On Monday (15), Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe stated that history has brought India and Sri Lanka together as two sides of the same coin, and that the two countries must forge ahead together.
The President made the remark during an event in which India handed over a Dornier 228 reconnaissance aircraft to Sri Lanka.
The President urged both countries to commit to further strengthening their relationship because India and Sri Lanka share many similarities that must be capitalized on.
President Wickremesinghe addressed the gathering, emphasizing the significance of the two countries’ ties.
“I’ve always said that we’re two sides of the same coin.” It is not possible to split a coin so that one face falls in one direction and the other face falls in the opposite direction. For whatever reason, history has bound us together, and we must remain so. What exactly is this connection? I don’t have a word for it, but the closest I can come is the two countries’ symbiotic relationship. We are both celebrating our 75th birthdays. “I say let us commit to strengthening our relationships even more,” he said.
In a ceremonial procession today (15th August 2022), the first ever Dornier Reconnaissance Aircraft from India was inducted into the Sri Lanka Air Force Fleet to enhance the maritime surveillance capabilities of Sri Lanka.
President Ranil Wickremesinghe was greeted by Air Force Commander Air Marshal Sudharshana Pathirana at the Sri Lanka Air Force Base in Katunayake. The Air Force also provided the President with a special Guard of Honor.
“My word of advice to rising politicians and those who aspire for higher office is get to know your Indian colleagues, get to know them well, and get to deal with them because if you do not do that, it will be difficult for you to look at issues and understand what each other says,” the President said. In many areas, we share perspectives. We are a small country in the middle of the ocean, while India must consider its role as a global power while looking after its own interests. But we must communicate with them.
After all, India is our closest neighbor, and there are many issues that we share, which we understand and must resolve. Not only issues concerning Indo-Lanka relations, but also issues concerning the region and the world. So it is possible for us to reach an agreement or have a similar viewpoint with India in these areas, and we have done so on numerous occasions. We will consolidate with those.”
President Wickremesinghe congratulated India on its 75th anniversary of independence, saying, “India today is becoming a world power and it is still on the rise, and by the mid-century when we are no longer there, you could see a powerful India playing a dominant role on the global stage.”