India on Saturday hoped that the Sri Lankan government will realise the aspirations of the Tamil community in the island nation as the issue figured prominently in wide-ranging talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Sri Lankan counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa.
In their talks, the two Prime Ministers deliberated on the entire expanse of bilateral ties and resolved to further deepen anti-terror cooperation and boost trade and investment ties.
Rajapaksa’s visit here assumed significance as his tenure as Sri Lanka’s president from 2005 to 2016 saw the expansion of China’s footprints in the Indian Ocean island nation, triggering concerns in India.
“Stability, security and prosperity in Sri Lanka is in India’s interest, but also in the interest of the entire Indian Ocean Region,” Modi said in his media statement.
He said India has been a “trusted partner” in Sri Lanka’s development and will continue to assist the country in its journey for peace and development.
On the long-pending Tamil issue, Modi said he was confident that the Sri Lankan government will realise expectations of equality, justice, peace and respect of the Tamil people within a united Sri Lanka,
Referring to the fishermen issue, Modi said both sides have decided to adopt a humanitarian approach in dealing with it.
“We have decided to deepen cooperation to combat terrorism,” Modi said.
Mahinda Rajapaksa, elder brother of Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, arrived here on Friday on a five-day visit, his first overseas tour after being appointed as Prime Minister of the island nation in November last year.