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"During economic crisis, everyone became aware who is our real friend": Sri Lankan Minister

Chennai: The India-Sri Lanka relationship is strong and close, and it was revealed during the economic crisis who is a real friend of Sri Lanka, Sri Lankan Minister Jeevan Thondaman said on Monday.
He stressed that a “permanent solution” to the fishermen issue is important for India-Sri Lanka cultural and economic ties. The Sri Lanka Minister for Water Resources and Estate Infrastructure was giving a press briefing at the Chennai Airport after his one-week trip to India.
While speaking with the media, Thondaman said, "I completed my one week India trip. Last week along with Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe, we met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi. In the meeting with PM Modi, we discussed many things and MOS were signed in the renewable sector”.
He said that the whole world got to know who is a real friend of Sri Lanka during the economic crisis.
“India-Sri Lanka relationship is so strong and close. A few could be there mixing politics, and showing India in a bad picture among Sri Lankan people. But, during this economic crisis, it has been revealed and everyone got aware who is a real friend of Sri Lanka,” he said.
The Sri Lankan minister further said that some issues related to Tamilians, especially fishermen issues were also discussed during the meeting with PM Modi.
“We even submitted the 13th Amendment to the Sri Lanka constitution to Prime Minister Modi. Some discussions related to refugees in refugee camps were also part of the meeting,” he added.
Thondaman also met Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin on Sunday, and discussed issues regarding a permanent solution to fishermen issues.
“Both sides are Tamilians only and both sides are fighting for their living. First, according to the Maritime Prevention Act, the bottom line trawlers are illegal and we can't accept them. And similarly, a few boats crossed the Sri Lanka border and at that time we seized them. Regarding this, today there is a cabinet meeting in Sri Lanka. We need a permanent solution to this as India-Sri Lanka cultural and economic connect is very important,”
He added that the refugees are coming to Tamil Nadu due to economic crisis, and for solving the issue, Sri Lanka is working on developing its economy. (ANI)

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