Prez Rajapaksa seeks PM Modi’s intervention to restore economy

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has sought the intervention of PM Modi to revive some of the key projects as Sri Lanka strives to restore the economy in the wake of COVID crisis. 

In a telephonic conversation with PM Modi today, the Sri Lankan President called upon Indian side to expedite construction of the East Terminal of the Colombo Port as early as possible as it will be a significant boost to its economic landscape. 

In a tweet, Prime Minister Modi said, Sri Lanka is fighting COVID-19 effectively under the leadership of Mr Rajapaksa and India will continue to support its close maritime neighbour in dealing with the pandemic and its economic impact. 

The Prime Minister said, the two nations agreed to accelerate Indian-assisted development projects in Sri Lanka and also strengthen investment links. The Prime Minister conveyed his best wishes for the health and wellbeing of the Sri Lankan people. 

President Rajapaksa briefed Prime Minister Modi on the steps being taken by the Sri Lankan government to restart economic activity. They also discussed the possibilities of promoting investments and value-addition in Sri Lanka by the Indian private sector.

Mr. Rajapaksa said he is trying to promote value added industrial and agricultural activities and will be happy to encourage Indian investors to start such investments, including Indian companies already in Sri Lanka to increase domestic value addition. 

The Sri Lankan President also requested government of India to provide USD 1.1 billion special SWAP facility to top up USD 400 million under SAARC facility as it would enormously help Sri Lanka in dealing with the foreign exchange issues.  

PM Modi assured that he is personally committed to help Sri Lanka and is ready to help under terms that are favorable to Sri Lanka. The two leaders agreed to continue with the ongoing bilateral projects that brings direct benefits to people and prioritize food and health securities. 

In the face of the COVID-19 crisis, they agreed to further strengthen all aspects of the bilateral relations and President Rajapaksa thanked India for support, including 10 tonnes of medical supplies.