Ranil Wickremesinghe, the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka was on an official visit to India from 25-30 April, 2017. He is the third leader from South Asian region to visit India during April 2017. Earlier, Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina (from 7th – 10th April) and President of Nepal Bidya Devi Bhandari (from 17th – 21st April) visited India.
India & Sri Lanka sign MoU on economic co-operation:
On April 26, 2017, during the visit of Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, India and Sri Lanka signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on economic cooperation in New Delhi.
- The objective of this MoU is to achieve “greater economic, investment and development cooperation in a progressive manner”.
- From Indian perspective, this MoU is a roadmap to counter Chinese influence over Sri Lanka’s developmental projects.
Projects included in the India – Sri Lanka MoU on Economic Cooperation:
- Construction of 500-mega watt (MW) capacity power plant that will run on regasified liquefied natural gas (LNG).
- LNG terminal and a Floating Storage Regasification Unit (FSRU) will be constructed in Colombo.
- A 50-MW solar power unit at Sampur in the Trincomalee District of Sri Lanka.
- Creation of industrial zones or Special Economic Zones (SEZs) at specific locations in Sri Lanka.
- Projects to improve road connectivity in Sri Lanka.
- Upgradation of railway tracks and purchase of rolling stock and a container terminal in Colombo Port through a joint venture.
Cooperation for Trincomalee Oil Tank Farm:
- Besides cooperation in above listed projects, India and Sri Lanka will also jointly develop the 99 oil tanks housed in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka.
- Sri Lankan subsidiary of Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) currently runs 15 out of 99 storage tanks.
- The latest joint venture is for remaining 84 tanks out of which Sri Lanka has proposed to retain 10 for use by its Ceylon Petroleum Corporation.
To strengthen cultural ties with Sri Lanka, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Sri Lanka on May 12, 2017. PM Modi will inaugurate celebrations of 14th UN ‘Vesak Day’ in Colombo. Vesak Day, also known as Buddha Poornima is the most important Buddhist festival. Sri Lanka is hosting UN ‘Vesak Day’ celebrations for the first time.
Sri Lanka :
- Capitals: Colombo, Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte
- President: Maithripala Sirisena
- Currency: Sri Lankan rupee