By Siva Sivapragasam
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has accepted an invitation to visit Sri Lanka, probably in March.
The invitation was extended on behalf of the Sri Lankan Government by it’s Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera who was in India recently on a goodwill mission after the new regime came to power.
Commenting on the recent election in Sri Lanka,Modi categorized it as a vote for “unity and change”. The Indian Prime minister hoped that the verdict will ‘advance peace, reconciliation and development in Sri Lanka and peace and progress’ in the region.
Modi said, in a meeting with the foreign minister, that even a ‘few steps can clearly indicate one’s direction’. He admired the Colombo leadership’s efforts to create a ‘truly Sri Lankan government’, which is ‘inclusive of all voices’.
In his talks with Samaraweera, Modi admired the Colombo leadership’s efforts to create a ‘truly Sri Lankan government’, which is ‘inclusive of all voices’. At a press briefing in New Delhi, Samaraweera stated that the recent election represented “Sri Lanka’s” Arab Spring moment”.
Mahinda Samaraweera also confirmed that Sri Lanka’s President will visit India, probably next month (February) and expected Mr. Modi to reciprocate a return visit by visiting Sri Lanka in March.
The two nations had also agreed to repatriate the refugees currently in India. Samaraweera said, “We don’t want to see any of our citizens languishing in refugee camps. Please come back.”
“The fact that as Foreign Minister I have undertaken my first overseas visit to India signifies the importance that President Sirisena’s government places on strengthening and improving bilateral ties with India,” Mr. Samaraweera told the Hindu newspaper.