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PM Modi Launches India-Sri Lanka Ferry Service to Boost Diplomatic and Economic Relations

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In a video address, Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted the launch of a ferry service between Nagapattinam, India, and Kankesanthurai, Sri Lanka, as a momentous step towards fortifying diplomatic and economic relations between the two nations.

He underlined the shared history of culture, commerce, and civilization that binds India and Sri Lanka, pointing to Nagapattinam and nearby towns’ historical significance in sea trade with various countries, including Sri Lanka. The mention of the ancient Tamil literature’s historical port of Poompuhar highlights the deep-rooted connections between the two nations. Prime Minister Modi also drew attention to the Sangam age literature, such as Pattinappalai and Manimekalai, which vividly describe the movement of boats and ships between India and Sri Lanka. The great poet Subramania Bharti’s song, ‘Sindhu Nadhiyin Misai,’ referencing a bridge connecting the two countries, was also mentioned, symbolizing the rich historical and cultural ties.

During the recent visit of Sri Lankan President Wickremesinghe, the Prime Minister informed that a joint vision document was adopted for an economic partnership, with connectivity as the central theme. He emphasized that connectivity extends beyond geographical proximity, bringing people and their hearts closer, fostering trade, tourism, and people-to-people ties. This connectivity also creates new opportunities for the youth of both nations.

Prime Minister Modi recalled the launch of direct flights between Delhi and Colombo during his 2015 visit to Sri Lanka. He also celebrated the landing of the first international flight in the pilgrim town of Kushinagar from Sri Lanka. In 2019, direct flights between Chennai and Jaffna further strengthened connectivity, and the launch of the ferry service between Nagapattinam and Kankesanthurai is yet another significant step in this direction.

The Prime Minister stressed that the vision for connectivity goes beyond the transport sector, with India and Sri Lanka collaborating closely in various areas, including fin-tech and energy. Efforts are underway to link UPI and Lanka Pay to facilitate digital payments. Plans to connect the energy grids of both nations aim to enhance energy security and reliability, crucial for their development.

Prime Minister Modi highlighted that the partnership for progress and development is a cornerstone of the India-Sri Lanka bilateral relationship, reflecting a commitment to leave no one behind. Numerous projects supported by India have positively impacted the lives of Sri Lankan citizens, including housing, water, health, and livelihood support in the Northern province. The Prime Minister expressed delight in supporting the upgradation of the Kankesanthurai Harbour and outlined various projects, all aligned with the vision of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, and Sabka Prayas.”

Speaking about the recent G20 Summit hosted by India, Prime Minister Modi discussed India’s vision of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, emphasizing the importance of sharing progress and prosperity with neighboring nations. The launch of the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor during the G20 summit was highlighted as a significant connectivity corridor that will have a substantial economic impact on the entire region, benefiting the people of Sri Lanka. The Prime Minister expressed gratitude to the President, the Government, and the people of Sri Lanka for the successful launch of the ferry service and expressed a commitment to work closely with Sri Lanka to strengthen bilateral ties for mutual benefit.

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