Modi-Mahinda meet likely at UN Assembly in New York

Tuesday, 2 September 2014 02:16 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Mahinda Rajapaksa are likely to meet on the sidelines of the 69th UN General Assembly session in New York in the third week of September, Lankan officials told Express. “Whether Modi will meet a particular head of government or not will depend on the number of requests made and the availability of time. The Indian PM is expected to be in New York for three days when he will be having bilateral meetings with select Heads of Government among other engagements, apart from addressing the Assembly,” an official said. While the Lankan President will address the General Assembly on 25 September, the Indian PM will do so on 27 September. Rajapaksa is believed to be keen on meeting Modi following the latter’s much-publicised session with the Tamil National Alliance, at which the Indian PM had expressed his commitment to the Tamil cause and to the 13th Amendment as the basis for power devolution to the Tamil-speaking provinces.

 Japanese PM Abe in Lanka on Sunday

Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe has planned to undertake an official visit to Sri Lanka from 7 to 8 September, at the invitation of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. President Rajapaksa paid an official visit to Japan in March 2013 to mark the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and Japan. It is 24 years since the last visit of a Japanese Prime Minister to Sri Lanka. The Government of Sri Lanka is confident that this visit will enable both countries to further consolidate and expand the existing robust relations, particularly in trade and economic cooperation. Prime Minister Abe will be accompanied by a high level delegation, which also includes business leaders from several Japanese companies, notably small and medium sized enterprises, ranging from infrastructure to food industries. Japan has been a key partner in Sri Lanka’s socio-economic development and the forthcoming official visit of Prime Minister Abe will be an important milestone in further enhancing bilateral relations.
He had also backed the TNA’s demand that bilateral talks between the Lankan Government and the TNA should be resumed, irrespective of the fate of the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC). The Rajapaksa Government is uneasy with the TNA’s tendency to seek Indian and other foreign help instead of joining the PSC. In this context, President Rajapaksa will certainly be eager to know Modi’s mind firsthand. Modi himself is believed to be eager to convey to Rajapaksa his take on the situation in Sri Lanka after his interaction with the TNA. That the Lankan Tamil issue has become important for the BJP is evident in the meeting the TNA had with the BJP’s Tamil Nadu unit at Chennai on their way back to Lanka from New Delhi. (New Indian Express)