Passenger Ferry Services Launched Between India and Sri Lanka

In his video message, the Prime Minister highlighted the significance of the passenger ferry services between Nagapattinam, India, and Kankesanthurai near Jaffna in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka. He emphasized that this development marks a new phase in diplomatic and economic ties between the two nations. Vessel Cheriyapani traveled with 50 passengers on its inaugural journey to Sri Lanka and will return back to India by evening with passengers from Sri Lanka.

The launch of this ferry service serves as a crucial milestone in enhancing the relationship between India and Sri Lanka. It reflects the commitment of both countries to boost connectivity and collaboration in various sectors for the benefit of their people and the broader region.

More About the Ferry Services

  • The launch of the high-speed ferry service between Nagapattinam and Kankesanthurai is a significant step towards strengthening the relationship between India and Sri Lanka.
  • This service, operated by the Shipping Corporation of India, will connect the two ports, covering a distance of approximately 60 nautical miles in about 3.5 hours, depending on sea conditions.
  • The governments of both India and Sri Lanka have invested in upgrading the necessary infrastructure at the respective ports to make this service possible.
  • The initiative aligns with India’s commitment to enhancing connectivity with its neighboring countries and the broader Indian Ocean Region.
  • The direct passenger ferry between the two nations will provide an efficient and cost-effective means of travel, stimulate tourism and trade, and promote people-to-people interactions.
  • Furthermore, it will invigorate economic activity in the regions surrounding the two ports.

In addition to this route, there are plans to launch ferry services between other ports, including the traditional route between Rameswaram and Talaimannar, further enhancing connectivity and collaboration between India and Sri Lanka. These efforts aim to foster closer ties and cooperation for the benefit of both nations and the region.

Strengthening Cultural Ties between India & Sri Lanka

The launch of the ferry service between Nagapattinam and Kankesanthurai is not just a practical transportation link but a symbol of the deep-rooted historical and cultural connections between India and Sri Lanka. These connections date back to ancient times when Nagapattinam and its neighboring towns engaged in sea trade with various countries, including Sri Lanka. The historical port of Poompuhar is well-documented in ancient Tamil literature as a thriving hub for maritime activities.

The Sangam age literature, such as Pattinappalai and Manimekalai, vividly describes the movement of boats and ships between the two nations. The great poet Subramania Bharti’s song ‘Sindhu Nadhiyin Misai’ even mentions a bridge connecting India and Sri Lanka, emphasizing the historical ties.

Way Forward

During the recent G20 Summit hosted by India, the concept of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam,” was highlighted and well-received by the international community. This vision includes a commitment to sharing progress and prosperity with neighboring nations.

The Prime Minister expressed gratitude and appreciation to the President, Government, and people of Sri Lanka for the successful launch of the ferry service. He also spoke about working towards resuming the ferry service between Rameswaram and Talaimannar. He also reiterated the commitment to work closely with Sri Lanka to further strengthen bilateral ties for the mutual benefit of both nations. The ferry service is not just a mode of transport; it’s a bridge that reconnects the historical, cultural, and trade links between India and Sri Lanka.


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