The High Commission said that during recent discussions held between the High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka Shri GopalBaglay and senior officials of the State Government of Tamil Nadu and other stakeholders, it was agreed to facilitate early holding of India-Sri Lanka Joint Working Group on Fisheries as well as interactions between Fishermen Associations of both the countries.
The High Commissioner was also informed that a team from Tamil Nadu would visit Sri Lanka for finalising modalities of auction for the unsalvageable Indian fishing boats in various Sri Lankan harbours.
Shri GopalBaglay along with two Mission officials visited the State of Tamil Nadu and the Union Territory of Puducherry from 21-24 November 2021.
In Tamil Nadu, the High Commissioner paid a courtesy call on the Hon’ble Governor of Tamil Nadu Thiru N. Ravi.
The High Commissioner called on the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Thiru MK Stalin and apprised him and senior officials of Tamil Nadu on key matters related to people-to-people relations between India and Sri Lanka.
The High Commissioner also called on the Minister for Fisheries – Fishermen Welfare and Animal Husbandry Anitha R. Radhakrishnan, Minister for Finance and Human Resources Management Dr Palanivel Thiaga Rajan and Minister for Minorities Welfare and Non Resident Tamils Welfare Gingee K.S. Masthan in Chennai.
On the first day of his visit (21 November), the High Commissioner visited the coastal town of Rameshwaram and interacted with the local fishing community on the issues faced by Indian fishermen. Government of Tamil Nadu officials briefed the visiting High Commissioner on the infrastructure and other facilities they had developed for deep sea fishing in the district. The High Commissioner also utilised the opportunity to visit the old ferry harbour in Dhanuskodhi that had catered to people-to-people connectivity between India and Sri Lanka.
The High Commissioner also visited the Sri Lankan Rehabilitation Camp in Thiruchirapalli and interacted with the Sri Lankan refugees accommodated there.
At a trade and investment event organized by the South Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI), the High Commissioner interacted with Tamil Nadu business community on the importance of close collaboration to harness trade and investment opportunities for Indian business in Sri Lanka.
In Puducherry, the High Commissioner called on the Governor Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan and also on with the Chief Minister of Puducherry Thiru. N. Rangaswamy, apart from meeting senior officials of the Union Territory.
The visit of the High Commission officials to Tamil Nadu and Puducherry afforded useful opportunities for furthering discussions on a number of aspects of importance to the peoples of India and Sri Lanka in the spheres of trade, commerce, connectivity, tourism – especially collaboration in agriculture, organic farming, fisheries, aquaculture, food processing, green and renewable energy, shipping and ports, medical tourism and cultural exchange. (Colombo Gazette)