Prime Minister Narendra Modi today arrived in Sri Lanka becoming the first foreign leader to visit the island nation after the Easter blasts which killed over 250 people.
“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,” PM Modi tweeted. He was received by his Lankan counterpart Ranil Wickremesinghe at the Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo.
“Happy to be back in Sri Lanka, my third visit to this beautiful island in four years. Share the warmth shown by the people of SL in equal measure. India never forgets her friends when they are in need. Deeply touched by the ceremonial welcome,” Modi tweeted soon after his arrival here.
Prime Minister Modi visited a church – one of the sites of the horrific Easter Sunday attacks soon after his arrival here and paid tributes to the victims of the terror strikes, expressing India’s affirmation of solidarity with Sri Lanka in the wake of the attacks.
“Started the Sri Lanka visit by paying my respect at one of the sites of the horrific Easter Sunday Attack, St. Anthony’s Shrine, Kochchikade. My heart goes out to the families of the victims and the injured,” Modi tweeted.
During his day-long visit, Prime Minister Modi will hold talks with President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe and Leader of the Opposition Mahinda Rajapaksa. A delegation of the main Tamil party – The Tamil National Alliance – is also expected to meet him.
The Indian PM’s visit is seen as a sign of India’s affirmation of solidarity with Sri Lanka in the wake of the deadly Easter terror attacks in April. Over 250 people were killed in the attack claimed by the Islamic State.