In a significant development bolstering bilateral ties, Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe arrived in New Delhi on Thursday for a two-day visit. This marks his first visit to India since assuming the presidency a year ago.
High-level discussions with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi are set to address vital issues, focusing on energy, power, and port projects between the two nations.
During his visit, President Wickremesinghe will also meet with President Smt. Droupadi Murmu, reinforcing the significance of Sri Lanka in India’s Neighbourhood First Policy and Vision SAGAR.
The two sides have initiated preliminary discussions for an undersea cable that would connect their power grids, as well as a fuel pipeline from southern India’s mainland to northern Sri Lanka. The combined projects are estimated to cost at least $4 billion, according to sources from both sides.
Colombo will focus on grid connectivity with India, port development, and renewable energy projects, particularly in the northern part of the island. Discussions on progress related to debt restructuring are also anticipated. India’s state-run NTPC is also actively involved in establishing a 100-megawatt solar power plant in Trincomalee district, demonstrating its commitment to supporting Sri Lanka’s energy sector.
Wickremesinghe, who has previously served as the prime minister on five occasions, has long maintained a favorable disposition towards India. His extensive collaboration on numerous development initiatives underscores the strong ties between the two neighboring countries.
The Sri Lankan leader faces the pressing challenge of restoring stability in the country after grappling with social and economic turmoil last year when the nation experienced its dollar reserves reaching alarming lows.
The visit of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe serves as a testament to the enduring friendship between India and Sri Lanka, fostering cooperation and mutual growth in the region.