Focus on 'Ease of Living': PM Modi tells top bureaucrats in meeting

PM Modi Lands In Sri Lanka After Maldives Visit Live Updates

PM Modi Lands In Sri Lanka After Maldives Visit Live Updates

In their first meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday after his re-election, Secretaries to the Government of India have been tasked with creating a five-year road map for each Ministry with well-defined targets.

Initiating the interaction, the Cabinet Secretary, Shri P.K. Sinha, recalled how the Prime Minister has interacted directly with all officers upto Director/Deputy Secretary level, in the previous tenure of the Government.

The Prime Minister also appealed to the diaspora to contribute to India's development.

The national carrier had stopped operating the additional flight after the April 21 Easter Sunday terror attack in Sri Lanka that targeted churches and luxury hotels, killing total 258 people and injuring 500 others. It has been widely reported that Colombo failed to act on intelligence warnings provided by India.

In recent years, China has managed to increase its footprint in Sri Lanka. Cowardly acts of terror can not defeat the spirit of Sri Lanka. "Reiterated India's commitment to partner with Sri Lanka for a shared, secure and prosperous future", Modi tweeted after his meeting.

China and India have strategic interests in the Indian Ocean, and Sri Lanka, a key location for global shipping lines, is crucial for implementing them. Sirisena held an umbrella to provide cover for himself and Modi from rain.

The two leaders held discussions, covering issues pertaining to bilateral relations and regional security, peace and stability.

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"President Sirisena expressed his gratitude to Indian Premier for visiting Sri Lanka at a time when the country is reeling under the bad terrorist attacks, thus giving a positive signal to the world about Sri Lanka's secure environment".

The Prime Minister later shook hands with many members of the Indian community. The PMO called the statue "a special gift from a special friend". President @MaithripalaS presented PM @narendramodi the Samadhi Buddha Statue. "Sri Lanka has a special place in our hearts". I assure my sisters and brothers of Sri Lanka that India will always be there with you and support your nation's progress. "Thank you for the memorable welcome and hospitality", he said before leaving the island nation.

India, the traditional ally of both Sri Lanka and the Maldives, had watched with unease as former governments of strongman leader Abdulla Yameen in the Maldives and Sri Lanka's Mahinda Rajapakse leaned towards Beijing for political and financial support.

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih hailed the historic ties between the Maldives and India during Modi's visit, affirming his administration's "India-first policy".

Sri Lanka, unable to repay a huge Chinese loan, handed over another deep-sea port in the south of the island to a Beijing company in December 2017, in a deal that raised concerns at home and overseas.

Since both Sri Lanka and India have been victims of terrorism, both the leaders condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and made a decision to step up cooperation in this critical area.

Sri Lanka will elect a new President at the end of the year. "Realpolitik is the only way forward in engaging Sri Lanka", said the official who did not want to be named.

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