Need to counter disinformation against closer Indo-Lanka ties: Indian envoy

ECONOMYNEXT – India’s envoy to Sri Lanka has called for moves to counter what he called a disinformation campaign against efforts to forge closer ties between the two neighbours, manifested by opposition to a new economic pact.

Economic ties are at the core of India’s renewed engagement with the world, Indian High Commissioner Y. K. Sinha said in a speech at the 70th Independence Day of India celebrated Monday at India House in Colombo.

“With a strong demographic dividend, a growing entrepreneurial ecosystem and a large domestic market, the time is right for India’s economy to soar,” a statement quoted him as saying.

“As the Indian nation moves forward, it invites its neighbours to be part of a collective growth story, especially its close neighbor Sri Lanka,” Sinha said.

In consonance with the vision of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, India looks forward to taking its economic engagement with Sri Lanka to the next level by elevating the free trade pact to include areas such as investment, services and technology cooperation, he said.

The “motivated and mischievous campaign of disinformation” against this agreement needs to be countered by genuine debate and discussion among stakeholders in Sri Lanka, Sinha said.

“India hopes that Sri Lankan businesses will take advantage of their proximity to India,” he said.

Sinha said that India has committed over $2.6 billion in development assistance to Sri Lanka, with over $435 million in outright grants.

The flagship housing project being funded by India is progressing with over 45,000 houses constructed till date.

The third phase, to construct 4,000 houses in the Central and Uva Provinces through an innovative community-driven approach, was launched in the last week of April 2016. 
(COLOMBO, August 15, 2016)
 

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