Sri Lanka, India pre-war air, sea links to resume

Dr. Ganeshan Wignaraja and Dr. Dinusha Panditaratne

Nov 27, 2010 (LBO) – Pre-war air and ferry links between south India and northern Sri Lanka should resume to improve contacts between people and strengthen the local economies, Indian foreign minister S M Krishna said. With the end of the 30-year ethnic war in May 2009, both governments want to resume the old ties and connectivity that existed between the two countries, he said in the northern Sri Lankan town of Jaffna.

“There must be several in this audience who would have seen the days when there was a direct flight from Palaly to Trichy (in south India) and a ferry service from Talaimannar to Rameswaram,” Krishna said at the opening of an Indian consulate in Jaffna.

“It is possible that some among you may even have gone off to Chennai Madras as it was called only to catch a movie. It’s time to revive those links.”

The two countries recently completed negotiations on a Memorandum of Understanding on resuming ferry services, both from Colombo to Tuticorin in south India, and Talaimannar on the island’s northwest coast to Rameswaram.

India is also supporting the reconstruction of the Kankesanthurai harbour in Jaffna, which was damaged during the war.

Krishna, who is on a visit to th