India’s External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar who is in Sri Lanka called on President Gotabaya Rajpaksha today in Colombo. They reviewed various dimensions of the close neighbourly relationship. Dr Jaishankar assured him of India’s continued cooperation and understanding.

He also called on Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa. The discussions were followed by signing of agreement on supporting Buddhist culture and heritage. The External Affairs Minister virtually toured an ongoing camp in Jaffna on fitting ‘Jaipur Foot’. He also virtually inaugurated the Jaffna Cultural Centre constructed by India.

Dr Jaishankar visited the HCL technologies office development centre in Colombo. He said, it is great example of shared talent and global workplace. Sri Lankan Minister for Youth and Sports Namal Rajapaksa also joined the occasion.

The External Affairs Minister visited Lanka IOC, a subsidiary of Indian Oil Corporation in downtown Colombo today. Managing Director of Lanka IOC Manoj Gupta briefed Dr Jaishankar on fuel supply situation. The External Affairs Minister said, Indian Line of Credit of 500 million dollars is helping Sri Lankan people in their everyday life.

He began his Sri Lanka visit by meeting Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa this morning. Dr Jaishankar said they discussed the economic situation and India’s supportive response. He said India will continue to be guided by Neighbourhood First policy.

The External Affairs Minister met Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Thailand Don Pramudwinai on the margins of the BIMSTEC Ministerial. They discussed global and regional issues as well as taking BIMSTEC forward.

He also met the Tamil National Alliance TNA delegation led by R Sampanthan during which discussion held on realization of the aspirations of the Tamils of Sri Lanka for equality, justice, peace and dignity.

Dr Jaishankar also interacted with Tamil Progressive Alliance TPA delegation of Mano Ganeshan, Thigambaram, V Radhakrishnan and Uday Kumar. They discussed the socio-economic issues of the Indian origin Tamil community. The Minister said, India stands committed to its development partnership with Indian Origin Tamils.

Dr Jaishankar received State Minister Jeevan Thondaman and Senthil Thondaman. They reviewed India’s development engagement in Upcountry. They also exchanged views on expanding the cooperation.

The External Affairs Minister will participate in the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting tomorrow in Colombo.


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