In a diplomatic ceremony held at the Presidential Secretariat, the newly appointed High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka, Mr. Santosh Jha, presented his credentials to President Ranil Wickremesinghe, marking the official commencement of his tenure in Sri Lanka.
His most recent assignment prior to the Sri Lankan posting was at the Embassy of India in Brussels, where he served from July 2020 until December 2023.
Mr. Jha has the experience of serving as a member of negotiating teams for Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with Sri Lanka and the European Union respectively.
As the new High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka, Mr. Santosh Jha is poised to further strengthen the bilateral ties between India and Sri Lanka, fostering cooperation and collaboration in various domains.
Mr. Jha conveyed in the guest book of President Ranil Wickremesinghe that India and Sri Lanka share deep-rooted bonds in history, geography, culture and people-to-people ties.
He highlighted the growth of ties in political, economic, and security fields over the decades, emphasizing India’s role as Sri Lanka’s close neighbour, largest trade partner and a key development partner.
Mr. Jha expressed his commitment to strengthening the special friendship between the two countries, fostering closer collaboration in trade, investment, energy, connectivity and other areas.
He aligned his goals with the Vision Statement agreed upon by the leaders of both nations, expressing confidence that their cooperation will lead to shared prosperity, progress and regional stability.
The High Commissioner thanked President Wickremesinghe for the warm welcome and looked forward to constructive engagements in the future.
A senior Indian diplomat, Mr. Jha was India’s Ambassador to the European Union, Belgium & Luxembourg before taking up his assignment in Colombo. He had earlier served as Ambassador of India to Uzbekistan from 2019-2020, and as the Deputy Chief of Mission at the Indian Embassy in Washington DC from 2017-2019.
He has held key positions in the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi, including as head of Division for Human Resources and Management Affairs, Division for relations with Western Europe and the European Union, and the Policy Planning Division.
High Commissioner Jha had also served in Colombo from 2007-2010 as Counsellor at the High Commission, handling work related to commercial and economic matters. During this period, in particular, he was pivotal in building the architecture of India-Sri Lanka development cooperation.
He is married to Tanuja Jha and has a daughter and a son.