New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be on a scheduled visit to Sri Lanka on Sunday, June 9. He will be the first foreign leader to visit the island nation after the April 21 Easter bombings that killed over 250 people, including 11 Indians.
During the visit he is likely to hold discussions with President Maithripala Sirisena. “The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to arrive in Colombo on Sunday for a visit limited to a few hours. The re-elected Indian leader will be on transit from the Maldives,” the President’s office said on Friday.
PM Modi is likely to land in Colombo at 11 AM, following which he will attend an official luncheon hosted by the Sri Lankan President Sirisena and hold bilateral talks. This will be his third visit to country. Earlier, he visited the nation in 2015 and 2017.
Meanwhile, elaborate security arrangements have been made by the Sri Lankan police ahead of PM Modi’s visit. Traffic restrictions will also remain in place all through the day.
According to the Ministry of External Affairs, the Prime Minister is visiting the country with a very clear message of solidarity and signalling India’s confidence in the Sri Lankan government in overcoming the dastardly Easter bombings.
Responding to a question on whether India will help Sri Lanka deal with the scourge of terrorism, the ministry said it was ready for any assistance to any country of the region.
PM Modi, earlier on Saturday, was in Maldives on his first foreign visit after re-election as Prime Minister. During the one-day visit, he was conferred with the country’s highest honour accorded to foreign dignitaries– ‘The Most Honourable Order of the Distinguished Rule of Nishan Izzuddeen’. The prestigious award was presented to PM Modi by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih during a ceremony in Male.
He also addressed the Maldivian Parliament and urged the world leaders to unite for combating the menace of terrorism. Making a veiled attack on Pakistan, he said, “State sponsorship of terrorism is the biggest threat the world is facing today.” He added that terrorism was not just a threat to a country but to the entire civilisation.
“The world community has organised conventions and meetings on global challenges like climate change, now it should also come together on the issue of terrorism. It is time for a global conference on terrorism,” he said, while noting that it is very unfortunate that people are still making the mistake of distinguishing between good terrorists and bad terrorists.