Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 14, said that the launch of ferry services between Nagapattinam and SrilLanka’s Kankesanthurai is an important milestone in strengthening the relations between the two countries. Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Ayush, Sarbananda Sonowal flagged off the Ferry service between Tamil Nadu’s Nagapattinam and Sri Lanka’s Kankesanturai. External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar joined the event virtually.
Speaking at the launch of the ferry services, PM Modi said, “We are embarking on a new chapter in the diplomatic and economic relations between India and Sri Lanka. The launch of a ferry service between Nagapattinam and Kankesanthurai is an important milestone in strengthening our relations.”
Underlining that India and Sri Lanka share a deep history of culture, commerce and civilisation, PM Modi said, “Nagapattinam and towns nearby have long been known for sea trade with many countries, including Sri Lanka. The historical port of Poompuhar has been mentioned as a hub in ancient Tamil literature. Sangam age literature like Pattinappalai and Manimekalai speaks about boats and ships moving between India and Sri Lanka.”
“Great Poet Subramania Bharti in his song ‘Sindhu Nadhiyin Misai’, had spoken of a bridge connecting our two countries. This ferry service brings alive all those historical and cultural connections,” he added.
Pointing out that connectivity is the central theme of the partnership between India and Sri Lanka, Prime Minister Modi said, “During the recent visit of President Wickremesinghe, we jointly adopted a vision document for our economic partnership. Connectivity is not only about bringing two cities closer. It also brings our countries closer, our people closer and our hearts closer. Connectivity enhances trade, tourism and people-to-people ties. It also creates opportunities for the youth of both countries.”
PM Modi further mentioned that there has been enhanced cooperation in transport connectivity between the two nations since 2015.
“Following my visit to Sri Lanka in 2015, we witnessed the launch of direct flights between Delhi and Colombo. Later, we celebrated the landing of the first international flight in the pilgrim town of Kushinagar from Sri Lanka. The direct flight between Chennai and Jaffna began in 2019. Now, the ferry service between Nagapattinam and Kankesanthurai is yet another important step in this direction,” he said. The ferry service from Nagapattinam will reach Kankesanthurai Harbour in Sri Lanka in 30 minutes. To facilitate the service, the Union Government dredged the Nagapattinam harbour at a cost of Rs 3 crore.
(with inputs from ANI)