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Published on : Saturday, June 18, 2022
In a latest interview with an Indian TV channel, RanilWickremesinghe,the Sri Lankan Prime Minister, stressed on a less emphasized yet noteworthyfeature of India-Sri Lanka relations. It is the unity between Sri Lanka and the southern portions of India. He said that he would easily fit into Chennai or Kerala without any problem. Similarly, people from the South can fit in Sri Lanka. This is not the first time that Mr. Wickremesinghehas talked aboutbuilding closer connections between Sri Lanka and South India.
Mr. Wickremesingheduring his second tenure as the Prime Minister, while delivering a lecture in Chennai in August 2003, had requested for the improvement of the South India-Sri Lanka sub-region as a single market that would give rise to more prospects for the economic progress of both countries.
In 2016, while speakingin the South Asian Diaspora Convention in Singapore, PMWickremesingheemphasized the fact that the five southern states of India, with a total populace of 250 million, had a collective gross state domestic product of almost $450 billion. With the totaling of Sri Lanka’s $80 billion GDP, the sub-region has the prospective of reaching a $500 billion economy, withacollectivepopulace of around 270 million. In the Southeast Asian country, Mr. Wickremesinghehad even mentionedthe tri-nation economic merging, taking into account Singapore as well. Mr. Wickremesinghe’s latest annotationsneed to be viewed in the circumstance of his indication of sub-regional assimilation.