75 Years of Sri Lanka India Society

Tuesday, 19 March 2024 11:35

 75 Years of Sri Lanka India Society

Businesscafe - The President of the Sri Lanka India Society (SLIS), Kishore Reddy, and the executive committee of the society organized a commemorative dinner to celebrate the 76th Independence Day of Sri Lanka and the 75th Republic Day of India, with H.E. President Ranil Wickremesinghe as the Chief Guest and H.E. Santosh Jha, High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to India, as the Guest of Honour.

This year, the society is celebrating its 75th anniversary.

The event also saw the presence of distinguished guests, including the First Lady, Prof. Maithree Wickremesinghe, Madam Tanuja Jha, His Lordship Jayantha Jayasuriya PC, the Chief Justice of Sri Lanka, Madam Kalyani Jayasuriya, Ministers Manusha Nanayakkara and Arvindh Kumar, Eastern Province Governor Senthil Thondaman, Chief of Staff Sagala Ratnayake, Members of Parliament, diplomats, society members, officials, and numerous other dignitaries, all gathered to celebrate an evening of camaraderie at the Taj Samudra Hotel in Colombo.

Speaking at the event, President Ranil Wickremesinghe mentioned that the society is celebrating its 75th anniversary and has been strengthening economic, cultural, and people-to-people bonds.

The President stated, "There is a profound religious and cultural bond between Sri Lanka and India, and we share a common heritage.

One notable aspect of this year’s 75th anniversary is the 'Joint Vision' statement signed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and myself."

He also emphasized, "Throughout our discussions, we have consistently focused on the cultural and religious ties between our two countries, as well as the fact that we are both democracies with a shared British legal system.

However, we have unfortunately overlooked the trade and economic relationship between Sri Lanka and India.

It’s important to remember that our relationship extends beyond cultural connections.

Therefore, our immediate focus should be on enhancing these relationships.

We aim to foster comprehensive ties between our two nations."

The President concluded by expressing his gratitude to Mr. Reddy and the Sri Lanka-India Society for their efforts in strengthening relations between the two countries.

SLIS President Kishore Reddy emphasized the profound cultural and interpersonal bonds between India and Sri Lanka, which form the cornerstone of their relationship.

He underscored the importance of sharing knowledge and fostering diversity for mutual prosperity.

Mr. Reddy, while speaking about the relationship between the nations, said,

“Trade and investment have grown, and there is cooperation in the fields of development, education, culture, and defense.

Both countries share a broad understanding of major issues of international interest.

It is commendable to see the President's vision and commitment to building a strong Sri Lanka and improving the Sri Lankan economy using all connectivity corridors to India.

As a friendship society, we are very happy and equally proud of India’s continued assistance to Sri Lanka when needed.”

Mr. Reddy also said, “We are like twins of the same mother, and the mother is the culture that brought us together.

Like the phrase that everyone present here is familiar with, “Eka mawakage daru kala bawina, Yamu yamu wee nopama,” let's go forward together like children of one mother,” and ended with a toast, saying, “We wish Sri Lanka and India happiness, peace, and prosperity today and in the future, and to the enduring friendship and partnership between both countries.”

In his keynote address, High Commissioner H.E. Santosh Jha elaborated on the foundational principles, diverse elements, and evolving direction of India-Sri Lanka relations.

He characterized the countries as civilizational twins and outlined key areas of partnership, including infrastructure, economic engagement, energy security, trade, culture, education, tourism, and people-to-people interactions.

The High Commissioner expressed optimism about the current state of India-Sri Lanka relations and anticipated even greater cooperation in the future.

Established in 1949, the Sri Lanka India Society stands as one of the oldest and largest friendship societies in Sri Lanka, fostering enduring ties between two culturally rich nations.

With deep-rooted connections spanning centuries, Indo-Lanka relations have remained steadfast, multifaceted, and time-tested, rooted in shared sentiments on religion and cultural norms.

Comprising more than 800 life members, including both Sri Lankan and Indian nationals, the society has played a pivotal role in enhancing people-to-people relationships between the two countries, enriching the lives of many through its synergistic efforts.

Under the leadership of President Kishore Reddy, the society has been dedicated to strengthening these bonds further.

Mr. Reddy has been at the forefront of initiatives like "Shine Lanka," aimed at fostering economic and social growth in Sri Lanka by promoting investments, tourism, and enhancing socio-cultural interactions.

Additionally, the society extends its support to individuals in need, whether Sri Lankans in India or Indians in Sri Lanka, exemplifying the spirit of friendship and cooperation between the two nations.

Last modified on Tuesday, 19 March 2024 12:06