Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi who was on a visit to Sri Lanka has left for India a short while ago, stated Ada Derana reporter.
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.
Holding bilateral talks, the Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and the Indian Premier recognized that international cooperation should be enhanced to eradicate terrorism.
“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.
External 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.
“A special gift from a special friend. President @MaithripalaS presented PM @narendramodi the Samadhi Buddha Statue. This is considered to be one of the best sculptures in the Anuradhapura era. The original statue was sculptured between the 4th and 7th centuries AD,” the Prime Minister’s Office tweeted.
“This replica of the Samadhi Buddha Statue has been hand carved using white teak. This masterpiece has taken almost two years to complete. The meditation pose is known as Dhyana Mudra,” it added.
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 to the Presidential Secretariat, where a red carpet welcome awaited.
Modi 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.
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.
-With excerpts from agencies