After Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa attended a ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhawan in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, leaders of both the countries on Sunday held bilateral talks on issues ranging from trade to security. Rajapaksa landed in India on Friday evening.
Officials said that both the leaders held talks on trade and investment, as well as, defence and security.
Sri Lankan Prime Minister is on a state visit to India from 8 – 11 Feb 2020 on the invitation of PM Modi. Rajapaksa is on his first overseas tour and chose India as his first destination after he was appointed the Prime Minister of his country in November last year.
“My visit is intended to strengthen our friendship and relationship between the two countries geographically and economically. Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had visited India nearly three months ago; now it is my turn,” Rajapaksa said.
He also held talks with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on wide-ranging issues.
Later in the day, Sri Lankan PM is scheduled to hold talks with President Ram Nath Kovind.
After wrapping up proceedings in Delhi, Rajapaksa will leave for Varanasi on Sunday where he will visit Kashi Vishwanath Temple and Sarnath Buddhist Temple. On February 10, Sri Lankan PM will leave for Bodh Gaya in Bihar — where he will visit Mahabodhi Temple and Bodh Gaya Centre — and later in the day to Tirupati, the Ministry of External Affairs said.
Mahinda has served as the President from 2005-2015. He is credited with a military victory that ended a 26-year long separatist civil war with ethnic Tamil rebels during his presidency.
This is the first time in the history of the country that two brothers-Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Mahinda Rajapaksa-are in the positions of President and Prime Minister.
(With PTI inputs)
Courtesy : DNA