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Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated on Saturday that the launch of ferry services between Nagapattinam and Sri Lanka’s Kankesanthurai is a significant milestone in strengthening the relations between the two countries. Minister of Ports, Shipping, Waterways, and Ayush, Sarbananda Sonowal, inaugurated the ferry service between Tamil Nadu’s Nagapattinam and Sri Lanka’s Kankesanturai, with External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar participating in the event virtually.

During the launch of the ferry services, PM Modi emphasized the beginning of a new chapter in the diplomatic and economic relations between India and Sri Lanka. He highlighted the deep history of culture, commerce, and civilization shared between the two nations, with Nagapattinam and nearby towns having a long-standing reputation for sea trade with various countries, including Sri Lanka. The historical significance of the port of Poompuhar and references in ancient Tamil literature were also mentioned.

Connectivity was emphasized as the core aspect of the partnership between India and Sri Lanka, with PM Modi noting increased cooperation in transport connectivity since 2015. Direct flights between the two countries were initiated following his visit to Sri Lanka in 2015, with further developments such as the launch of the first international flight to Kushinagar from Sri Lanka and the direct flight between and Jaffna in 2019. The new ferry service between Nagapattinam and Kankesanthurai was highlighted as a crucial step in enhancing connectivity between the two nations.

The ferry service from Nagapattinam to Kankesanthurai Harbour in Sri Lanka takes only 30 minutes, with the Union Government investing Rs 3 crore in dredging the Nagapattinam harbor to facilitate the service.

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