security threats in the region that has to be addressed through a strategic framework. India can play a vital role in to succeed in this task by spearheading its role to take BIMSTEC forward.  Freedom of navigation & rule based order is in the long term interest of the region. This can facilitate the stability and security cooperation between BIMSTEC and with IORA & IMO. 

The Foreign Secretary of Nepal said that, BIMSTEC has great potential to realise high growth trajectory of the region and contribute towards an 'asian century'. Key areas of priorities include trade, energy and security. Connectivity is at the core of BIMSTEC and investment, trade, infrastructure, people to people connectivity should be a priority. The pace of cooperation has unfortunately not been satisfactory. Some barriers has restricted regional integration.  BIMSTEC connects India's neighbourhood policy with act east policy. It is a focal point of India's foreign and economic outreach strategy. India wants to include its neighbours in its growth story. Therefore, India remains committed to BIMSTEC.

Minister Senanayake responding to a question raised by the audience noted that the main difficulty is that each country is at different stage of economic growth.  The need is to think of BIMSTEC beyond borders. BIMSTEC should emulate the ASEAN model of betterment of the entire member countries and India needs to play a greater role.

Tilak Marapana, Minister of Foreign Affairs attended the 4th International Dharma-Dhamma Conference PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Wednesday, 24 January 2018 13:09

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tilak Marapana attended the 4th International Dharma-Dhamma Conference on "State and Social Order in Dharma-Dhamma Traditions" which was held in Rajgir, Bihar in India from 11th – 13th January 2018.  The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the Conference.  

Speaking at the Conference Minister Marapana stated that the Buddhist concept of rule of law & good governance are depicted in “Dasa Raja Dharma” in which Lord Buddha preaches to Kings to rule in a fair manner and be concerned of the welfare of their communities.  He further noted in his speech that, the Ten Virtues according to Buddhist ideals of good governance are as follows;

Generosity, morality, liberality, openness, gentleness, self restraints, no anger, non violence, patience and non-competitiveness.

The Conference was organised by the Nalanda University, in collaboration with the Centre for Study of Religion and Society, India Foundation, Ministry of External Affairs and the Vietnam Buddhist University.  This Conference was further organised as part of the commemorative events to celebrate the Silver Jubilee year of ASEAN-India Dialogue Partnership, with support of the Union Ministry of External Affairs. Bihar Governor Satya Pal Malik, CM Nitish Kumar, and Kingdom of Thailand's Minister for Culture Vira Rojpojchanarat, among others, attended the conference.

A Dollar Credit Line of USD 45.27 million from the Government of India for financing the Rehabilitation of Kankesanthuri Harbour PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Wednesday, 24 January 2018 12:52

The Government of Sri Lanka signed a Line of Credit amounting to USD 45.27 million for financing the Rehabilitation of KKS Harbour.  This project will be implemented by the Sri Lanka Port Authority under the supervision of the Ministry of Ports and Shipping. Under this project the Rehabilitation of Breakwater and Additional pier/s for commercial Cargo handling and infrastructure facilities will be developed.  The proposed credit line will be provided by the Government of India through Export Import Bank of India (EXIM Bank).

During the last few years Indian foreign direct investment in Sri Lanka has expanded exponentially.  Presently, Indian development assistance mainly focuses on improvement of economic infrastructural facilities, livelihood development, education, healthcare, capacity building and economic renewal of Sri Lanka.  Previously, both governments linked a Line of Credit (LOC) of USD 318 million for the development of the railway sector in Sri Lanka in June 2017


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