Sri Lankan Parliament Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana, who is currently leading a Parliamentary delegation to India, called on Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Monday, following which Birla emphasised that Sri Lanka continues to be an important partner in India’s growth story.
Abeywardana called on Lok Sabha Speaker Birla at the Parliament House Complex in the national capital.
As a strategic neighbour, Birla stressed the importance of Sri Lanka in the Indian context.
“Observing that both countries are deeply linked economically as well as tourist destinations, Birla lauded the fact that Sri Lanka continues to be an important partner in India’s growth story. He hoped that the ties fostered for so long would strengthen over time,” according to an official release.
He further said that the two countries are not only close neighbours but also guardians of a shared history, culture, and democratic values that bind the two nations together.
He elaborated that the two countries have had historic and cultural ties since time immemorial and there is a deep emotional bond shared between the people of both nations, which further solidifies these ties, the release said.
“Mentioning the shared democratic ethos of both countries, he noted that the common values of democracy have served as a guiding light towards progress and unity,” it added.
He felt it is this commitment to democratic principles that empowered our societies, fostering inclusive governance and ensuring that the voices of our citizens resonate within the legislative chambers.
Lok Sabha Speaker Birla further outlined the spheres in which both countries are working towards greater cooperation.
“He felt that the shared heritage of Buddhism, where both countries have significant sites related to the religion, would contribute significantly to the flow of tourism in both countries,” the release said.
He also drew attention to India’s growing prowess in the sphere of technology and innovation, which was fuelled by the youth of our country.
Birla spoke extensively about the role of parliaments in the nation’s growth and urged the visiting delegation to bring groundbreaking legislation that would bring about economic as well as social development in their country.
Moreover, Birla expressed hope that bilateral relations between India and Sri Lanka will continue to strengthen, fostering even closer connections in the times ahead.
Praising the trajectory of the economic growth of India, Sri Lankan Parliament Speaker Abeywardana expressed his gratitude for the assistance provided by India in myriad fields.
“He stated that several infrastructural projects were being undertaken with India’s assistance, which would further the economic development of the island nation,” the statement said.
He also expressed his admiration for the education system in this country and felt that collaborations with Sri Lankan students would benefit them immensely.