Thursday, Aug 21, 2003
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India & World
By V.S. Sambandan
Releasing a book ``The Indo-Lankans Their 200-year saga'', Prof. Peiris, who is also the Government's chief negotiator in the latest peace process, described the centuries-long ties between the two countries as ``a relationship which straddles every sphere of human activity''. India, he said, was the third largest investor in Sri Lanka, its fifth largest importer and the largest contributor in terms of tourist arrivals. India was ``one sheet anchor, one solid bedrock and one source of strength'' for both the Government and the people of Sri Lanka.
`The Indo-Lankans', a publication by the Indian Heritage Foundation, is authored by the noted writer, S. Muthiah, and puts together the contributions by the people of Indian origin who settled in Sri Lanka since 1796. In a clear attempt to broaden the canvass from the already known Tamil links between the two countries, the book chronicles the contributions made by various sections of Indians such as the Parsis, the South Indian Moors, the Borahs, the Memons, the Gujaratis, the Sindhis and the Malayalees.
In a video message, the Sri Lankan President, Chandrika Kumaratunga, lauding the contributions by the Indo-Lankans, described the Indian community in Sri Lanka as the island's legacy. The External Affairs Minister, Yashwant Sinha, who postponed his visit to Sri Lanka due to the no-confidence motion against the NDA Government, in a message, termed the recent moves to grant citizenship to disenfranchised Indians as a ``positive development''.
The Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Nirupam Sen, recalling the contributions made by the people of Indian origin, to the development of Sri Lankan economy, said the Indian Tamils in the estates were more Sri Lankan than the Sri Lankan Tamils.
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