BY SHRI K.R.NARAYANAN, PRESIDENT OF INDIA, WHILE RECEIVING CREDENTIALS FROM PROF. DR. SENAKE
DIAS BANDARANAYAKE, HIGH COMMISSIONER-DESIGNATE OF THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST
REPUBLIC OF SRI LANKA
NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 23, 2000
gives me great pleasure to welcome you to India as the new High Commissioner
of Sri Lanka. Our two countries have shared profound cultural ties and
vital historical bonds over millennia. Today, those linkages are manifested
in a wide-spectrum of people-to-people contact, embracing the fields of
religion, education, sports, culture and tourism. Simultaneously a vibrant
tradition of close understanding has also been established, between the
leadership of the two countries. I am sure in the years to come our bilateral
relations will be further strengthened for the common benefit of our peoples.
we welcome you as an experienced diplomat and an erudite scholar of long
standing, one who is aware of the history of India and the historical-cultural
relationship between our two countries. With your vast repertoire of knowledge
and understanding of our times, I am sure you could be instrumental in
elevating our relations to yet higher levels. We are privileged to have
you amongst us.
innate dynamism of our cultural bonds has led to active contact and cooperation
in the past as well as in the present times. There has been a frequent
exchange of scholars and artists, drawing sustenance from and adding to
the corpus of the vibrant and pluralistic ethos of the two countries.
The Indian Cultural Centre at Colombo and the India – Sri Lanka Foundation,
will further the vision of a greater understanding between the peoples
of the two countries.
am also confident that the India – Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement, which
was operationalised with effect from March 1, 2000, would help translate
our close political cooperation into greater economic interaction by creating
a framework for increasing the volume of trade and investment between
the two countries.
a close and friendly neighbour, India is firmly committed to the unity,
sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka and to the restoration
of a lasting peace in your beautiful country through peaceful, political
negotiations. The recently concluded elections in Sri Lanka testify to
the strong will and determination of both the Government and the people
of Sri Lanka to abide by the democratic process even in crisis situations.
India and Sri Lanka work together in regional fora like SAARC and BIMST-EC.
The commonality of our interests in various multilateral fora, including
NAM, the Commonwealth and the UN ensures constructive cooperation between
us on a wide range of subjects and issues. Our joint international efforts
in promoting a comprehensive convention to combat terrorism is just one
example of how effective our synergy can be when we are mutually supportive.
let me, once again, welcome you to this land which I am sure will benefit
in many ways through your remarkable experience and contribution. I assure
you of the support of the Government and the people of India in all your
efforts towards promoting and strengthening the relations between our
send through you my personal greetings and congratulations to Her Excellency,
President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, on her success in the elections.
I also wish to convey through you to the Government and people of Sri
Lanka our profound sense of loss in the passing away of the former Prime
Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike, with whom India had the privilege of working
together in the non-alignment and Asian-African movements at a critical
time in world history.
once again welcome you, Excellency, to India as a seasoned representative
of your country, a reputed scholar and academic and intellectual of Sri