Thursday, July 9, 2020 | ePaper

Modi makes unscheduled stop at bombed Lankan church

  • Print


AFP, Colombo :
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday made an unscheduled stop at a Catholic church bombed during the Easter suicide attacks ahead of his official welcome to Sri Lanka.
Modi's entourage made a detour to St Anthony's shrine on their way to President Maithripala Sirisena's office, where a red carpet military parade awaited.
"I am confident Sri Lanka will rise again," Modi said on Twitter while posting photos of himself at the church.
"Cowardly acts of terror cannot defeat the spirit of Sri Lanka. India stands in solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka."
Modi is stopping in Colombo on his return home after an official visit to neighbouring Maldives, where he inaugurated a coastal radar system and military training centre.
His brief but politically significant visit to the two neighbours comes as New Delhi seeks to fend off Chinese influence on the strategic nations.
The Maldives, a low-lying archipelago of more than a thousand tiny coral islands south of the Indian subcontinent, straddles the world's busiest east-west maritime route.
Sri Lanka is located at a halfway point on the same sea route.
India, the traditional ally of both Sri Lanka and the Maldives, had watched with unease as former governments of strongman leader Abdulla Yameen of the Maldives and Sri Lanka's Mahinda Rajapakse leaned towards Beijing for political and financial support.
Yameen's election loss last September, however, has seen the new administration under President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih swing back towards New Delhi.
Colombo too has moved back to New Delhi after the defeat of Rajapakse in January 2015.
Last month, Colombo announced entering into partnership with India and Japan to develop a deep-sea container terminal next to a controversial $500-million Chinese-run facility in the capital.
A memorandum of cooperation (MOC) had been signed between the three countries to develop what is known as the East Terminal of Colombo port.
China owns 85 percent of the adjoining Colombo International Container Terminal, which was commissioned in 2013. The state-owned Sri Lanka Ports Authority owns the remaining 15 percent.

More News For this Category

Death toll in Ethiopia violence over singer's killing hits 239

Death toll in Ethiopia violence over singer's killing hits 239

Al Jazeera News :The death toll from demonstrations and ethnic violence that erupted in Ethiopia last week following the murder of a popular singer from the Oromo ethnic group

India arrests South Korean CEO, 11 others for gas leak at LG Polymers

Reuters :Indian police have arrested 12 LG Polymers officials, including its South Korean chief executive, an officer said on Wednesday, two months after a gas leak at the company's

Russia and China veto UN extension of cross-border aid to Syria

Russia and China veto UN extension of cross-border aid to Syria

Al Jazeera News :Russia and China have vetoed a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution to extend aid deliveries from Turkey to Syria, which the UN says is crucial

Myanmar poet accused of staging protest over internet blackout

Myanmar poet accused of staging protest over internet blackout

Reuters :Maung Saung Kha, a prominent Myanmar poet and activist, appeared in court on Tuesday to face accusations that he helped stage an unlawful protest demanding an end to internet

China raises emergency level as heavy rain triggers floods

Reuters, Shanghai :China raised its national emergency response level on Tuesday as days of torrential rain triggered flood warnings across the country, killing more than 100 people and disrupting the

Taliban violence threatening peace process: Ghani

Taliban violence threatening peace process: Ghani

AFP, Kabul :Afghan President Ashraf Ghani warned on Monday that Taliban violence is threatening the country's peace process, as he briefed the international community on Kabul's preparations for peace talks

Vietnam jails Facebook user for eight years over 'anti-state' posts

Reuters :A court in Vietnam on Tuesday sentenced a man to eight years in prison after finding him guilty of uploading anti-state posts on his Facebook account, the security ministry

Israel targets Hamas post in new air raids on Gaza Strip

Israel targets Hamas post in new air raids on Gaza Strip

Al Jazeera News :Israel has said it carried out fresh air raids on the Gaza Strip in response to three alleged rockets fired from the besieged Palestinian enclave. No

Iran negotiating strategic accord with China

AFP, Tehran : Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Sunday that Iran has been negotiating a 25-year accord with China whose terms will be announced once a deal is

Anti-racism groups in Paris call out coloniser street names

Anti-racism groups in Paris call out coloniser street names

AP, Paris :Paris police blocked anti-racism groups from leading a de-colonial tour of Paris on Sunday to call attention to monuments and streets honouring historical figures tied to the