Eying China, Modi Bolsters Lankan Bond

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New Delhi: Keeping an eye on the expansionist China looming near the Indian borders, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Sri Lankan counterpart Ranil Wickramsinghe on Tuesday held talks in New Delhi.

The talks mainly revolve round ways to step up maritime security cooperation and the need to resolve the issue of arrests of Indian fishermen by Sri Lankan navy.

Unlike the previous Sri Lankan government headed by Mahinda Rajapakse, the new regime is keen to assure India that it does not have a pro-China tilt. PM Modi also stressed on the need for more devolution of powers to Tamils while Sri Lanka’s PM discussed a UNHRC resolution which is coming up in Geneva this week, on Lanka’s human rights abuses during the civil war.

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PM Modi said, “I am confident that with the wisdom and will of the leadership in Sri Lanka and the support of the people, Sri Lanka will achieve genuine reconciliation and development, so that all Sri Lankans, including the Sri Lankan Tamil community, can live a life of equality, justice, peace and dignity in a united Sri Lanka.”

Lankan PM Wickremesinghe , who made India his first stop after winning last month’s election, said his government was “looking at how power sharing and devolution takes place within Constitution and that much more can be done.”

He added that he and Mr Modi had “deeper discussions on security matters – on maritime security in Indian Ocean and terrorism.”

PM Modi also raised the frequent arrests of Indian fishermen by the Lanka’s navy with both sides agreeing that fishermen associations should continue to hold talks.