In a heartening message delivered on the occasion of India’s 77th Independence Day, Gopal Baglay, the Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, extended warm greetings to both Indians residing in Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankan population. Highlighting the culmination of the “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav” and the forthcoming “Amrit Kaal,” Baglay emphasized India’s trajectory towards a transformative growth story driven by technology and a knowledge-based economy.

Baglay’s message underscored India’s commitment to its “Neighbourhood First” policy and the “Security And Growth for All in the Region” (SAGAR) initiative, both of which aim at fostering prosperity within the region. He reiterated India’s unwavering support for the people of Sri Lanka, particularly during challenging times.

As Sri Lanka embarks on a new chapter of progress, the Indian-Sri Lankan friendship is also poised to reach new milestones. Celebrating 75 years of diplomatic relations this year, both nations are actively preparing for the next quarter-century to establish a more robust economic partnership.

Central to this collaboration is the “Promoting Connectivity, Catalysing Prosperity” vision, a comprehensive roadmap that emphasizes enhancing connectivity across all spheres. Baglay pointed out that recent outcomes stemming from President H.E Ranil Wickremesinghe’s visit to India in July 2023, including initiatives related to energy, air and maritime connectivity, and digital linkage through Unified Payments Interface (UPI), have given significant impetus to this shared vision.

In anticipation of a future that is technology-centric, Baglay acknowledged Sri Lanka’s “DigiEcon 2030” journey and India’s willingness to share its experience of inclusive growth propelled by a robust Digital Public Infrastructure. Baglay commended the synergy between the two nations as they stride towards a more digitally integrated future.

Highlighting another significant milestone, Baglay commemorated the 200-year anniversary of the arrival of Indian Origin Tamils in Sri Lanka. The Government of India has pledged a comprehensive grant package of SLR 3 billion for the welfare of this community, further cementing the strong ties between the two nations. A similar package has also been extended to the people of the Eastern Province.

Drawing on the rich tapestry of shared heritage and deep-rooted bonds between India and Sri Lanka, Baglay expressed optimism for the future. He conveyed his confidence that the partnership between the two countries is poised to flourish and expand in equal measure during the upcoming “Amrit Kaal,” ushering in an era of depth and breadth in their relationship.