Colombo March 3: The Deputy High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka, Vinod K Jacob, attended the inauguration of the Medicare 2023 health care exhibition in Colombo on March 3. In his speech on the occasion, he noted that India-Sri Lanka bilateral relations are at their highest point and attributed this to the deep-rooted people-to-people connect.
He referred to five specific developments that are central to the excellent bilateral relationship:-
First, the people and Government of India extended support during Vaccine Maitri and with expedited issuance of medical visas, immediately after the lifting of travel restrictions by the Government of Sri Lanka.
Second, substantial support was extended through the iconic Suwaseriya 1990 ambulance during Covid as well as through medical supplies in response to specific requests from hospitals in Kandy Hambantota and Jaffna.
Third, on request from the Government of Sri Lanka the people and Government of India extended economic, financial and humanitarian support worth USD 4 billion in 2022.
Fourth, India has been supporting Sri Lanka at G20 meetings and had also invited President Ranil Wickremesinghe to the Voice of Global South Summit in January 2023 as a mark of solidarity.
Fifth, drawing on the recent experiences, there exists considerable scope for deeper engagement in the health and wellbeing sectors as well as in traditional medical systems.
Dinesh Gunawardena, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka was the Chief Guest at the inauguration ceremony. Other distinguished guests included Hon. Nimal Siripala de Silva, Minister of Ports, Shipping and Aviation, Hon. Sisira Jayakody, State Minister of Indigenous Medicine Promotion, Rural and Ayurveda Hospitals Development and Community Health, Hon. Former Ministers of Health namely Rajitha Senaratne and M.H.M Fowzie, President of Ceylon Workers’ Congress Senthil Thondaman, Secretaries Dr. Amal Harsha De Silva and Mr. S. Janaka Sri Chandragupta.
A delegation comprising around 40 Indian companies in the healthcare sector including 25 hospitals has set up an ‘India Pavilion’ at Medicare 2023, which is being held during 3-5 March 2023.