Indian envoy in Sri Lanka meets political leaders of northern and eastern provinces

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Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Gopal Baglay (File Photo)
Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Gopal Baglay (File Photo)

Colombo [Sri Lanka], March 14 (ANI): Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Gopal Baglay recently held a series of meetings with leaders of various political parties of northern and eastern provinces in the Island nation.

According to the High Commission of India in Colombo statement, Baglay held meetings with leaders in Jaffna and Trincomalee on Saturday, the third day of his visit to the Northern and Eastern Provinces.

Baglay also visited the site of the proposed solar power plant located at Sampur which is to be developed as a joint venture between India and Sri Lanka.

In a tweet, India in Sri Lanka wrote, "On 13 March 2021, High Commissioner visited the site of the proposed #solarpower Plant located at Sampur which is to be developed as a Joint Venture between India and Sri Lanka."

Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP) MP Kulasingam Dhileeban expressed gratitude towards India for its consistent position on the implementation of the 13th amendment and requested more Indian assistance projects in Wanni electoral district, the statement said.

A 15-member TNA delegation, led by the President of Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK) Mavai Senathiraja, Members of Parliament Selvam Adaikalanathan (TELO), Sidhthathan (PLOTE), Sumanthiran, Sritharan, Charles Nirmalanathan and several young council leaders from the Northern Province, apprised the High Commissioner of development requirements of the people of the province, the statement added.

Several practical suggestions were made for deeper engagement in the fields of water, sanitation, education, skill development, health, agriculture, connectivity and fishing.

The statement further stated that an eight-member Tamil parties' delegation led by Tamil Makkal Thesiya Kootani leader CV Wigneswaran, and comprising Suresh Premachandran (EPRLF), N Srikantha, Shivajilingham (Tamil National Party), Ananthi Sasitharan (ETSK), Venthan, Kathir (Jananayaga Poralikal) and Ainkaranesan (Pasumai Thayagam) briefed the High Commissioner on current economic and political priorities.

Members of Parliament Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam and Selvakumar Kajendran of the Tamil National People's Front (TNPF) mentioned to the High Commissioner the priorities of TNPF for the North and the East.

The High Commissioner interacted with political leaders of TNA from the Eastern Province, including Member of Parliament R Shanakkiyan and President of Trincomalee district Kuhadasan in Trincomalee.

A number of practical suggestions were made to the High Commissioner, inter alia, for infrastructure development, skill development, water and irrigation, women empowerment and investment in energy and Information Technology. Meanwhile, the High Commissioner assured India's continued engagement in the development of the Eastern Province.

In all these meetings, Tamil leaders sought further assistance for infrastructural development, more economic investment and additional projects under grant assistance for development cooperation from India in the Province.

The High Commissioner assured his interlocutors of continued cooperation from India in these spheres, the statement read.

He highlighted India's long-standing cooperation and commitment to the development of the northern and eastern provinces in accordance with the requirements of the people and priorities set by their elected representatives.

He recalled commitments of the Sri Lankan government relating to the legitimate aspirations of the Tamil community for equality, justice, peace and dignity, and maintained that achieving them through meaningful devolution within a united Sri Lanka will also contribute to peace, reconciliation, inclusive progress and strength of the country, the statement added. (ANI)