External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj left India on Friday on a two-day visit to Sri Lanka during which she will attend a meeting of the joint commission of the two South Asian neighbours. “Leaving for Sri Lanka! EAM @SushmaSwaraj departs for the 9th India-Sri Lanka Joint Commission Meeting in Colombo,” external affairs ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup tweeted. The joint commission is co-chaired by Sushma Swaraj and her Sri Lankan counterpart Mangala Samaraweera.
During the course of her visit, Sushma Swaraj will also call on Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickeremesinghe, and former president Chandrika Kumaratunga. The re-framing of the Sri Lankan constitution and the issue of Indian fishermen might also come up during the course of the discussions between the two sides.
The India-Sri Lanka Joint Commission was established in 1992 as an effective mechanism to address matters pertaining to bilateral cooperation. Ahead of Swaraj’s visit, Swarup said on Thursday that the discussions in Friday’s joint commission meeting would cover the entire gamut of the relationship between the two countries. Included in these would be economic cooperation, trade, power and energy, technical and maritime cooperation, social, cultural and educational matters, science and technology, defence cooperation, health, civil aviation, tourism and people-to-people contacts.
After reaching Colombo, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, along with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, on Friday launched a film on Indian-origin Tamils. The film launch event was held after Sushma Swaraj co-chaired the ninth session of the India-Sri Lanka Joint Commission along with her Sri Lankan counterpart Mangala Samaraweera. Two memorandums of understanding were signed by the two sides following the meeting — one in the health sector and another on renovation of schools.
Today, the Indian minister will inaugurate a “Rise of Digital India” exhibition as part of “Sangam – Festival of India in Sri Lanka 2015-16”. The exhibition will showcase the rise of the computing sector and digital technologies in India.