Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Friday had good discussions with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Wickremesinghe was reminded by Modi of how India was the first responder to the economic crisis that had impacted the island nation in 2021. He also mentioned how Colombo should consider India’s national security interests before associating with a third power.
It is reported that Sri Lankan President Wickremesinghe accepted that Sri Lanka will always be sensitive to India’s strategic and security matters. As PM Modi and President Wickremesinghe had one-on-one private lunch discussions that lasted for more than an hour, it is not hard to assume that China was the elephant in the room. It means that Beijing has been consistently associating with Colombo under the Belt Road Initiative (BRI) with the island nation presently under a huge amount of Chinese debt.
For the unversed, it was during the 2021 economic crisis that Sri Lanka faced, India extended its full support in terms of finance, food, and oil to help the island nation from the political issues whereas the world including China was hesitant. Modi set an example to the world that India will always help Sri Lanka during times of economic crisis.
During the recent meeting, the two leaders talked about the long-term aspects of bilateral relations with a focus on digital, oil, power, road, and railroad connections in the future.
It was the idea of President Wickremesinghe for a land bridge between India and Sri Lanka on a 27-kilometer long likely Rameswaram-Talai Mannar alignment, which was instantly approved by PM Modi. The depth of the sea in this distinct region of Palk Straits is also facilitative as there is only one to three meters of water and a bridge could be efficiently built in the area.
The two nations have also joined hands to work together in the enhancement of ports and logistics infrastructure at Colombo, Trincomalee, and Kankesanthurai with mutual understanding as part of maritime connectivity. Apart from these works, there were also likely associations on air connectivity, energy, and power connectivity as well as renewable energy discussed between the two leaders.
Experts view that the two countries Colombo and India have to work together in a mutual understanding for the long-term benefit of both nations.
In another news, Modi on Saturday said that India has been successful in its leadership in climate action as the country is moving ahead strongly in fulfilling its climate commitments such as green growth and energy transition. In the video meeting with the G20 Energy Ministers, Modi said that India aims to achieve the 50% target of its installed electricity power capacity from non-fossil fuel-based energy sources by 2030.
Modi said that despite being the most populous country in the world, India’s care for its natural surroundings has also been a part of its cultural values. Caring for nature is part of India’s traditional wisdom that will make each one of us, a climate champion, said Modi.