Feasibility study on proposal to establish land connectivity with India in final stages, says Sri Lankan President by StuffsEarth

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Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe. File
| Photo Credit: AP

Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Sunday that the feasibility study on a proposal to establish land connectivity with India is in its final stages.

Mr. Wickremesinghe, who was travelling in the northeastern district of Mannar to inspect the development work in the region, said that the preliminary work of the feasibility study was over and the final phase would be completed soon.

This proposal and the prospect of a power grid connection between the two nations are likely to be discussed during the visit of External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar to Lanka this week.

Mr. Wickremesinghe said a commercial venture to sell the excess renewable energy to India would also be discussed during the minister’s visit.

On Saturday, the Lankan foreign ministry here announced that Jaishankar would arrive in Colombo on June 20.

However, there was no official announcement on Jaishankar’s visit from India’s Ministry of External Affairs.

If confirmed, this could be Jaishankar’s first official stand-alone visit abroad after he was appointed India’s External Affairs Minister in the new government early this month.

Officials here confirmed that all Indian projects in Sri Lanka, including the Adani group’s wind power project in Mannar and the creation of an industrial zone in the eastern port district of Trincomalee, would be discussed during the visit.

Fisheries Minister Douglas Devananda has been quoted as saying in the local media that Sri Lanka would raise the contentious issue of illegal fishing in Sri Lankan waters by Indian fishing, including bottom trawling.

The Palk Strait, a narrow strip of water separating Tamil Nadu from Sri Lanka, is a rich fishing ground for fishermen from both countries.

Fishermen from both countries are arrested frequently for inadvertently trespassing into each other’s waters.

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