Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated his newly sworn-in Sri Lankan counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa on Twitter. PM Modi is one of the first world leaders to wish Rajapaksa, a former two-term President, soon after he took his oath of office on Thursday. Sri Lankan President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa on Wednesday named his elder brother and former strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa as the new Prime Minister after incumbent Ranil Wickremesinghe announced his resignation from the post following the election debacle.
Congratulations and best wishes to Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa. I look forward to working closely with him for further strengthening fraternal India-Sri Lanka ties. pic.twitter.com/fgc8H9MRab— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 21, 2019
PM Modi soon got a response from the new Lankan PM on Twitter. The two leaders are very active on the microblogging site and often interact on the platform to mark various occasions. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had met Mahinda Rajapaksa on Tuesday to discuss strengthening bilateral relations between India and Sri Lanka.
I’m honoured to have taken oaths as Sri Lanka’s new Prime Minister. I look forward to serving all Sri Lankans as we take our country forward with a new vision to further develop and protect it for future generations. pic.twitter.com/j5T56d3Bv2— Mahinda Rajapaksa (@PresRajapaksa) November 21, 2019
Mahinda Rajapaksa won power in 2005 and went on to become South Asia's longest-serving leader. He became the country's youngest-ever parliamentarian in 1970 at the age of 24. The two brothers led a decisive campaign that helped end the island nation's three-decade-long civil war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe announced his resignation, days after the ruling party's candidate lost the presidential election to Rajapaksa. Rajapaksa defeated Wickremesinghe's deputy Sajith Premadasa.