Newly appointed Indian  High Commissioner Gopal Baglay paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees in Colombo this morning where they discussed enhancing  Indo-Lanka relations further.

The meeting coincided with the 50th anniversary of the Prime Minister’s election to parliament in 1970 and the High Commissioner conveyed the good wishes of the Indian leadership on the occasion.

High Commissioner  Baglay stated that he had come with a mandate to deepen India-Sri Lanka bilateral relations and to expand their close cooperation.

He reiterated the commitment of India to stand shoulder to shoulder with Sri Lanka in addressing the challenges posed by COVID-19 and in post-COVID economic recovery. Towards this end, food security, health security, IT cooperation, tourism exchanges, development cooperation partnership, greater investment flows were identified as priority areas, the Indian HC said in a news release.

The Prime Minister  recalled this long-standing relationship with the people and Government of India and reiterated his belief that the bilateral relationship would become stronger with the addition of new areas of cooperation.

He agreed with the High Commissioner that the shared Buddhist heritage and links between India and Sri Lanka provide a platform for robust people-to-people engagement and for bringing the two peoples closer together.

He said that he would instruct his relevant officials to consult with the High Commission to further develop such cooperation.

High Commissioner conveyed the sincere condolences of the Government of India on the sad and untimely demise of former Minister  Arumugam Thondaman

The new Indian HC wished Rajapaksa who completes 50 years since first entering Parliament today