New bounce in India-Sri ties: 4 pacts, $318 million for railways, currency swap
Imparting a renewed momentum to their bilateral ties, India and Sri Lanka have signed four agreements in areas of visa, customs, youth development and culture during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s maiden visit to the island country.
Mr Modi also pledged support for making Trincomalee into a petroleum hub and announced that New Delhi will provide a fresh Line of Credit of up to $ 318 million for the development of the railways sector in Lanka. India also agreed to a ‘Currency Swap Agreement’ of $1.5 billion to help keep the Sri Lankan economy stable.
Mr Modi held wide-ranging talks with Sri Lankan President MaithripalaSirisena in Colombo on March 13 that saw the two leaders charting a roadmap for galvanising their multifaceted ties. The four pacts, signed after the talks, included providing facility of travelling without visa to diplomats, cooperation in customs, youth development, and for establishing a Rabindranath Tagore museum.
The India-Sri Lanka relations had languished during the last few years of the MahindaRajapaksa presidency due to his overtly pro-China policies. Mr Sirisena underlined his intention known of building robust relations with New Delhi by making India his first foreign visit within weeks of taking charge as the president of the island nation.