Published On: Sun, Jun 9th, 2019

PM Modi first foreign leader to visit Sri Lanka after Easter terror attacks

Colombo: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will be making a brief stopover in Sri Lanka on his way back to India from the Maldives, becomes the first foreign leader to visit the island nation after the deadly Easter terror attack that killed more than 250 people on April 21.

Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Narendra Modi

The brief stay in Sri Lanka is also a part of the Prime Minister’s first overseas visit after assuming office for a second term last month.

According to a release issued by the Ministry of External Affairs, the Prime Minister is scheduled to arrive at the Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo.

Modi would be given an official welcome ceremony at President’s Secretariat here. He will then plant saplings at the President’s House and meet President Maithripala Sirisena in the afternoon.

Later, the Prime Minister will further meet his Sri Lankan counterpart Ranil Wickremesinghe, Leader of Opposition and former president Mahinda Rajapaksa and an official delegation of the Tamil National Alliance, a political party that represents the country’s Sri Lankan Tamil minority.

At 2 p.m. (local time), Modi will also hold talks with the Indian community in Colombo.

The Prime Minister is scheduled to emplane for India at 3 p.m. (local time).

On Friday, Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India, Austin Fernando said that the Prime Minister’s visit to Sri Lanka shows India’s humane approach towards the people of island-nation after the Easter Sunday blasts.

Multiple explosions ripped through Sri Lanka on April 21, when the Christian community was celebrating Easter Sunday. The explosions rattled three churches and high-end hotels across the country, killing more than 250 people.

A local Jihadi group and ISIS affiliate, National Thowheeth Jama’ath, claimed responsibility for the devastating attacks which have been widely condemned.

The official visits further indicate the importance India attaches to the policy of ‘Neighbourhood First’.

ANI

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