Colombo, June 4: The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K.Stalin told the Sri Lankan High Commissioner in India Milinda Moragoda that more shipments of humanitarian aid from Tami; Nadu will be sent to Sri Lanka and Moragoda requested the Chief Minister to designate a focal point in the Tamil Nadu government to facilitate cooperation between Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu.
The Sri Lankan High Commissioner met the Chief Minister on Saturday.
This was the first time that a Sri Lankan High Commissioner in New Delhi had met with the Chief Minister of the State of Tamil Nadu after 2011.
The courtesy call on the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu by the High Commissioner was part of the latter’s plan to expand Sri Lanka’s footprint at the level of the States to promote greater interactions between Sri Lanka and the States of the Indian Union, as stipulated in his policy road map entitled: “Integrated Country Strategy for Sri Lanka Diplomatic Missions in India”.
The High Commissioner thanked the Chief Minister and the people of Tamil Nadu for the humanitarian assistance worth of LKR two billion that they recently extended to Sri Lanka to help it manage the current economic crisis.
In response, the Chief Minister observed that he was concerned about the situation in Sri Lanka and had made arrangements to immediately dispatch the first shipment of essential commodities. He added that a second shipment is also in line to be dispatched and that a few more shipments are expected.
The High Commissioner and the Chief Minister discussed an array of areas pertaining to the relationship between Sri Lanka and the State of Tamil Nadu, including the fishermen’s issue. The two dignitaries reviewed the ancient and strong ethnic, cultural and religious affinities between Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka and discussed the ways to further strengthen them.
In this regard, Chief Minister Stalin requested Sri Lanka to install a statue of the celebrated Tamil poet and philosopher Thiruvalluvar in a suitable premise in Sri Lanka, such as a university. The High Commissioner welcomed the suggestion and undertook to support and facilitate this initiative.
With a view to having a better coordination on all aspects of the relationship between Sri Lanka and the State of Tamil Nadu, High Commissioner Moragoda requested the Chief Minister to designate a focal point at state level. The High Commissioner invited Chief Minister Stalin to visit Sri Lanka as well.
Moragoda presented a copy of the Tamil translation of a book containing his parliamentary speeches to the Chief Minister. The High Commissioner recalled how he had presented a copy of the same book in 2006 to the Chief Minister’s father, the late M. Karunanidhi, former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.
The High Commissioner was accompanied by the Deputy High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to Southern India Dr. D. Venkateshwaran, the Deputy High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in New Delhi Niluka Kadurugamuwa and the Second Secretary of the Deputy High Commission of Sri Lanka in Chennai Supun Deshaprema.