Tuesday, September 27, 2022

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SL President intervenes to clear obstacles blocking Indian funded projects

President Ranil Wickremesinghe has instructed officials to clear obstacles blocking the progress of Indian funded projects in Sri Lanka.

He advised officials to immediately revise circulars if it impedes the implementation of development projects.

It has been observed that the Mannar-Pooneryn wind power plants granted to Adani Green Energy Limited, the West Container Terminal in which Adani Ports has a controlling stake; and the proposed joint venture solar power plant in Sampur with India’s National Thermal Power Corporation are among the projects New Delhi was keen to fast-track.

According to informed sources ,it was unlikely that more credit lines are to be secured from India for fuel, even though there could be a $1 billion swap but not for oil.India was also facing difficulties in procuring oil supplies, it added.

In the ongoing economic crisis, India has provided Sri Lanka with credit lines for fuel, fertilizer and essential commodities worth US$ 3.5 billion.

India’s support and soft loans to the tune of $3 billion to Sri Lanka without any conditions are simply to ease the country’s crisis situation.This has made Sri Lanka meet some of the IMF’s conditionalities regarding the restructuring of debt.

India is presently working closely with US-Japan and Australia. These four countries work in close cooperation through the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue

The President chaired a discussion at the President’s Office recently to examine the progress of several development projects in the country based on Indian investment cooperation, the President’s Media Division said.

Deputy High Commissioner Vinod K. Jacob also participated at the discussion. The President instructed the ministry secretaries and government officials to take steps to resolve the obstacles that have arisen in the progress of several projects in Sri Lanka under Indian investments.

President Wickremesinghe explained the need to correct the provisions contained in the circulars issued periodically by previous governments if they hinder development.

President’s Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor on National Security Sagala Ratnayake, Secretary of the Ministry of Power and Energy Mapa Pathirana and other ministry secretaries and government officials attended the discussion.

Outgoing Russian Ambassador to Sri Lanka pledges to foster -bilateral relations

The outgoing Russian Ambassador to Sri Lanka Ambassador Yury Materiy for his part, pledged to do his utmost to foster bilateral relations between the two countries even though he is leaving Sri Lanka after completing his tenure.

President Materiy, who has ended his term in Sri Lanka, said that he will continue to work to strengthen the relations with Sri Lanka.

He further stressed the need to enhance ties and develop the tourism industry between the two countries.

He expressed these views when he called on President Ranil Wickremesinghe at the Presidential Secretariat recently..

President Wickremesinghe thanked Ambassador Materiy for his service rendered to Sri Lanka as the Ambassador of Russia.

Sri Lanka has reached out to Russia for assistance notwithstanding the stringent sanctions thrashed out by the US and EU against the latter.

Colombo is keen to resume flight services with Russia with the hope of boosting tourist inflow.

The Russian state-owned carrier Aeroflot suspended operations some times back after its flight carrying 191 passengers and 13 crew members was not allowed to take off from Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport on account of a payment dispute.

Sri Lanka, which is amid the worst economic crisis since its independence, has also asked Russia to provide fuel to tide over the situation .

Russia has also expressed support towards Sri Lanka in bilateral and multilateral fora.

The President stressed the need of further consolidating cooperation, with particular attention to enhancing business ties, tourism and connectivity.

Notably, this year marks the 65th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between Russia and Sri Lanka.

The two countries confirmed commitment to developing further friendly bilateral ties in the context of the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries being marked this year and agreed to continue contacts at various levels.

He also wished President Wickremesinghe the strength to take Sri Lanka out of the economic crisis and establish a stable country.

President Wickremesinghe wished Ambassador Yury Materiy success in all his future undertakings and thanked him for all the assistance rendered during his tenure in Sri Lanka.

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