PM Modi interacts with expatriates in Sri Lanka, says Democracy a part of India's ethos

Published: Jun 09, 2019, 17:44 IST | mid-day online desk

Showing India's support to its ally and friend, Modi is the first world leader to visit Sri Lanka following the devastating Easter terror attacks which killed over 250 people and left hundreds wounded

PM Modi interacts with expatriates in Sri Lanka, says Democracy a part of India's ethos
Prime Minister Narendra Modi waves on his departure as Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe looks on at Bandaranaike International Airport in Katunayake, near Colombo/ AFP

Colombo: Welcomed amid loud chants of "Modi!Modi!", Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with the Indian diaspora in Sri Lanka at the India House here on Sunday.

He expressed his pleasure at meeting the Indian community during his address, along with speaking on the recently culminated Lok Sabha elections which propelled him to power for the second consecutive term.

"I thank the Indian community for coming to meet us here. It is always a delight to interact with the Indian diaspora," he said during his address.

He talked about the Indian elections, outlining how people have delivered a "clear-cut" mandate. "Democracy is a part of India's ethos...After independence, this is the largest voter turnout that the elections saw," he told the gathering.

One member from the gathering shouted "2030 Modiji!" during his speech, which invited laughter from the leader.

"Today India's position in the world is getting stronger and a large part of that credit goes to the Indian diaspora. I've been to many countries in these last five years, and everyone has always praised the Indian community's contribution. Wherever I go, I'm told about the successes and accomplishments of the Indian diaspora," he stated appreciatively.

Highlighting the relationship shared between the Indian government and the country's expatriates, he said, "I am happy to share that the Indian community overseas and the Government of India are on the same page when it comes to several issues."

He was welcomed to the venue with loud cheers of "Bharat Mata ki Jai," "Modi!Modi!" and "Jai Shree Ram," which continued even after his speech as he greeted the gathered diaspora.

The leader was part of several engagements during his whirlwind official trip to Maldives and Sri Lanka - his first overseas bilateral trip after assuming office for a second term. This shows India's adherence to its Neighbourhood First Policy.

"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," the Prime Minister tweeted after the interaction.

Showing India's support to its ally and friend, Modi is the first world leader to visit Sri Lanka following the devastating Easter terror attacks which killed over 250 people and left hundreds wounded.

Shortly after landing in Sri Lanka, he paid his respect at the St Anthony's Shrine, Kochchikade, which was one of the eight locations targetted by the terrorists on April 21.

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