Sri Lanka India Society celebrates India’s Independence Day | Sunday Observer

Sri Lanka India Society celebrates India’s Independence Day

The Sri Lanka India Society (SLIS) celebrated its Platinum Jubilee and India’s Independence Day at a function held in Colombo, on August 5, 2018. The High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka, Taranjit Singh Sandhu was the chief guest at the event. State Minister for Foreign Affairs Vasantha Senanayake, Mayor of Colombo Ms. Rosy Senanayake, Attorney General Jayantha Jayasurya, President of SLIS, T.S. Prakash and other dignitaries were present.

SLIS, the oldest and largest friendship society in Sri Lanka,was founded in 1949, soon after the independence of India and Sri Lanka.

Delivering the keynote address, the High Commissioner noted that India was the 6th largest and fastest growing major economy in the world and said, Sri Lanka’s location in the proximity of a fast growing economy could bring in substantial advantages. The High Commissioner stressed that India–Sri Lanka relations should look towards the future, that Sri Lankan youth could fulfil their aspirations and make them a part of India’s growth story.

Various people-oriented development projects undertaken by India in Sri Lanka, which had a direct impact on the lives of the common people, including the Indian Housing Project and the Emergency Ambulance Service, were highlighted. The High Commissioner pointed out that India had carried out close to 70 people-oriented small development projects across all the Provinces of Sri Lanka. Around 20 such projects, including, the construction of rainwater harvesting units, construction of toilets, upgradation and construction of schools such as the tri - lingual school in Polonnaruwa, and providing infrastructure facilities for universities, including a 1,500 seat auditorium in the Ruhuna University in Matara are currently underway.He emphasized that India’s development partnership was spread across the island.

The High Commissioner said, as democracies mandated by the will of the people to fulfil their aspirations, India and Sri Lanka had the responsibility to make the developmental journey smooth, fast and comfortable. Not just the Governments on both sides, but the industry, academics, youth, and societies had an important role to play in shaping the future.

During the event, the past Presidents of the Sri Lanka India Society were felicitated. The event concluded with a musical performance by the Oriental Choir of Colombo and a fellowship dinner.