New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday congratulated Gotabaya Rajapaksa for his electoral victory in the Presidential elections held in Sri Lanka Saturday. Further, he also extended an invitation to Rajapaksa to visit India, which was readily accepted by the latter.

PM Modi also conveyed good wishes on behalf of the people of India for Rajapaksa’s victory. He also expressed confidence that under the leadership of Gotabaya, the people of Sri Lanka will progress further on the path of peace and prosperity, tweeted PMO’s office.

In a tweet, Prime Minister’s Office said, “PM Modi also expressed confidence that cultural, historical & civilisational ties between India & Sri Lanka will be further strengthened. PM Modi extended an invitation to Gotabaya Rajapaksa to visit India at his early convenience; invitation was accepted.”

Gotabaya Rajapaksa, a former Defence Minister and also the brother of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, on Sunday, won Sri Lanka’s presidential election but lost in almost all of the minority Tamils and Muslim provinces of the island nation.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa won in most of the Sinhala majority southern districts, according to the results announced by 12 noon.

However, he lost the Tamil majority civil war-affected Northern Province and the Muslim dominated Eastern Province with a vote percentage of 65 to 70 per cent.

Rajapaksa was defeated in all of the Northern Province’s five districts — Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mulaitivu, Vavuniya, Mannar — and three districts in the Eastern Province — Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Ampara — almost all affected by the three decade long war.

The Eastern Province was also the hometown of key ringleaders of the April 21 Easter Sunday suicide bombings which claimed the lives of over 250 persons and injured more than 400 others.

Gotabaya Rajapakasa received 51.41 per cent vote with 4,940,849 ballots, while his nearest rival, the New Democratic Front (NDF) and UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premsadasa received 42.72 per cent of 4,106,293 voted.

(With IANS inputs)