Interaction with H. E. Mr Prasad Kariyawasam
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On August 8, 2013, VIF welcomed the Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India, His Excellency Mr. Prasad Kariyawasam for an interaction on various aspects of relations between India and Sri Lanka.

Mr. Kariyawasam candidly expressed his views on the current state of relations between the two South Asian neighbours. He reiterated Sri Lankan President’s view that “for Sri Lanka, India is a relation while the rest are just friends.” He mentioned the fact that the relation between the two countries goes thousands of years back in history. He highlighted that there is a consensus in Sri Lanka that a strong India is good, not just for them, but for the entire region. India’s importance in Sri Lanka is further highlighted by the fact that India is Sri Lanka’s largest trading partner, the highest investor in Sri Lanka, and has helped the island nation militarily and on occasions morally in times of crises.

Despite some differences, Mr. Kariyawasam asserted that the Indo-Lankan ties have now reached a state of irreversible excellence. He asserted that as much as a strong Indian economy is important for Sri Lanka, a stronger Sri Lankan economy will prove beneficial to India reciprocally. Thus, he called for a better balance in trade relations between the two nations.

On maritime security, Mr. Kariyawasam again expressed a common Sri Lankan view of having a stronger India Navy managing security of the Indian Ocean region with assistance given by Sri Lanka and other littoral nations. He reiterated Colombo’s support to India’s candidature for a permanent seats at the UN Security Council.

Concluding his talk, His Excellency reaffirmed his belief that India and Sri Lanka are natural allies and that despite a few pending issues impeding the growth of this relationship, we are destined to remain closely knit in a relation that goes beyond friendship.

Event Date 
August 8, 2013
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