Visit of Hon. Ranil Wickremesighe, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka to New Delhi,
22nd – 24th November 2017
The Prime Minister of Sri Lanka Ranil Wickremesinghe was on a working visit to New Delhi from 22nd – 24th November 2017.
During his visit the Prime Minister attended the Inaugural Session of the ‘5th Global Conference on Cyber Space: 2017’ at the premises of the Hotel Pullman Aerocity, New Delhi. The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi was the Chief Guest. Addressing the Inaugural Session Prime Minister said that today, cyber space is the most crucial mode of transmitting information and knowledge. Cyber space has become a key source of upgrading human lives, human resources and social transformation. Nevertheless, it has also posed new challenges to the social system. It has not only threatened the civil liberties but has affected the personal freedom of people in many ways. Hence, time has come to focus on establishing a framework for an ethical cyber space, said Prime Minister Wickremsinghe. He noted that, he believes that there need to be a balance between the freedom of information and civil liberties. The balance between the two can create the development of the cyberspace and revolutionize the communication field.
The Global Conference on Cyber Space (GCCS) is a prestigious global event which was launched with a view to establishing a more focused and inclusive dialogue between all those with a stake on the internet; the governments, the civil society and the industry and, on how to use and implement the tools available on cyber space. It also aims to carry forward ‘rules of the road’ on behavior in cyberspace. Representatives from 135 countries participated at the GCCS this year and more than 2800 viewers from worldwide participated live at the GCCS.
During the visit, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe had official bilateral talks with the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Hyderabad House in New Delhi on 23rd November 2017. Prime Minister Modi hosted a Luncheon for the Prime Minister and his delegation. During the meeting the two leaders reviewed the progress of the projects that have been agreed upon and the implementation that needs to be accelerated.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that India is happy to join hands with Sri Lanka on the development projects for the economic advancement which would provide employment opportunities for the people. Prime Minister Wickremesinghe stated that Sri Lanka welcomes development projects with Indian involvement which would contribute to Sri Lanka’s economic progress and agreed that the two sides need to work together to clear any difficulties in the implementation process.
Prime Minister also paid a courtesy call on President Ram Nath Kovind at the Rashtrapathi Bhawan in New Delhi. President Kovind stated that Prime Minister Wickremesinghe’s leadership has contributed profoundly to the present status of the close relations between the two countries and extended his best wishes to the prosperity of Sri Lanka. On behalf of the President of Sri Lanka, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe extended his warm congratulations and best wishes to President Kovind on his assumption of duties as the President of India. This was the first meeting between the two leaders after President Kovind was sworn in the post in July 2017. During the meeting President underlined the importance of taking forward the India – Sri Lanka historical connections that formed the basis for a conducive economic and development partnership.
During the visit the Prime Minister also met with Smt. Sonia Gandhi, President of the Indian National Congress. Smt. Sonia was accompanied by Dr. Manmohan Singh, former Prime Minister of India, Shri Rahul Gandhi, Vice President of the Indian National Congress and Shri Anand Sharma of the Rajya Sabha. They discussed the current developments in Sri Lanka and views were exchanged on bilateral relations between India and Sri Lanka and developments in the region that impact on the political, economic and social fields of the countries.
The Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj called on Prime Minister Wickremesinghe. At the meeting the two dignitaries discussed the necessary steps required to strengthen the outstanding relationship between the two countries.
Overall the visit paved the way to discuss at leangth the proposed agreements between the two countries on economic and technical cooperation. At the discussions it was agreed that the economic and technical cooperation should be based on the guidelines of the existing bilateral framework. The discussions with the President, Prime Minister and the Minister of External Affairs of India enabled the two sides to focus on further strengthening the relations between India and Sri Lanka. The matters discussed during the last meeting relating to development projects were reviewed and the challenges ahead on implementation were focused during the discussions. The need to work together on the Indian Ocean related projects was also emphasized.
Prime Minister Wickremesinghe was accompanied by Prof. Maithree Wickremesinghe, the Minister of Law and Order of Sri Lanka, Sagala Rathnayake, Saman Ekanayake, Secretary to the Prime Minister, Chitranganee Wagiswara, High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to India, , Saman Athaudahetti, Additional Secretary/Media at the Prime Minister’s Office, M R K Lenagala, Deputy High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in India, Sandra Perera, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister who joined the Prime Minister at the meetings.
Sri Lanka High Commission
25th November 2017