Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said Monday that he sought India’s help to train the country’s security forces in counter-terrorism during his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
During his visit, PM Modi said he was confident that Sri Lanka will rise again and cowardly acts of terror cannot defeat the spirit of Sri Lanka.
“India stands in solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka,” he said.
Prime Minister Modi also met President Maithripala Sirisena and the two leaders agreed that terrorism was a joint threat that needs collective and focused action.
PM Wickremesinghe in a statement said he had assured PM Modi that the delayed Indo-Lanka projects will be expedited.
The prime minister also said a series of joint initiatives between India and Sri Lanka were being planned to ensure continued economic cooperation.
The Prime Minister said Prime Minister Modi’s continual show of support towards Sri Lanka will serve to strengthen confidence and encourage more people to visit Sri Lanka.
“During his trip we discussed matters including the strengthening of regional security through reviving trilateral talks between Sri Lanka, India and the Maldives,” he was quoted as saying by the Colombo Gazette.
“I also requested that India work closely with Sri Lanka’s security forces, providing them with counter-terrorism training and logistical support,” PM Wickremesinghe said.
He also said that PM Modi’s visit to Sri Lanka, following the lifting of the travel advisories by many countries including the UK, France and China, will boost the tourism industry.
Following the Easter bombings, several countries issued travel advisories to their nationals, severely hurting the island nation”s tourism industry.
Tourism accounts for about five per cent of Sri Lanka’s economy, with India, China and the UK the main source of tourists.
The country earned about USD 4.4 billion in 2018 from the tourism sector.