Terror cannot defeat the spirit of Sri Lanka Modi

first_imgColombo: Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Sri Lanka’s top leadership including President Maithripala Sirisena Sunday and the two sides agreed that terrorism is a “joint threat” that needs collective and focussed action, weeks after the island nation witnessed the worst jihadi attack. Modi is the first foreign leader to visit Sri Lanka after the deadly Easter terror attacks in April. His visit is considered as a sign of India’s affirmation of solidarity with Sri Lanka in the aftermath of the attacks. Also Read – Dussehra with a ‘green’ twistExternal Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that the two leaders discussed bilateral issues of mutual interest. A banquet was hosted in honour of Prime Minister Modi by President Sirisena. Modi also received a special gift, a replica of the Samadhi Buddha Statue, from “special friend” Sirisena. Earlier, Prime Minister Modi’s entourage made a detour to St Anthony’s church – one of the sites of the horrific Easter Sunday attacks – on their way from the airport to the Presidential Secretariat, where a red carpet welcome awaited. Also Read – India receives its first Rafale fighter jet from FranceModi paid tributes to the victims of the deadly terror strikes at the church and said the “cowardly acts of terror cannot defeat the spirit of Sri Lanka”. “I am confident Sri Lanka will rise again. Cowardly acts of terror cannot defeat the spirit of Sri Lanka. India stands in solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka,” said Modi. 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. The Islamic State has claimed the attacks, but the government has blamed local Islamist extremist group National Thawheed Jamaath (NTJ) for the bombings. After paying tributes to the victims of the Easter attacks at the Catholic church, Modi arrived at the President’s House where he was accorded a ceremonial reception. President Sirisena held an umbrella to provide cover to himself and Prime Minister Modi from rain. Modi also planted a sapling of an evergreen Ashoka tree at the President’s House. Prime Minister Modi held “fruitful discussions” with his Lankan counterpart Ranil Wickremesinghe. “Assured India’s full support to further strengthen bilateral development partnership including through people-oriented projects in Sri Lanka,” Modi said after his meeting with Wickremesinghe. Modi also held an extensive meeting with the Leader of Opposition Mahinda Rajapaksa and discussed the need for close collaboration between the two countries in the fields of counter-terrorism, security and economic development. A Tamil National Alliance delegation led by R Sampanthan also called on Prime Minister Modi and congratulated him on his electoral victory. Modi termed his visit to Colombo “immensely fruitful”. Modi arrived in Colombo from the Maldives where he held wide-ranging talks with Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Saturday.last_img read more