India launches ferry services connecting Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu & Kankesanthurai in Sri Lanka


In a significant step toward enhancing diplomatic and economic ties between India and Sri Lanka, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi delivered a comprehensive address during the launch of ferry services between Nagapattinam, India, and Kankesanthurai, Sri Lanka. His virtual participation at this event emphasized the importance of this new maritime link in connecting the two nations, both geographically and culturally.

India and Sri Lanka have a rich history of maritime trade connections, with Nagapattinam and its neighboring regions known for their extensive sea trade, including exchanges with Sri Lanka. The Sangam age literature, featuring works like Pattinappalai and Manimekalai, provides evidence of this historical trade.

Prime Minister referred to Subramania Bharti’s iconic poem, “Sindhu Nadhiyin Misai,” which symbolically describes a bridge connecting India and Sri Lanka, showcasing the profound historical and cultural bonds between the two nations. The introduction of the ferry service, as noted by the Prime Minister, rekindles these historical and cultural ties and reflects the broader objective of strengthening diplomatic relations.

Furthermore, this ferry service launch aligns with a comprehensive vision aimed at enhancing connectivity, not only between two cities but between the two countries and their populations. Prime Minister Modi emphasized that improved connectivity fosters increased trade, tourism, and interpersonal relationships, promising new opportunities for the youth of both India and Sri Lanka.

Prime Minister Modi emphasized his commitment to strengthening connectivity between the two nations, mentioning key developments. This includes his 2015 visit to Sri Lanka, which led to direct flights between Delhi and Colombo, and the historic international flight landing in Kushinagar from Sri Lanka. In 2019, direct flights between Chennai and Jaffna were launched, further promoting seamless connectivity. Now, the Nagapattinam-Kankesanthurai ferry service is another vital addition to this growing network.

The Prime Minister highlighted the broad scope of connectivity beyond transportation, encompassing fintech and energy. India and Sri Lanka are actively working to link UPI with Lanka Pay, enhancing fintech sector connectivity. Additionally, discussions are ongoing to interconnect the energy grids of both countries to bolster energy security. These endeavors reflect the commitment to fostering a multifaceted partnership for progress and development, leaving no one behind. Various projects initiated with Indian assistance, including housing, water supply, healthcare, and livelihood support in Sri Lanka’s Northern Province, are aligned with the vision of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, and Sabka Prayas” (Collective Effort for Inclusive Progress).

Additionally, Prime Minister referred to the G20 Summit recently hosted by India, during which the country’s vision of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” (The World is One Family) received global appreciation. A core aspect of this vision is the priority given to sharing progress and prosperity with neighboring nations.

The India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor, launched during the G20 summit, is a significant connectivity corridor with a substantial economic impact. This multimodal connectivity will strengthen the bonds between India and Sri Lanka, ultimately benefiting both countries.

Prime Minister expressed gratitude and extended his thanks to the President, the Government, and the people of Sri Lanka for the successful launch of the ferry service. He also spoke about the intent to resume the ferry service between Rameswaram and Talaimannar.

In conclusion, the Prime Minister emphasized India’s commitment to working closely with Sri Lanka to further strengthen their bilateral ties, emphasizing that the partnership is for the mutual benefit of their people. This launch of the ferry service marks a historic step in this enduring relationship and underlines India’s dedication to fostering stronger diplomatic and economic bonds with its neighbouring nations.

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