Colombo, November 19 (newsin.asia): The Indian Foreign Minister, Dr.Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, who arrived in Colombo on Tuesday met the newly elected Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who had won the November 16 Presidential election beating Sajith Premadasa of the United National Party-led alliance by a margin of 1.3 million votes.
At the end of the meeting Jaishankar tweeted:
With Foreign Minister Jaishankar’s visit, India is clearly forging ahead of its rivals China and Pakistan in cultivating the new Sri Lankan government.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the first foreign leader to congratulate Gotabaya Rajapaksa through a tweet and was the only leader to have spoken to him over the phone on the day Gotabaya won.
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa responded to Modi’s warm greetings and said that he is keen on having close relations with India covering security and economic development – areas in which India is equally keen.
India has a number of developmental projects in Sri Lanka which are still to see the light of day. Modi would be keen to see these projects kickstarted.
India is also concerned about China’s strategic plans in Sri Lanka given its hold on the Hambantota harbour and its strong presence in the Colombo harbour the main business of which is with India. India would like to have a container terminal there, which the previous government promised but did not deliver.
India would also like the Gotabaya government to keep an eye on the Jehadist menace especially after the April 21, 2019 serial blasts carried out by local Jehadists.
Prime Minister Modi had invited President Gotabaya to visit India and the invitation was accepted.