Sri Lankan PM leaves for India

Colombo, Sep 14 (IANS) Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe left for a three-day state visit to New Delhi on Monday, his first official trip since winning a parliamentary election last month.

The foreign ministry in Colombo said that during the visit, Wickremesinghe will hold talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and call on Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, Xinhua news agency reported.

Indian cabinet ministers and political leaders are among those who are expected to call on the Sri Lankan prime minister, the ministry said.

Bilateral instruments on cooperation in the health sector, an Indian grant assistance for implementation of small development projects and frequency coordination for the SAARC Satellite will be initiated during the visit.

Meanwhile the Sri Lankan government on Monday decided to release 16 Indian fishermen as a goodwill gesture to mark Wickremesinghe’s visit to India.

The fishermen had been arrested by the navy for poaching in local waters.

The prime minister’s office said that it decided to release the fishermen in order to ensure the strong friendship between India and Sri Lanka is maintained.

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