Terror cannot beat Sri Lanka's spirit, says PM Modi; meets President Maithripala Sirisena

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 09 June 2019, 07:18 PM
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his Sri Lankan counterpart Ranil Wickremesinghe (Photo Source: PTI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his Sri Lankan counterpart Ranil Wickremesinghe (Photo Source: PTI)

After concluding his two-nation visit to Sri Lanka and Maldives following his re-election in this Lok Sabha polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday left for India. Modi was accompanied with Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to the airport while leaving for home. During his day-long visit to Sri Lanka, which he termed "immensely fruitful", PM Modi held talks with top Lankan leaders and discussed ways to strengthen the bilateral ties with the island nation, reflecting the importance India attaches to its 'Neighbourhood First' policy.

Taking to Twitter, Modi wrote, "I had a short but immensely fruitful Sri Lanka visit. Sri Lanka has a special place in our hearts. I assure my sisters and brothers of Sri Lanka that India will always be there with you and support your nation's progress. Thank you for the memorable welcome and hospitality".

Modi held meetings with Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Leader of the Opposition Mahinda Rajapaksa. He also interacted with the Indian diaspora at India House in Colombo and thanked the community for coming to meet him.

On his meeting with top Sri Lankan officials, Modi tweeted, "Met President @MaithripalaS, our second meeting in 10 days. President Sirisena and I agreed that terrorism is a joint threat that needs collective and focussed action. Reiterated India's commitment to partner with Sri Lanka for a shared, secure and prosperous future," Modi tweeted after his talks with President Sirisena".

Sirisena also thanked Modi for his visit and wrote, "Thank you @narendramodi, for your brief, but highly productive visit to our country today, thus proving you are a true friend of ours. I highly appreciate and value your kind gesture, support and cooperation extended to Sri Lanka".

Apart from bilateral talks, the prime minister paid tributes to the victims of the deadly Easter Sunday attacks at a Catholic church and said the "cowardly acts of terror cannot defeat the spirit of Sri Lanka". Nine suicide bombers carried out a series of devastating blasts that tore through St Anthony's Church in Colombo, St Sebastian's Church in the western coastal town of Negombo and another church in the eastern town of Batticaloa, and three high-end hotels frequented by tourists in the country's deadliest violence since the devastating civil war ended in 2009.

PM Modi also planted a sapling of an evergreen Ashoka tree along with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena at his official residence in Colombo. A plaque was put aside the sapling that read 'Asoka Saraca asoca', planted by Prime Minister Modi in Colombo on June 9, 2019. Furthermore, Modi received a special gift, a replica of the Samadhi Buddha Statue, from "special friend" Sirisena.

Modi arrived in Colombo from Maldives on Sunday morning on the second leg of his first foreign visit after taking oath for his second term last month. Upon his arrival, Modi was received by his Lankan counterpart Ranil Wickremesinghe at the Bandaranaike International Airport and accorded a ceremonial reception at the President's House.

READ | PM Modi at Maldives Parliament: State-sponsored terrorism biggest threat to world

In Maldives too, Modi held wide-ranging talks with President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Saturday and signed six agreements to strengthen bilateral cooperation in key areas like defence and maritime security. A coastal surveillance radar system and a composite training centre for the Maldives defence forces were jointly inaugurated by Modi and Solih.

During his visit to Maldives, Modi was conferred with the country's highest honour "Rule of Nishan Izzuddeen" on Saturday. He also addressed the Maldivian Parliament, the Majlis, an indication of India's important position in the neighbourhood. Giving a push to enhance connectivity, India and Maldives also agreed to start a ferry service from Kochi in Kerala to the Maldives.

READ | Narendra Modi's poll campaign was filled with 'lies, poison and hatred': Rahul Gandhi

Addressing a joint press conference, Modi also assured to contribute to the conservation of Maldives' iconic Friday Mosque, a historic landmark made up of coral stones. Built in 1658, Friday Mosque is one of the oldest and most ornate mosques in the city of Male in Kaafu Atoll. The mosque was added to the tentative UNESCO World Heritage cultural list in 2008 as unique examples of sea-culture architecture.

First Published: Sunday, June 09, 2019 05:36 PM
For all the latest India News Download the News Nation App available on Android and iOS.