Colombo, June 9: Signifying India's solidarity with its close neighbour Sri Lanka, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the sites attacked during the horrific Easter Sunday Attack. PM Modi began the visit by paying respects at St. Anthony's Shrine, Kochchikade. Attaching India’s importance to ‘Neighbour’s First’ policy, PM Modi strengthened his bilateral relations with Sri Lanka.
Becoming the first Prime Minister to visit the dastardly attacked, PM Modi assured that India is in complete support of Sri Lanka to fight against terrorism. In a tweet, PM Modi tweeted, "I am confident Sri Lanka will rise again. Cowardly acts of terror cannot defeat the spirit of Sri Lanka. India stands in solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka."
On arriving in Lanka from Maldives, the Prime Minister tweeted: “Happy to be back in Sri Lanka, my third visit to this beautiful island in four years. Share the warmth shown by the people of SL in equal measure. India never forgets her friends when they are in need. Deeply touched by the ceremonial welcome.” PM Modi also held a meeting with President Maithripala Sirisena and also call on leader of opposition Mahinda Rajapaksa.
This is PM Modi’s first visit to Sri Lanka after returning to power. India has been providing intelligence and assistance in the investigation of the Islamic State-led attack. Addressing the India House in Sri Lanka, PM Modi said that India’s position in the world was getting stronger and credited the Indian diaspora for it. "Wherever I go, am told about the successes and accomplishments of the Indian diaspora", he added. "Democracy is a part of India’s ethos", said PM Modi, adding "We have achieved a lot in the last five years and much more has to be done in the coming years. No stone will be left unturned to fulfil people’s aspirations."
On his visit, PM Modi received a 'special' gift, a replica of the Samadhi Buddha Statue, from Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena after the two leaders met today. The Prime Minister’s Office tweeted saying, "A special gift from a special friend. President @MaithripalaS presented PM @narendramodi the Samadhi Buddha Statue. This is considered to be one of the best sculptures in the Anuradhapura era. The original statue was sculptured between the 4th and 7th centuries AD. "