On his first visit to the island nation after the Easter terror attacks, Prime Minister Narendra Modi planted a sapling at the Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena’s house on Sunday. The evergreen Ashoka tree sapling was planted on his arrival at the Presidential Secretariat where PM Modi was welcomed by the President.
Commenting on Indo-Sri Lanka relations, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted:
In addition, a plaque was also placed beside the sapling that read 'Asoka Saraca asoca'. Later, the Prime Minister was introduced to the Sri Lankan cabinet ministers. The Prime Minister was gifted a replica of 'Samadhi Buddha Statue by the Sri Lankan President. He arrived in Colombo from Maldives where he held wide-ranging bilateral talks with Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Saturday.
His visit is considered as a sign of India's solidarity with Sri Lanka in the wake of the deadly Easter terror attacks in April. Over 250 people were killed in the attack claimed by the Islamic State.
The Prime also met Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe:
Modi arrived in Sri Lanka on the second leg of his first foreign visit after re-election last month, reflecting the importance India attaches to its 'Neighbourhood First' policy. Prime Minister's visit to the two neighbouring countries demonstrates the priority that India attaches to the SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region) doctrine, the sources said.
(With inputs from PTI)