India, Sri Lanka ink six agreements to boost bilateral cooperation

PTI, Mar 29, 2022, 4:32 PM IST

Colombo: India and Sri Lanka have signed six agreements to boost bilateral cooperation in diverse sectors like technology, fisheries and hybrid power projects, the Indian High Commission here has said.

Under the agreements, which were signed on Monday in the presence of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Sri Lankan counterpart GL Peiris, India will also provide grant assistance for the implementation of Sri Lanka’s Unique Digital Identity.

The MOUs include the implementation of the Sri Lanka Unique Digital Identity (SL-UDI) programme with India’s grant assistance and for providing the Maritime Rescue Coordination Center.

“There is an MOU on implementation of Hybrid Power Projects in three Islands off Jaffna and also on cooperation in the development of Fisheries Harbours in Sri Lanka,” the mission said.

The two sides signed MoUs for the establishment of modern computer labs and smart boards with customized curriculum software in 200 schools in Galle District and a separate MOU between the Sushma Swaraj Institute of Foreign Service and the Bandaranaike International Diplomatic Training Institute.

Jaishankar also separately met Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Douglas Devananda and discussed issues pertaining to fishermen and exchanged views on devolution, the statement said.

Jaishankar met a delegation from the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) led by R Sampanthan, MP, on Monday.
Jaishankar welcomed the positive developments regarding the issues on the Government-TNA agenda. He emphasized that India was consistently supportive of the realization of the aspirations of the Tamils of Sri Lanka for equality, justice, peace, and dignity within the framework of a united Sri Lanka.

Jaishankar arrived here on Sunday to attend the ongoing 18th BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting in Colombo. He held bilateral talks with Sri Lanka’s top leadership on Monday. This is his first visit to the island nation since India extended an economic relief package to bail Sri Lanka out of the current economic crisis.

During his separate meetings with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, Jaishankar assured them of India’s continued support in Sri Lanka’s economic recovery process.

The statement also pointed out that the Jaffna Cultural Center is a glowing example of the India-Sri Lanka development partnership. It was conceived as a reconciliation project primarily aimed at expanding cultural infrastructure for the people of Northern Province, it said.

The state-of-the-art facility, constructed with grant assistance from the Indian Government, consists of multiple facilities such as a museum of two floors; an advanced theatre-style auditorium for more than 600 people; an 11-storeyed learning tower; a public square that could also act as an amphitheater, etc, it said.

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