Indian PM Modi telephones Mahinda and congratulates him

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi telephoned Mahinda Rajapaksa on being elected as the next Prime Minister, Indian High Commission sources told Colombo Gazette.

Rajapaksa tweeted thanking Modi for the phone call and looked forward to enhancing the relationship between both countries.

Thank you PM @narendramodi  for your congratulatory phone call. With the strong support of the people of #SriLanka, I look forward to working with you closely to further enhance the long-standing cooperation between our two countries. Sri Lanka & India are friends & relations,” Rajapaksa tweeted.

Modi is the first world leader to congratulate Rajapaksa before the final results of the election are announced.

Meanwhile, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said that Modi spoke to Rajapaksa today, and congratulated him on the successful conduct of parliamentary elections in Sri Lanka yesterday.

The Prime Minister commended the Government and the electoral institutions of Sri Lanka for effectively organising the elections despite the constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic. He also appreciated the Sri Lankan people for their enthusiastic participation in the elections, and said that this reflected the strong democratic values shared by both countries.

Prime Minister Shri Modi noted that the incoming results of the elections indicate an impressive electoral performance by the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) party, and conveyed his congratulations and best wishes to Rajapaksa in this regard.

Recalling their cordial and fruitful previous interactions, the two leaders reiterated their shared commitment to strengthen the age-old and multi-dimensional India-Sri Lanka relationship. They stressed the significance of early progress in all spheres of bilateral cooperation.

The Prime Minister informed Rajapaksa about the establishment of an international airport in the Buddhist pilgrimage city of Kushinagar in India, and said that the city looked forward to welcoming visitors from Sri Lanka at an early date.

The leaders agreed to remain in close touch as both countries address the challenges posed by COVID 19 pandemic, and resolved to take bilateral relations to newer heights in the coming days. (Colombo Gazette)