Colombo: Terming the first meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Mahinda Rajapaksa as “very successful”, a senior minister said the trip by Sri Lankan leader to New Delhi has turned a new leaf in Indo-Lanka ties.
“It was a very successful first meeting,” Nimal Siripala de Silva, Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Management, said referring to Rajapaksa's bilateral meeting with Modi this week.
Rajapaksa has been able to turn a new leaf in Indo-Lanka relations, he said.
“It is not the practice to release in public what the two leaders had discussed,” de Silva said. He dismissed fears that the new Indian government under BJP leader Modi could work against Sri Lankan interests. “Some suggested that we will have problems with the BJP government unlike with the Congress government. All these have been proved wrong,” de Silva said.
He said that Sri Lanka welcomed the appointment of Sushma Swaraj as the new External Affairs Minister. “She is someone who is aware of our situation”. Pressed for an answer on the new Indian government's insistence on implementing the thirteenth amendment, de Silva said Sri Lanka would wish to tackle all outstanding issues through consultations.
“No one will be able to dictate to us. It is our duty to find solutions to our own problems in our own ways,” he said.
As per the 13th Amendment that followed the Indo-Sri Lankan Accord of July 1987, Sri Lankan government had agreed to devolve some authority to the provinces.