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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2640

Modi to visit Lanka from March 13 to 15

Colombo, 19 February, (Asiantribune.com):

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Sri Lanka from 13 to 15 March, the first bilateral visit by an Indian PM to the island nation in over 25- years.

Cabinet Spokesperson Minister Rajitha Senaratne said while addressing the weekly cabinet briefing held at the government information department today (19).

During the visit, Modi is likely to travel to Jaffna in the Tamil-majority Northern Province, earlier the Hindu newspaper said in an article.

President Maithripala Sirisena visited India on February 16, his first State visit abroad since assuming office. The visit was part of efforts to repair relations with New Delhi, which had strained under the previous Government
President Sirisena had earlier pledged to pursue a more global foreign policy in a break with his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa’s pursuit of close ties with China, a key supporter of Sri Lanka’s economy since its 26-year civil war ended in 2009.

During the visit, Modi is likely to travel to Jaffna in the Tamil-majority Northern Province, earlier the Hindu newspaper said in an article.

The previous bilateral visit to Sri Lanka by an Indian Prime Minister was in 1987, when Rajiv Gandhi traveled to Colombo to sign the Indo-Sri Lanka Peace Accord with the then Sri Lankan President, J. R. Jayewardene.

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was in Colombo in 2008 to attend the SAARC summit and handed over its chairmanship to the then President, Mahinda Rajapaksa.

However, he skipped the Commonwealth Summit that Sri Lanka hosted in November 2013, a decision that was strongly criticized by sections in New Delhi and Colombo.

President Sirisena had earlier pledged to pursue a more global foreign policy in a break with his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa’s pursuit of close ties with China, a key supporter of Sri Lanka’s economy since its 26-year civil war ended in 2009.

- Asian Tribune -

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