Acting High Commissioner of India, Mr. Vinod K Jacob had a productive meeting with Hon’ble S. Viyalanderan, State Minister of Backward Rural Areas Development and Promotion of Domestic Animal Husbandry & Minor Economic Crop Cultivation and Batticaloa District MP in Colombo on 21 July 2021. Others present during the hour-long meeting were Dr. Amal Harsha de Silva, State Secretary, Hon. Senthil Thondaman, Coordinating Secretary to Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and Mr. Eldos Mathew Punnoose, Head of Development Cooperation Wing, High Commission of India.
2. The two sides discussed the opportunities for investments from India in the Eastern Province as well as joint efforts that could be undertaken for economic development of the region. The two sides also exchanged views about the development cooperation partnership between India and Sri Lanka, especially in the Eastern Province. It may be recalled that during the visit of External Affairs Minister of India, Dr. S Jaishankar to Colombo in January 2021, he had a useful meeting with State Minister S Viyalanderan.
3. The Government of India has always been firmly committed to the economic and social development of the Eastern Province. It may be recalled that phase two of the Indian Housing Project, which was completed in 2016 and comprised 45,000 houses in total, included a substantial number in the Eastern Province. The Emergency Ambulance Project established as a grant assistance beginning in Western and Southern Provinces was expanded to all other Provinces including the Eastern Province after 2018. Fishing equipment like lagoon Oru, sea-going Oru, cool rooms and freezer trucks costing a total of USD 1 million was also distributed among the Internally Displaced fishermen in the Eastern Province. In addition, India has already undertaken a fully grant funded project supplying five rail bus units to run between Batticaloa and Trincomalee-all of which are operational at present. Further, a total of 85 buses were provided to the Eastern Provincial Council amongst others at a total cost of ~ SLR 150 million to connect remote hilly and outlying areas of the Central, Northern and Eastern Provinces with the arterial highways.
21 July 2021