Sinha highlighted the lack of reporting in Sri Lankan papers on India’s involvement in the launch of the train service between Jaffna and Colombo and pointed out that Sri Lanka had forgotten what India has done for millennia, while speaking during a symposium on Anagarika Dharmapala and India – Sri Lanka Relations, organised by the Centre for Contemporary Indian Studies of the Colombo University.
“We felt that there was need to let people in Sri Lanka in particular, know, what India has done in the last few years, for Sri Lanka. Because I think the emphasis is on a ‘Look East’ policy, and to try and glorify what countries have done, for Sri Lanka in the recent past, forgetting what a country like India has done for millennia.”
“India has committed in Indian Rupees, 9000 crores. In US Dollar terms, 1.6 billion Dollars as development assistance to Sri Lanka, in the years following the end of the war, in fact even before the war ended in 2009. Out of this, 30% are grants – they are free, they are unattached, they do not have an interest rate and the interests rate does not compound.”
“And these projects and this assistance is based on the needs of the people and Government of Sri Lanka. It is not something that the people and the Government of India had dictated or wanted to do.”
“On the 22nd, the Yarl Devi ran to Jaffna, the Yal Devi train. Read today’s papers, do you find a mention of who made that possible? Just to make a point – that how under-appreciated our assistance is,” he said.