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India-Sri Lanka bonhomie on full display as PM congratulates Rajapaksa after landslide win in polls


New Delhi, Aug 06: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday congratulated his Sri Lankan counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa on his party's performance in the parliamentary elections, with early trends showing that it was headed for a landslide win.

 India-Sri Lanka bonhomie on full display as PM Modi congratulates Rajapaksa after landslide win in elections

Modi also commended the government and the electoral institutions of Sri Lanka for effectively organising the elections despite the constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic, a statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said.

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He also appreciated the Sri Lankan people for their enthusiastic participation in the elections, and said this reflected the strong democratic values shared by both countries. Sri Lanka's powerful Rajapaksa family-run Sri Lanka People's Party (SLPP) appeared to be heading for a landslide win in the country's twice-postponed parliamentary election, according to early results announced on Thursday.

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    Modi noted that the incoming results of the elections indicate an impressive electoral performance by the SLPP, and conveyed his congratulations and best wishes to Rajapaksa, the statement said. In a tweet, Modi said: "It was a pleasure to speak to you. Once again, many congratulations. We will work together to further advance all areas of bilateral cooperation and to take our special ties to ever newer heights."

    Rajapaksa also thanked Modi on Twitter for the congratulatory phone call. "With the strong support of the people of Sri Lanka, I look forward to working with you closely to further enhance the long-standing cooperation between our two countries," Rajapaksa said.

    "Sri Lanka and India are friends and relations," he said.

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    Recalling their cordial and fruitful previous interactions, the two leaders reiterated their shared commitment to strengthen the age-old and multi-dimensional India-Sri Lanka relationship, the statement said. They stressed the significance of early progress in all spheres of bilateral cooperation.

    Modi informed Rajapaksa about the establishment of an international airport in the Buddhist pilgrimage city of Kushinagar in India, and said the city looked forward to welcoming visitors from Sri Lanka at an early date. The leaders also agreed to remain in close touch as both countries address the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and resolved to take bilateral relations to newer heights in the coming days.

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