The Indian envoy here has visited Sri Lanka’s Northern Province to emphasise New Delhi’s abiding commitment to the development and well-being of the people of the country through enhanced development cooperation and expanded economic partnership.
Indian High Commissioner Gopal Baglay has completed a three-day visit to the province, the Indian High Commission said in a statement on Saturday. He was accompanied by senior diplomats of the High Commission on the visit from November 29 to December 1.
The High Commissioner visited three islands off Jaffna, Nainativu, Analaitivu and Delft to assess the preparedness for implementing the Hybrid Renewable Energy Systems project. The Government of India have committed to support this project with a grant to address the energy needs of the inhabitants of these islands.
This was the High Commissioner’s last of several visits to Jaffna during his assignment to Sri Lanka and underscored India’s abiding commitment to the development and well-being of the people of Sri Lanka, including in the Northern Province, through enhanced development cooperation and expanded economic partnership in accordance with the priorities and the requirements of the people of the region, the statement said.
He visited Thalaimannar and Kankesanthurai passenger facilities in pursuance of the ongoing efforts for enhanced connectivity through ferry services between mutually agreed points in India and Sri Lanka.
“Attesting to the significance of developing railway infrastructure under the India-Sri Lanka development cooperation partnership for the benefit of the people of Sri Lanka, the delegation undertook a journey by Sri Lankan Railways from Colombo to Medawachiya in modern coaches supplied under an Indian credit line.
The train journey also provided an opportunity to experience the riding comfort offered by the upgraded railway line from Anuradhapura.
The work is undertaken by reputed Indian public sector company IRCON, under an ongoing Indian line of credit for the upgradation of the Maho-Omanthai segment.
The High Commissioner inaugurated a programme to donate 1,000 school bags to students across Mannar District at Murunkan Maha Vidyalayam whilst also launching a special financial assistance scheme for underprivileged students at the University of Jaffna. In addition, he distributed dry rations to more than 500 families in Jaffna and Delft Islands. Deep freezers were donated to 15 fishermen cooperatives for the use of fishermen in the Jaffna region.
“Interacting with representatives of the cooperatives at Pasaiyoor, the High Commissioner stressed that India is striving to bring benefits of scientific research and expertise for commercially sustainable development of fisheries in Sri Lanka, including in the Northern Province so that the benefits can directly reach the fishermen and the common people”.
At the Indian Peace Keeping Forces (IPKF) memorial in Jaffna, the High Commissioner paid homage on December 1 to the brave sons of India who made the supreme sacrifice in Sri Lanka.
The IPKF was formed under the mandate of the Indo-Sri Lankan Accord signed in 1987 that aimed to end the civil war in the country between militant Sri Lankan Tamil nationalists such as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the Sri Lankan military.