ECONOMYNEXT – An Indian envoy has urged the Sri Lankan Prime Minister to initiate a discussion among countries in the region to develop a common strategy to emerge from the adverse economic effects these countries have suffered due to the Covid pandemic.
India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Devol made this request of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa when he called on the Sri Lankan Leader in Colombo yesterday, November 27, the PM’s office said.
Devol is in Colombo for the annual trilateral security conference between India, the Maldives and Sri Lanka.
The top Indian advisor extended greetings to the Prime Minister and Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa from PM Narendra Singh Modi.
According to a statement issued by the PM’s office Devol had pointed out that the Covid 19 pandemic and affected the South Asian region adversely but “economic and social development must continue.”
Devol had said that as all the countries of the region had lost earnings because their migrant workers had lost work in the Middle-East and other regions their economies were affected.
As most diplomatic contacts and activities are now being conducted online between world leaders online, Devol proposed that Rajapaksa take the lead in a regional initiative.
Rajapaksa in his remarks appreciated the work India had done in providing housing for people in the North and East as well as the Up Country and requested that this program be extended to cover the Southern Provinces.
Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister had also expressed his appreciation of the drinking water projects across India initiated by PM Modi and requested for assistance for a similar project in Sri Lanka.
India’s High Commissioner in Sri Lanka Gopal Bagley who was at the meeting had been asked to immediately initiate discussions with regard to this proposal with local officials by Devol, the release said.
Bagley and the PM’s Secretary Gamini Senarath were present.
(Colombo November 28, 2020)
Reported by Arjuna Ranawana