India provides a Line of Credit for the Northern rail track. The related agreements were inked at the President’s House today.
The two countries signed the deal for a 416 million US dollar credit from India’s export import bank to rebuild railways in the island’s war-torn north. The agreement was signed in the presence of President Rajapaksa and India’s External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna today. This is the first time that a Minister from India undertook a visit to Sri Lanka since the assumption of duties by the President for his second term. Work on the Northern rail track from Madhu to Talaimannar, Medawachchiya to Madhu and Omanthai to Palaly is due to be completed in three phases. The letters for the construction of 50,000 houses in the North by India were exchanged by Finance Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera and Managing Director of the Indian Export Import Bank.
The talks between the President and the Indian External Affairs Minister were extremely cordial. The Indian Minister extended his greetings to the President for his second term of office. It was agreed to get down the Kapilawasthu Relics in view of the 2600th Sambuddha Jayanthi for next year’s Wesak. The President appraised the Indian Minister on the process of the resettlement of the displaced persons. Their discussions also centred on the rehabilitation that is taking place in the North and the East with the routing of terrorism and also the economic progress and development in these two Provinces. The Indian External Affairs Minister appreciated the vast progress that has been achieved in these fields.
India is also due to open two Consulates in Jaffna and Hambantota during Mr. Krishna’s visit. The unveiling of the plaque related to the Northern rail track is scheduled for tomorrow.