The High Commissioner of India Gopal Baglay called on Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa this afternoon at Temple Trees and discussed several ongoing projects as well as possible cooperation in new sectors.
The primary purpose of the High Commissioners’s visit was to follow-up on the virtual summit that was held between Prime Minister Rajapaksa and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month. Both leaders have expressed satisfaction on the virtual summit, which was the first virtual engagement of Prime Minister Rajapaksa since resumption of office as the Prime Minister.
One priority sector for Prime Minister Rajapaksa is water and sanitation. The High Commissioner noted several areas on which the two countries could collaborate, including water requirements in schools, sanitation needs, rainwater harvesting, building of toilets for deprived areas, and a project that could convert sewage into fertilizer.
Prime Minister Rajapaksa indicated that the lack of safe drinking water in certain parts of the country is the main concern, including the role it plays in chronic kidney disease. This is now a key priority for the Sri Lankan Government.
High Commissioner Baglay spoke of the possibility to collaborate with Prime Minister Modi’s “Jal Jeevan Mission” (Water for Life Mission), which is the Indian Government’s program that aims to provide potable water for every household.
Prime Minister Rajapaksa noted that the lack of drinking water is a particularly serious problem in the dry zone region of Sri Lanka and requested the High Commissioner to look into any assistance that can be provided towards that end.
The Prime Minister also requested India to look at the pharmaceutical sector and encourage Indian investors to establish research and manufacturing facilities in Sri Lanka to help the country meet its medicinal drug required.