India to build an energy pipeline from Trincomalee oil farm to Indian side
Sri Lankan Ambassador in India Milinda Moragoda described India as a “logical partner” for Sri Lanka’s efforts to overcome the country’s economic crisis, including in efforts to acquire bridging finance and investments in sectors such as tourism.
Moragoda, who took the unusual step of issuing a strategy paper for reshaping bilateral relations before coming to New Delhi, said there is also fresh momentum on connectivity projects and the two countries are discussing the possibility of building an energy pipeline between the Trincomalee oil farm and the Indian side.
Sri Lanka will soon operationalize its consulate general in Kolkata and plans to appoint honorary consuls in Gujarat and Odisha as part of measures to increase the country’s footprint in Indian states, he said. There are also plans to compile a directory in Sinhala of all Buddhist sites in India to encourage more visits from the Sri Lankan side, he said.
India has really supported the isalnd nation at every turn in the past eight or nine months. If not for India, the country would have had a serious problem because when it came to fuel and food and when it also came to foreign exchange, India backed us up. So that is something as a country, we appreciate and we are grateful for,” he said.
Since the beginning of the year, India extended aid worth $3.8 billion, including lines of credit, a currency swap and deferring of loan repayments, to Sri Lanka.
Tough times are not over for Sri Lanka as it has to contend with both structural issues such as reforms of state-run enterprises and the power sector, and the restructuring of bilateral and multilateral debt.
Sri Lankan Ambassador in India Milinda Moragoda says “Unless these things are done, Sri Lanka can’t move forward. Ultimately we have to look at efficiency and at becoming an export economy and fitting somehow into global supply chains,” he said.
The administration of the new President, Ranil Wickremesinghe, is now focussing on the implementation of India-backed projects such as the Trincomalee oil farm and a national ID card scheme.