Published: Mon, June 10, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

India's Modi makes unscheduled stop at bombed Sri Lanka church

India's Modi makes unscheduled stop at bombed Sri Lanka church

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday paid his tribute to the victims of the Easter Sunday suicide bombings, saying "cowardly acts of terror can not defeat the spirit of Sri Lanka".

The church was among three Catholic sites, targeted by terrorists on April 21.

"I am confident Sri Lanka will rise again", Modi posted on Twitter, where he also shared photos of himself at the church. "Deeply touched by the ceremonial welcome", tweets PM Narendra Modi.

President Solih will host a banquet in his honour at the Kurumba resort near Malé and Modi will depart for Sri Lanka on Sunday morning. "We achieved a lot in last five years...much more has to be done in the coming years", he said to thundering applause, and urged Sri Lanka-based Indians to help strengthen bilateral ties.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is now on a state visit to the Maldives, held a flurry of meetings with several leaders of the island nation and discussed various issues to boost bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

Sri Lanka: Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives in Colombo, received by Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at the Bandaranaike International Airport.

This is the Prime Minister's first overseas visit after he assumed office for a second term. I also thank the Government for the hospitality.

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Before his departure, the Prime Minister interacted with members of the Indian Community in Sri Lanka at India House and emphasised the important role played by them in strengthening bilateral relations.

Since both Sri Lanka and India have been victims of terrorism, both the leaders condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and chose to step up cooperation in this critical area.

Highlighting the importance of combating the impact of climate change, especially detrimental to developing countries, including Small Island Developing States such as the Maldives, the two leaders agreed on the need to strengthen the global response to climate change, through the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement. The larger message India sent out to the worldwide community was that the recent attacks in Sri Lanka, was not just against Sri Lanka but against the world.

India is pursuing what it calls a "neighbourhood first" foreign policy centred on its allies in South Asia, although there is little sign of a warming in relations with arch rival Pakistan.

Later in the day, the Prime Minister will offer prayers at Tirumala temple in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh before returning to New Delhi. Newly-elected Andhra Pradesh chief minister Jagan Mohan Reddy will accompany the Prime Minister.

Mr. Modi met a delegation of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), led by senior politician R. Sampanthan, representing the war-affected Tamil minority from the island's north and east.

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