gossip lanka

India explores better infrastructure access to SL

Sri Lanka and India are to have increased connectivity with increased impetus to look into linking infrastructure.

The development of the East Container Terminal, international flights to regional airports, linking electricity infrastructure, and developing ferry services with the accompanying rail infrastructure are being seriously explored.

High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka Gopal Bagley at the ‘Deepening India - Sri Lanka ties in the new World Order’ event said, “The best thing to do to improve relations is to fast-track the East- Container Terminal.”

He said that India was planning to begin direct flights from India to Jaffna and that India was willing to run a ferry service between the two countries at a financial loss to boost ties.

Sri Lanka will be the first country to make international fights to an airport in close proximity to regions of significance to the Buddhist community. Bagley expressed these views on a webinar by the Indian Council of World Affairs and the Pathfinder Foundation on October 29. Bagley noted that all this was part of India’s neighborhood first policy.

Sri Lanka’s potential to benefit from allowing gaming activity deemed illegal in India was highlighted. Indian commentators noted that John Kerry’s visit in 2015 signaled the importance of Sri Lanka geopolitically.

They also noted that Sri Lanka was trying to project itself as a hub. Vice Chairman Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Vish Govindasamy said that the government was in the process of formulating a national trade policy and following the finalization of that endavour it was likely that they would pursue a trade agreement with India.