In his speech welcoming the Indian Prime Minister, Minister of National Co-existence, Dialogue and Official Languages, Mano Ganeshan stated that the people assembled to hear him speak were the most recent segment of people to arrive from India in the 1800s.
“But our loyalty to our Motherland Sri Lanka, is not a divided loyalty,” he insisted. “We are in a position of being a bridge between our two nations, and also, we make the relationship between our countries more meaningful,” the Minister opined.
He noted that while most Sri Lankans of recent Indian origin speak Tamil, there were small segments who spoke Malayalam, Telugu, Guajarati and Hindi. A large number also spoke Sinhala.
Alluding to the religious and historical bonds between the two countries, Mr. Ganeshan observed that Buddhists from Sri Lanka go on pilgrimage to Buddha Gaya in India, while Hindus from India visited Sri Lanka on the Rama trail looking for Sita Vanam and the Rama Temple.
He stated that never in the country’s history had Tamils of Indian origin felt as confident, assured and recognised as they did at present. This was because under the National Unity Government of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, “this country looks beyond politics and beyond generations.”