Indian HC Baglay meets Tamil Nadu CM Stalin
By Sulochana RamiahMohan
A three-member team led by Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Gopal Baglay met Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin and senior officials of Tamil Nadu to discuss key matters related to people-to-people relations between India and Sri Lanka. They also visited Tamil Nadu fishermen in the coastal areas of Rameswaram to discuss fishermen issues and also visited the Sri Lankan Rehabilitation Camp in Tiruchirappalli to interact with Sri Lankan refugees living there. In the constructive discussions held with senior officials of the State Government of Tamil Nadu and other stakeholders, it was agreed to facilitate early holding of India-Sri Lanka Joint Working Group on Fisheries as well as interactions between Fishermen Associations of both countries.
The High Commissioner was informed that a team from Tamil Nadu would visit Sri Lanka to finalise modalities of auction for the unsalvageable Indian fishing boats in various Sri Lankan harbours. High Commissioner Baglay, along with two Mission officials, visited the State of Tamil Nadu and the Union Territory of Puducherry from 21-24 November 2021 and also paid a courtesy call on Governor of Tamil Nadu, Thiru N. Ravi. On the first day, the High Commissioner visited the coastal town of Rameswaram and interacted with the local fishing community on the issues faced by Indian fishermen.
Government of Tamil Nadu officials briefed the visiting High Commissioner on the infrastructure and other facilities they had developed for deep sea fishing in the district. The High Commissioner also used the opportunity to visit the old ferry harbour in Dhanushkodi that had catered to people-to-people connectivity between India and Sri Lanka. Meeting Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Stalin, the High Commissioner apprised him and the senior officials of Tamil Nadu of key matters related to people-to-people relations between India and Sri Lanka.
The High Commissioner also called on the Minister for Fisheries – Fishermen Welfare and Animal Husbandry Thiru Anitha R. Radhakrishnan, Minister for Finance and Human Resources Management Dr. Palanivel Thiaga Rajan and Minister for Minorities Welfare and Non Resident Tamils’ Welfare Thiru Gingee K.S. Masthan in Chennai. At a trade and investment event organised by the South Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI), the High Commissioner interacted with the Tamil Nadu business community on the importance of close collaboration to harness trade and investment opportunities for Indian business in Sri Lanka.
In Puducherry, the High Commissioner called on Governor Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan and Chief Minister of Puducherry Thiru. N. Rangaswamy, in addition to meeting senior officials of the Union Territory. The visit of the High Commission officials to Tamil Nadu and Puducherry afforded useful opportunities for furthering discussions on a number of aspects of importance to the peoples of India and Sri Lanka in the spheres of trade, commerce, connectivity, tourism – especially collaboration in agriculture, organic farming, fisheries, aquaculture, food processing, green and renewable energy, shipping and ports, medical tourism and cultural exchange.