President says Sri Lanka looking forward to Indian PMs visit

Sunday, 2 June 2019

People all over the world are congratulating PM Modi for rising to safeguarding Indian democracy, President Maithripala Sirisena said.He added that the country is looking forward to PM Modi’s visit to Sri Lanka on June 9. President Sirisena was speaking in a press conference in New Delhi. He is in the country to attend the Bilateral Meeting with BIMSTEC Nations at Hyderabad House in New Delhi.

He said that the presidential election has been scheduled for December 7, 2019, but none of the political parties have selected candidates. “I am not in a hurry to make up my mind,” he said. Regarding the Easter Sunday bombings, the President said, “I was in Singapore at the time of the attacks. A clear report had been sent by Indian intelligence agencies on April 4 to Sri Lanka. Correspondance had taken place between defence chiefs.
However, from April 4 to 16, the day I left to Singapore, none of the chiefs informed me about this. I would have not left the country had I known it. I removed the defence secretary and police chief because of this grave shortcoming.” He goes on: “Terrorism takes many forms. In some countries there are domestic terrorists.

For 30 years, Sri Lanka suffered from terrorism. We had peace for 10 years. Attack on Sri Lanka was carried out by an Islamist group. All democratic countries should join hands as terrorism hurts all countries. The objective of terrorism is to break bonds. However, in Sri Lanka the situation is under control.

We have stability and peace in the country,” President Sirisena said, adding that tourists have started returning to the country.He says: “We conducted investigation into Easter Sunday blasts. We have received support of intelligence organisations of friendly countries – India, US and UK came to help us. Foreign policy of Sri Lanka relies on neutrality – we prefer mediation in resolving differences.”

He assured that the Sri Lanka has not received any reports of the attackers visiting India. “We assure security for all groups in Sri Lanka. We are a vibrant democracy like India. Security and safety of all citizens will be ensured by my government, and no community will be targeted,” the President said.

(The Hindu)