(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman arrived in Sri Lanka this morning (Nov. 01) for a three-day official visit.
Accompanied by a delegation of 6 senior officials of the Indian finance ministry, Sitharaman reached the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) in Katunayake at around 8:30 a.m. today.
Upon her arrival, Minister Sitharaman was accorded a warm welcome by Gopal Baglay, the Indian High Commission to Sri Lanka; Jeevan Thondaman, the Minister of Water Supply & Estate Infrastructure Development; Senthil Thondaman, the Eastern Province Governor; Tharaka Balasuriya, the State Minister of Foreign Affairs; and MP Maruthapandi Rameshwaran.
During the visit, Minister Sitharaman will deliver the keynote address as the guest of honor of the ‘NAAM 200’ organized by the Sri Lankan government to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the arrival of India-origin Tamils (IOTs) to Sri Lanka, on November 02 at Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium in Colombo.
The Indian finance minister will also give the keynote address at the India Sri Lanka Business Summit themed ‘Enhancing Connectivity: Partnering for Prosperity’. It is jointly organized by the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), the Indo-Lanka Chamber of Commerce & Industry, and the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, on November 02, at Hotel Taj Samudra in Colombo.
As part of the official visit, Minister Sitharaman will engage in bilateral discussions with President Ranil Wickremesinghe and Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena.
She will witness the exchange of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for Solar Electrification of Religious Places in Sri Lanka wherein India will allocate INR 82.40 crores out of the Indian government grant assistance of INR 107.47 crores earmarked for the promotion of Buddhist ties.
Minister Sitharaman will also inaugurate SBI Branches at Trincomalee and Jaffna on November 02 and 03, respectively.