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Launch of ferry services between Nagapattinam and Kankesanthurai 

Utkarsh Classes Last Updated 02-03-2024
Launch of ferry services between Nagapattinam and Kankesanthurai  International news 6 min read

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched ferry services between Nagapattinam in India and Kankesanthurai in Sri Lanka through video message on 14 October 2023. This is the beginning of a new chapter in the diplomatic and economic relations between the two countries.

Benefits of starting ferry services:

  • Will further strengthen the shared heritage of culture, commerce and civilization between India and Sri Lanka.
  • Nagapattinam and its surrounding towns have been known for maritime trade with many countries including Sri Lanka.
  • Even in ancient Tamil literature, the historical port of Poompuhar has been described as a major centre.
    • Work is in progress on ‘Project Digital Poompuhar’ to digitally reconstruct Poompuhar, an extinct Chola period port city in Tamil Nadu.
  • The Prime Minister also expressed his views about the Sangam era literature like Pattinappalai and Manimekalai, which describe the ferry service and movement of sea vessels between the two countries.
  • The Prime Minister also recalled the great poet Subramaniam Bharati's song 'Sindhu Nadhiyin Misai', which describes a bridge connecting India and Sri Lanka.
  • The ferry service between the two countries will give a new lease of life to all the historical and cultural ties of the former.
  • Connectivity enhances trade, tourism and people-to-people ties, as well as creates new opportunities for the youth of both the countries.

Why is it needed?

  • Partnership for progress and development is one of the strongest pillars of India-Sri Lanka bilateral relations.
  • The projects implemented with Indian assistance in Sri Lanka have reshaped the lives of the people there.
  • Several projects related to housing, water, health and livelihood support have been completed in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka and expressed happiness in extending support for the advancement of Kankesanthurai Port.

Work done for mutual engagement between India and Sri Lanka:

  • A direct flight between Delhi and Colombo was started by the Prime Minister during his visit to Sri Lanka in 2015.
  • The arrival of the first international flight from Sri Lanka to the pilgrimage town of Kushinagar was also celebrated.
  • Direct flights between Chennai and Jaffna were started in the year 2019.
  • Ferry service between Rameshwaram and Talaimannar was restarted.

Collaboration in Fin-Tech and Energy Sector:

  • India and Sri Lanka cooperate in a wide range of sectors such as fin-tech and energy.
  • Due to UPI, digital payments have become a mass movement and a way of life in India.
  • The governments of both the countries are working on fin-tech sector connectivity by connecting UPI and LankaPay together.

Connecting the Energy Grid:

  • The Prime Minister also talked about connecting the energy grid between the two countries to enhance energy security and reliability, as energy security is critical to the development journey of both India and Sri Lanka.

Recently Projects being undertaken in Sri Lanka with Indian assistance

  • Restoration of railway lines connecting North to South;
  • Construction of the prestigious Jaffna Cultural Centre;
  • Launching emergency ambulance service throughout Sri Lanka;
  • Multi-Specialty Hospital in Dik Oya
  • The Government of India is working in Sri Lanka with the vision of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas and Sabka Prayas.

Neighboring countries also benefit from India's increasing global participation:

  • The Prime Minister also mentioned the launch of the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor during the G-20 Summit and noted that it is an important connectivity corridor that will create a massive economic impact across the region.
  • The people of Sri Lanka will also benefit from this project, as multi-dimensional connectivity between the two countries is strengthened.
  • India is committed to working closely with Sri Lanka towards further strengthening our bilateral relations for the mutual benefit of our people.

Sri Lanka:

  • Capital: Sri Jayewardenepura (official capital) while Colombo is the commercial capital of Sri Lanka.
  • Currency: Sri Lankan Rupee
  • Prime Minister: Dinesh Gunawardene
  • President: Ranil Wickremesinghe


Sri Lanka

Nagapattinam of India and Kankesanthurai of Sri Lanka

‘Poompuhar’ is an extinct Chola period port city in Tamil Nadu. Work is in progress on ‘Project Digital Poompuhar’ to digitally reconstruct ‘Poompuhar’.

Pattinappalai and Manimekalai

UPI and LankaPay
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