|Sri Lanka - India relations strong and vibrant - Minister Peiris|
Welcoming the Indian Minister of External Affairs S.M. Krishna to Sri Lanka, Minister of External Affairs G.L. Peiris emphasized the deep rooted friendship and historical ties which exist between the two countries, and elaborated that Sri Lanka and India are bound to each other geographically and in terms of their economies, which have stood the test of time. Minister Krishna began a four day official visit to Sri Lanka on 16th January 2012, at the invitation of Minister Peiris and called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne.
Recalling that Minister Krishna had last visited Sri Lanka in November 2010, Minister Peiris further observed that there are common features in both these visits. He outlined the first as being a platform to discuss the range of issues straddling every aspect of public policy, which include housing, transport, water, telecommunications and healthcare, giving rise to the conclusion of Agreements on these subjects between the two countries during the current visit. The second feature of the visit was designated by Minister Peiris as being geographical, as Minister Krishna yet again was visiting the north and south, of the country. Therefore, he said the completeness of Minister Krishna’s visit in terms of subject matter and places within the island are noteworthy. Minister Peiris in conclusion stated that Minister Krishna’s visit cements the relationship which is already vibrant and substantial. He further emphasized that it is a relationship not just among friends, but among close relatives, which was exemplified most vividly by Minister Krishna’s spontaneous attendance soon after his arrival in Colombo, at the Thaipongal Ceremony on the invitation of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Minister Peiris upheld that this has not happened regularly or as a matter of routine between countries and their leaders, and the extension of such an invitation was a demonstration of sincerity that underpins the strong and vibrant relationship between India and Sri Lanka.