Modi moves quickly to firm up ties with Sirisena

Modi moves quickly to firm up ties with Sirisena

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who enjoyed excellent rapport with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, quickly moved to firm up ties with his successor Maithripala Sirisena who vanquished him in the elections.

Modi, who had incurred the wrath of NDA parties in Tamil Nadu, particularly the MDMK (which left the alliance) and the PMK for his proximity with Rajapaksa, called up Sirisena to congratulate and invited him to visit New Delhi.

Interestingly, India was not surprised by the outcome, according to officials here.

Promising to end the “dictatorship-type atmosphere” in the island under Rajapaksa, Sirisena sprung a surprise win. Though he had not promised much to them, he won the support of the minority Tamil groups and the Muslims, who wanted Rajapaksa out.


Sirisena was the combined opposition candidate against Rajapaksa, who was also accused of killing thousands of Tamils in the war that destroyed the Tamil Tigers in May 2009.

The circumstances that helped Rajapaksa win two terms had undergone a change. Soft-spoken Sirisena managed to be the rally point for those opposed to the growing “authoritarianism” of Rajapaksa and his family, which they feared would get further entrenched.

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