The High Commissioner stated that Sri Lanka continues to be a key part of India’s “neighbourhood first” policy and a important element in strengthening bilateral ties with Sri Lanka will be deepening economic and commercial relations. He expressed the hope that Sri Lankan businesses will take advantage of their proximity to the fastest growing major economy in the world. He also referred to the proposal made by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, during his visit to India in September 2015 to conclude a bilateral Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement.The High Commissioner also noted the increasing air connectivity between the two countries, and the growing tourist arrivals from India in Sri Lanka. He recalled that, in pursuance of the announcement made by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi during his visit to Sri Lanka, the e-Tourist Visa (eTV) scheme has been extended to Sri Lankan nationals from April 14, 2015, and eTV fee for Sri Lankan nationals was subsequently reduced. (Colombo Gazette) High Commissioner Y.K. Sinha unfurled the Indian flag and inspected a Guard of Honour presented by a contingent of the Border Security Force. He read out excerpts from the Address to the Nation on the eve of the Republic Day by the Hon´ble President of India, Pranab Mukherjee. The High Commission of India and the Indian expatriate community in Sri Lanka celebrated the 67th Republic Day of India today at India House in Colombo. The Indian Government today said that India has an abiding interest in the security of Sri Lanka and remains committed to Sri Lanka’s unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity.India’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Y.K. Sinha said that Sri Lanka continues to be a key part of India’s “neighbourhood first” policy. Later speaking about the state of India-Sri Lanka relations, the High Commissioner highlighted that the previous year has been quite transformative for India-Sri Lanka relations and congratulated the Government of Sri Lanka on completion of one year in office.He noted that four high level bilateral visits within 90 days of the formation of a new government in Sri Lanka last year heralded a new chapter in our relations . The momentum of these relations will be maintained by the forthcoming visit of External Affairs Minister of India, Smt. Sushma Swaraj, to Sri Lanka for the Joint Commission Meeting.
Dr Mallet acknowledged that the move will require safety training for members of the clergy and local parishes, particularly on how to protect young people vulnerable to county lines exploitation.“We cannot go into this blindly,” she said. “In the past there’s been a jump to ‘well if you had more youth clubs we might be able to do some sticking plaster work’. But we have to look at this holistically and look at the agencies we can work with to be part of the solution.” “[Knife crime] has become a national problem,” Dr Mallet said. “Churches on the ground have found themselves engaged and involved, either they are involved in wherever that situation has happened and they are called in to help the family or a funeral.“Churches have come together to think of ways it can be part of the nexus of support, recognising it is not the solution but it can be part of the solution and that’s the important thing. Churches should become knife crime sanctuaries where young people can go and dispose of their weapons, the General Synod has proposed.The Revd Canon Dr Rosemarie Mallett, a priest in Angell Town, south London, will urge parishes to open their doors after school hours for young people in hot spot areas for serious violence.Knife amnesty bins, where youngsters can safely dispose of their weapons to help them avoid violence, should also be provided.Dr Mallet said she has been involved in “too many funerals” for young victims of crime and that the Church of England should help tackle the culture that saw more than 39,000 knife crime offences in 2018 alone.The Synod, which is held twice a year, will debate the motion in York next weekend. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.