India will continue to stand with Sri Lanka in difficult times: PM

Chennai, May 26 (FN Bureau) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that India is providing all kind of assistance to Sri Lanka and the government will continue to stand with the country in difficult times, to ensure stability, economic recovery and democracy. The Prime Minister was speaking in this capital of Tamil Nadu, after dedicating to the nation and laying the foundation stone of 11 projects worth over Rs 31,500 crore in the state. “Sri Lanka is passing through difficult times. I am sure you are concerned with the developments there. As a close friend and neighbour, India is providing all possible support to Sri Lanka. This includes financial support, support of food, medicines and other essential items,” he said. The Prime Minister said that many Indian organisations and individuals have sent assistance for the brothers and sisters of Sri Lanka.

“India has also spoken strongly in International fora for extending economic support to Sri Lanka. India will continue to stand with the people of Sri Lanka and support democracy, stability and economic recovery in Srilanka,” he added. The Prime Minister also recalled his visit to Jafna a few years ago and said that he was the first Indian Prime Minister to do so. “I can never forget my visit to Jafna a few years ago. I was the first Indian PM to visit Jafna. The government of India is undertaking numerous projects to assist the Tamil people in Sri Lanka. These projects cover healthcare, transportation, housing and culture,” he said. The Prime Minister said that it’s always wonderful to be in Tamil Nadu. “The people, culture and language of Tamil Nadu are outstanding. Tamil language is eternal, Tamil culture is global. From Chennai to Canada, from Madurai to Malaysia, from Namakkal to New York, from Salem to South Africa…the occasions of Pongal and Puthandu are marked with great fervour,” he said. The Prime Minister said the government of India was fully committed to further popularising Tamil language and culture. “In January this year, the new campus of Central Institute of Classical Tamil was inaugurated in Chennai. The new campus is fully funded by the Union government,” he said.

Talking about the success of various government schemes, Modi said the government was working to achieve 100 per cent saturation and complete coverage of welfare schemes, including housing, water and financial inclusion. The projects inaugurated by the Prime Minister in Chennai are a step towards boosting infrastructure development, enhancing connectivity and giving an impetus to ease of living in the region, the PMO said. These projects will also help significantly in improving the socio-economic prosperity in the region, having a transformative impact on several sectors and also in creating employment opportunities, it added.