Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to India Milinda Moragoda, paid a courtesy call on Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Thiru M.K. Stalin recently at the Chief Minister’s Office in Chennai. Chief Secretary of the Tamil Nadu Government Thiru Irai Anbu and several other key State officials were present at the meeting.
During the cordial discussion that followed, the High Commissioner thanked the Chief Minister and the people of Tamil Nadu for humanitarian assistance worth Rs 2 billion extended to Sri Lanka to help it tide over the economic crisis.
This is the first time that a Sri Lankan High Commissioner in New Delhi has met the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister after 2011.
The courtesy call came as part of the latter’s plan to promote greater interactions between Sri Lanka and Indian states as set out in his policy road map ‘Integrated Country Strategy for Sri Lanka Diplomatic Missions in India.’
In response, Chief Minister Stalin said he was concerned with the situation in Sri Lanka and had made arrangements to immediately dispatch the first shipment of essential commodities. He added that a second shipment is also to be dispatched and that a few more shipments are expected.
The High Commissioner and the Chief Minister discussed an array of areas pertaining to Sri Lanka-Tamil Nadu relations, including the fishermen issue. The two dignitaries reviewed the ancient and strong ethnic, cultural, and religious affinities between Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka and discussed ways to further strengthen them. Chief Minister Stalin requested that Sri Lanka may wish to install a statue of the celebrated Tamil poet and philosopher Thiruvalluvar in a suitable premises in Sri Lanka, such as a university. The High Commissioner welcomed the suggestion and promised to facilitate this initiative.
To ensure better coordination on all aspects, High Commissioner Moragoda requested the Chief Minister to designate a focal point at state level. Moragoda invited Stalin to visit Sri Lanka as well.
Moragoda was accompanied by Deputy High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to Southern India Dr. D. Venkateshwaran, Deputy High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to New Delhi Niluka Kadurugamuwa, and Second Secretary of the Deputy High Commission of Sri Lanka in Chennai Supun Deshaprema.