PM Modi Congratulates Sri Lanka's Gotabaya Rajapaksa On Election Victory

"Congratulations Gotabaya Rajapaksa on your victory in the Presidential elections. I look forward to working closely with you," PM Modi tweeted.

PM Modi Congratulates Sri Lanka's Gotabaya Rajapaksa On Election Victory

Sri Lanka Election: Gotabaya Rajapaksa won 51.9 % of the vote as his main rival conceded defeat (AFP)

New Delhi:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today congratulated Gotabaya Rajapaksa for his victory in Sri Lanka's presidential elections. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who is an ex-army officer and the younger brother of Sri Lanka's former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, won 51.9 percent of the vote as his main rival Premadasa conceded defeat, his spokesperson told news agency AFP.

"Congratulations Gotabaya Rajapaksa on your victory in the Presidential elections. I look forward to working closely with you for deepening the close and fraternal ties between our two countries and citizens, and for peace, prosperity as well as security in our region," PM Modi tweeted.

"I also congratulate the people of Sri Lanka for the successful conduct of the elections," he added.

In June this year, PM Modi became the first world leader to visit Sri Lanka after serial explosions on Easter killed over 250 people. He had even made an unscheduled stop at one of the churches hit by the attacks.

Thanking PM Modi for his wishes, Mr Rajaspaska tweeted," I thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the people of India for your warm wishes. Our two nations are bound by history and common beliefs and I look forward to strengthening our friendship and meeting you in the near future."

Mr Rajapaksa, who was once Sri Lanka's key military strategist, is admired by the Sinhalese majority and by the powerful Buddhist clergy for directing security forces to crush Tamil separatists and end a 37-year separatist war in May 2009 with his brother.

The return of the Rajapaksa clan to power could be a cause of concern for India, given Mahinda Rajapaksa's tilt towards China. When Mahinda Rajapaksa was president, two Chinese submarines were allowed to dock in Sri Lanka without informing India. Another worry for India could be the delegation of powers to the Tamil ethnic minorities in the north and east.

(With inputs from AFP)

Highlights

  • Gotabaya Rajapaksa won 51.9 percent of the vote
  • "Look forward to working closely with you," PM Modi tweeted
  • "Thank PM Modi and the people of India," Mr Rajapaksa responded
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