Press Release|| Deepening India - Sri Lanka Ties in the New World Order

Sri Lanka will not allow its land or maritime territory to be used to threaten the security of any other country and cannot be a strategic security concern for India: Foreign Secretary, Sri Lanka

“Sri Lanka will follow non-alignment and will be a neutral country, maintaining friendly relations with all other countries and does not want to be caught up in the power game. Sri Lanka will not allow its land or maritime territory to be used to threaten the security of any other country and it cannot be a strategic security concern for India.” This was stated by the Foreign Secretary of Sri Lanka at the Web Dialogue on “India-Sri Lanka Relations: Deepening India - Sri Lanka Ties in the New World Order”, organized by the

Asian Confluence in association with Indian Council of World, Affairs (ICWA), ASEAN-India Centre at RIS, New Delhi and the Pathfinder Foundation, Colombo.In his keynote address, the Sri Lankan Foreign Secretary highlighted that Sri Lanka should work towards developing itself as a manufacturing hub and try to manufacture for the 900 million big Indian middle class. “Move away from the historical baggage and develop greater people to people ties”, this was emphasised by all speakers attended the web dialogue. H.E. Mr. Gopal Baglay (High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka) in his valedictory address highlighted the steps taken by the Indian government to improve trade and connectivity between India and Sri Lanka. He also talked about the great cultural and religious ties shared between both the countries. He said, “The more I visit Sri Lanka the more I know India and the more I know India the greater I understand Sri Lanka”. Such is the level of engagement and commonality between the two nations. He pointed out that people to people relation is the bedrock of India-Sri Lanka partnership and the age-old Buddhist relation has been central to develop greater engagements between the two nations and both countries share great commitment towards strengthening the ties. 

Welcomed by Mr Sabyasachi Dutta, Executive Director, Asian Confluence, the inaugural session was also addressed by Amb. TCA Raghavan, DG, ICWA; Amb. Bernard Goethilleke, DG,Pathfinder Foundation; and Prof. Sachin Chaturvedi, DG RIS. The dialogue was divided into two sessions. Session I was chaired by Dr. TCA Raghavan, DG, ICWA and Ambassador (retd.) Ashok Kantha, Former Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka. The panellists were Dr. Ganeshan Wignaraja (ODI, London), Prof. Rohan Samarajiva (LIRNEAsia, Colombo), Mr. Vish Govindasamy (Group MD, Sunshine Holdings PLC), Dr. Samatha Mallempati, (ICWA), Prof. Biswajit Nag (IIFT), Mr. M. S. Negi (V.P Credit, The discussions tried to assess the opportunities and challenges of the current agenda of collaboration, bring together a renewed narrative of cooperation between the countries in the post- COVID-19 period, and implications for unfolding global order with particular focus on Indian Ocean. It aimed at connecting academics and policy-makers to brainstorm and ideate on the different mechanisms and find new avenues of cooperation in the changing world order. SBI Colombo). Prof. Prabir De from RIS extended the Word of Thanks.

All panellists agreed that the way forward for India-Sri Lanka relation is based on historical, cultural, religious and people-to-people contacts. There is a great deal of commitment from both the sides. Trust-deficit is a resultant issue due to the historical baggage, which both the countries would not like to visit again. All panellists at today’s dialogue coherently agreed to move forward leaving behind its past and work towards deepening the bilateral ties. The golden time of the India-Sri Lanka relations is thus arrived.