Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to India Prasad Kariyawasam made a strong pitch for collaboration in promoting tourism between his country and Goa and said such a venture would be beneficial to the people of both the states.
Speaking on “Quest for promoting tourism between Goa and Sri Lanka” he dwelled on the similarities between Goa and Sri Lanka like both being ruled by the Portuguese, both having a strong Catholic community and said the two states could deliver dreams that are both beautiful and achievable.
While admitting that various issues including visa free travel between India and Sri Lanka are yet to be resolved, he however said one cannot wait till everything falls in place.
He said once people start travelling due to attractive packages, the hindrances will automatically diminish to create better connectivity.
He also referred to Blessed Joseph Vaz who was of Goan origin and who worked for 10 years to keep the Catholic faith alive in Sri Lanka when the Dutch were trying to wipe it out. “Joseph Vaz is called the apostle of Ceylon and was even beatified in Colombo by Pope John Paul II in 1995,” he recalled.
Speaker of Goa Legislative Assembly Pratapsing Rane who presided over the function held at International Centre, Goa, pointed out that just like Goa, Sri Lanka too has golden beaches.
Kariyawasam also called on Governor Dr. S S Sidhu and discussed the scope for promoting tourism with his country.
It would be pertinent to note that the Travel and Tours Association of Goa has of late been viewing Sri Lanka as a major competitor for its tourism trade.