India and Sri Lanka reinforced their bilateral relations during a meeting at the Sri Lankan Parliament on Wednesday.
The gathering, led by Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, included over 50 Sri Lankan MPs, the India-Sri Lanka Parliamentary Friendship Association members, and leaders from various political parties.
Gopal Baglay, High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka, and Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, secretary of the India-Sri Lanka Parliamentary Friendship Association, were among the attendees.
Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar highlighted India's substantial contributions to Sri Lanka's stability and development in a video message. He underscored India's swift financial support of approximately USD 4 billion in addressing Sri Lanka's recent economic challenges, noting that this aid outpaced contributions from other international entities and partners.
Jaishankar delved into collaborative projects focused on providing sustainable solutions. He pointed out joint efforts addressing Sri Lanka's energy needs through grid connectivity and a petroleum, oil, and lubricants pipeline. The mutual benefits of the Trincomalee hub, renewable energy, and expanded regional economic activities were also highlighted.
Furthermore, he affirmed India's support for Sri Lanka's diverse identity and backed the aspirations of the Tamil community for equality and dignity within a united Sri Lanka. Jaishankar endorsed a meaningful distribution of powers as stipulated in the 13th Amendment to the Constitution and the timely execution of Provincial Council elections as crucial steps toward this aim.
The meeting underscored the longstanding friendship between India and Sri Lanka, emphasizing a shared dedication to fortify ties for the mutual benefit of both nations and the broader region.