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Indian High Commissioner Taranjit Singh Sandhu delivers 14th Sujata Jayawardena Memorial Oration

6 April 2018 - 111   - 0

High Commissioner of India  Taranjit Singh Sandhu delivered the prestigious 14th Sujata Jayawardena Memorial Oration recently at the BMICH before a packed audience. The topic of the address was: ‘Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas: Together We Progress’- India-Sri Lanka Relations in the light of India’s Neighbourhood First Policy’.

According to a statement by the embassy the High Commissioner was escorted in a Ceremonial Procession to the Hall. Many dignitaries including Vice Chancellor, University of Colombo Senior Professor Lakshman Dissanayake, President of Alumni Association Mr. Rajeev Amarasuriya and Senior Prof. Nayani Melagoda, former High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to India Prof. Sudharshan Seneviratne and Deshamanaya Tissa Devendra graced the occasion. The oration is an annual event organised by the Alumni Association of University of Colombo. The Alumni Association of University of Colombo presented High Commissioner with the Sujata Jayawardena Memorial Plaque.

 

High Commissioner, in his address, emphasized that Sabka sath Sabka vikas (Together we progress) sums up in one line the very essence of a Neighbourhood first policy. He reiterated the importance India attaches to progressing together with Sri Lanka, as self-interest alone is neither in India's culture nor in  behaviour. He added that neighbourhood is crucial not just because the two countries share physical borders. Neighbourhood is significant because they are joined by blood. India & Sri Lanka are not just near to each other; they are close to each other. He spoke about the recent achievements of both India & Sri Lanka in recent years, and how they have evolved over time.

 

High Commissioner was quoted in the release as saying that as responsible democracies, like Sri Lanka, India also does not believe in sacrificing civil liberties for achieving development. He spoke about the three ‘B’s, which signify India-Sri Lanka relations: Broad, Blend and Buddha. He emphasized that India has never believed in setting conditionalities for friendship. India’s heart is broad and big. India does not see friendships through transactional lens. He added that India has always believed in sharing what it has.

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