Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi told Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa today that implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution is essential for carrying forward the process of peace and reconciliation.
Modi called on the new Government in Sri Lanka to work towards realizing the expectations of Tamils for equality, justice, peace and dignity within a united Sri Lanka by achieving reconciliation nurtured by implementation of the Constitutional provisions.
The Indian Prime Minister expressed these views at the first ever India Sri Lanka Virtual Bilateral Summit held today. This is also India’s first such summit with a neighbour.
At the summit the two leaders also exchanged views on the fishermen related issues.
They agreed to continue and strengthen the ongoing constructive and humanitarian approach to address this issue through existing bilateral mechanisms and instructed relevant officials on both sides to this effect.
Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa recalled that this was his first bilateral engagement with a foreign leader after being re-elected following the successful victory of his Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Party (SLPP) at the Parliamentary elections held in August this year.
He expressed his firm resolve to use the opportunity provided by the strong 2/3rd majority achieved by his SLPP led alliance in the last month’s Parliamentary elections to take India-Sri Lanka engagement to new heights.
Testifying to the long-standing civilizational links and cultural heritage, Prime Minister Modi announced a grant assistance of US$15 million for the promotion of Buddhist ties between the two countries. The grant will assist in deepening people-to-people linkages between the two countries in the sphere of Buddhism, inter-alia, through constructions/renovations of Buddhist monasteries, capacity development, cultural exchanges, archaeological cooperation, reciprocal exposition of Lord Buddha’s relics, strengthening of Buddhist scholarship, and supporting the clergy. (Colombo Gazette)