Columbo, June 09: It was pouring in Columbo. The lush green lawns at the President’s Secretariat, venue for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ceremonial welcome, was soaked in rain. When Modi arrived to inspect the Guard of Honour, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena played the gracious host by offering to shield the Indian Prime Minister from the heavy downpour.
Spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs Raveesh Kumar tweeted a photograph of President Sirisena and PM Modi standing closely under an umbrella with the caption ‘Together with you- come rain or shine’ lyrics of a song by the famous American jazz artist Billie Holiday.
I had a short but immensely fruitful Sri Lanka visit. Sri Lanka has a special place in our hearts. I assure my sisters and brothers of Sri Lanka that India will always be there with you and support your nation s progress. Thank you for the memorable welcome and hospitality," PM Modi tweeted after the completion of the ceremony.
Counter-terrorism and bilateral cooperation figured highly among the talks between PM Modi and the Lankan President. The interaction comes in the wake of Sunday Easter bombings in Colombo that claimed the lives of around 300 people.
The attacks were perpetrated by the Islamic Attack suicide bombers who targetted Sunday mass and several hotel building in a series of co-ordinated attacks.