‘Blood is thicker than water’: S Jaishankar on India-Sri Lanka relations

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said in the midst of Sri Lanka’s economic crisis that it is natural for India to stand with Sri Lanka in its difficult times. Jaishankar said, ‘Blood is thicker than water. It was natural for India to do what it could to stand by Sri Lanka in this difficult time. In times of crisis, India has repeatedly stood by the countries around it, following the ‘neighbourhood first policy’.

India has always come forward to help debt-ridden Sri Lanka under its ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy and recently New Delhi has also distributed ration in Kalmunai on 16 March.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar was speaking at the inauguration of Sri Lankan architect ‘Geoffrey Bawa’ exhibition held in New Delhi on Friday.

During the program, Jaishankar said, ‘(Sanjay) Kulatunga, (Trustee of Geoffrey Bawa Trust) and I were talking (about India and Sri Lanka), I reminded him that blood is thicker than water. In this moment of difficulty it was natural that we should see what we can do with our resources, capabilities and efforts to stand with Sri Lanka in this difficult time.

The Foreign Minister said, ‘When I think of Sri Lanka, Geoffrey Bawa is a personality who comes to my mind.’

He said, ‘He is the father of the modernist movement. We were introduced to the Parliament House. What we saw was very simple and revolutionary, which inspired many other parts of the world. His achievements are not only in Sri Lanka.

The Foreign Minister said, ‘I am sure that this exhibition will promote a very close relationship between the two countries.’

Speaking on the economic crisis in Sri Lanka, Jaishankar said, “It is very natural for India to come forward. Blood is thicker than water. It is natural in the moment of difficulty. I have always believed that you will overcome this challenge.” , But it is important to have real friends standing with you (Sri Lanka).”

Sri Lankan Ambassador Melinda Moragoda and Minister of State for External Affairs Meenakshi Lekhi were also present at the inauguration of the exhibition.

Geoffrey Bawa was a Sri Lankan architect and one of the most influential Asian architects of his generation. He was born in 1919 and passed away in 2003.

Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Ali Sabri had said during the Raisina Dialogue in early March that India had helped Sri Lanka more than any other country, especially when the country was facing an unprecedented crisis.

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