Ferry Service: The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi addressed the launch of ferry services between Nagapattinam, India and Kankesanthurai, Sri Lanka via video message today.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister remarked that India and Sri Lanka are embarking on a new chapter in diplomatic and economic relations and the launch of a ferry service between Nagapattinam and Kankesanthurai is an important milestone in strengthening the relations.
Underlining the shared history of culture, commerce and civilization between India and Sri Lanka, the Prime Minister pointed out that Nagapattinam and nearby towns have been known for sea trade with many countries including Sri Lanka and the historical port of Poompuhar finds a mention as a hub in ancient Tamil literature.
He also spoke about Sangam age literature like Pattinappalai and Manimekalai which describe the movement of boats and ships between the two countries. He also touched upon the great poet Subramania Bharti’s song ‘Sindhu Nadhiyin Misai’, which mentions a bridge connecting India and Sri Lanka. He further added that the ferry service brings alive all those historical and cultural connections.
During the recent visit of President Wickremesinghe, the Prime Minister informed that a vision document was jointly adopted for an economic partnership with the central theme of connectivity. “Connectivity is not only about bringing two cities closer. It also brings our countries closer, our people closer and our hearts closer”, Shri Modi said. He emphasized that connectivity enhances trade, tourism and people-to-people ties, while also creating new opportunities for the youth of both countries.
The Prime Minister recalled his visit to Sri Lanka in 2015 when direct flights between Delhi and Colombo were launched. Later, the Prime Minister added, the landing of the first international flight in the pilgrim town of Kushinagar from Sri Lanka was also celebrated. He also informed that direct flights between Chennai and Jaffna began in 2019, and now the ferry service between Nagapattinam and Kankesanthurai is yet another important step in this direction.
“Our vision for connectivity goes beyond the transport sector”, the Prime Minister emphasized as he underlined that India and Sri Lanka collaborate closely in a wide range of areas such as fin-tech and energy. Noting that digital payments have become a mass movement and a way of life in India due to UPI, Shri Modi informed that both governments are working on fin-tech sector connectivity by linking UPI and Lanka Pay. He also touched upon connecting the energy grids between the two nations to enhance energy security and reliability as energy security is crucial for the development journey of both India and Sri Lanka.
Prime Minister Modi emphasized that partnership for progress and development is one of the strongest pillars of India – Sri Lanka\’s bilateral relationship. “Our vision is to take development to everyone, leaving none behind”, he said. The Prime Minister stated that the projects implemented with Indian assistance in Sri Lanka have touched the lives of the people.
He informed that several projects related to housing, water, health, and livelihood support have been completed in the Northern province and expressed delight in extending support for the upgradation of the Kankesanthurai Harbour. “Be it restoration of railway lines connecting North to South; construction of the iconic Jaffna Cultural Centre; roll out of emergency ambulance service all across Sri Lanka; or the multi-speciality hospital at Dick Oya we are working with a vision of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas and Sabka Prayas”, Shri Modi added.
Speaking about the G20 Summit recently hosted by India, the Prime Minister highlighted India’s vision of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam which has been welcomed by the international community. He underlined that a part of this vision is giving priority to sharing progress and prosperity with the neighboring nations. He also mentioned the launch of the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor during the G20 summit and stated that it is an important connectivity corridor that will create a massive economic impact on the whole region.
He underlined that the people of Sri Lanka will also benefit from it as multimodal connectivity between our two countries is strengthened. The Prime Minister expressed gratitude and thanked the President, the Government and the people of Sri Lanka for the successful launch of the ferry service today. He also spoke about working towards resuming the ferry service between Rameswaram and Talaimannar. “India remains committed to working closely with Sri Lanka to further strengthen our bilateral ties for the mutual benefit of our people”, the Prime Minister concluded.