New Delhi: PM Narendra Modi held talks with his Sri Lankan counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa Saturday, a day after the latter touched down in Delhi for a four-day visit. The trip to India is Rajapaksa’s first overseas visit since he was sworn in as the Prime Minister last year.
Rajapaksa was given a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. This was followed by wide-ranging talks with PM Narendra Modi where subjects discussed included the Tamil issue.
Modi said he was confident that Colombo will realise the Tamil people’s expectations of equality, justice, peace and respect within a united Sri Lanka.
Rajapaksa’s visit also assumed significance as his tenure as Sri Lanka’s president from 2005 to 2016 saw expansion of China’s footprints in the Indian Ocean island nation, triggering concerns in India.
“Stability, security and prosperity in Sri Lanka is in India’s interest, but also in the interest of the entire Indian Ocean Region,” Modi said in his media statement.
In the coming days, Rajapaksa is scheduled to travel to Varanasi, Sarnath, Bodh Gaya and Tirupati.
Here are some glimpses from his interactions with PM Modi Saturday.
Sri Lankan PM Mahinda Rajapaksa greets guests during his ceremonial welcome. | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint