Modi congratulates Rajapaksas, expresses confidence on strengthening ties

FILE PHOTO: Prime Minister Narendra Modi (R) shakes hands with Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa prior to a meeting at Hyderabad House, in New Delhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday congratulated Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and premier Mahinda Rajapaksa on their party's resounding electoral success and expressed confidence that bilateral ties will be further strengthened.

In a letter addressed to the two Rajapaksa brothers, Modi pointed out that he looks forward to working with them, including for the recovery and revitalisation of the bilateral economies in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

On Wednesday, Sri Lanka's new Cabinet, including four members of the powerful Rajapaksa family, took oath with President Gotabaya retaining the key defence ministry while the finance portfolio went to newly-elected Prime Minister Mahinda after their party won a landslide victory in parliamentary elections last week.

The President administered the oath of office to the 28-member Cabinet.

Taking to Twitter, India's High Commission said: Together for development! PM @narendramodi wrote to @GotabayaR & @PresRajapaksa. He congratulated them on resounding electoral success of @PodujanaParty. PM Shri Modi also congratulated @PresRajapaksa on being sworn in as PM of #SriLanka.

PM Shri Modi expressed confidence that #India-#SriLanka relationship will be further strengthened. He pointed out that he looks forward to working with @GotabayaR and @PresRajapaksa, including for recovery and revitalisation of our economies in the wake of #Covid19 pandemic, it said in another tweet.

The Mahinda Rajapaksa-led Sri Lanka People's Party (SLPP) won a landslide victory in the parliamentary elections held last week that allowed the influential family to consolidate power for the next five years.

The SLPP won a record 145 seats in the 225-member Parliament.

Sri Lanka was one of the very few Asian countries apart from Singapore to hold general elections in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

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