Asserting that “Sri Lanka never fought the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, LTTE fought us, which is the nature of terrorism”, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Wednesday said as soon as this (Uri and Baramulla terrorist attacks) happened, he issued a statement and President Maithripala Sirisena spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, where “they expressed their support and condemned all forms of terrorism”.
Answering a question at a press conference on Sri Lanka’s stand on the recent Uri and Baramulla terrorist attacks in Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistan-sponsored terrorists, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said, “As soon as this happened, I issued a statement and the President spoke to Prime Minister Modi, where we expressed our support and condemned all forms of terrorism.”
Clearing the air over Sri Lanka’s delayed announcement to pull out of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Summit that was scheduled to happen in Islamabad in Pakistan, the Prime Minister said, “Firstly, Sri Lanka is a parliamentary democracy, and you know, when the four countries announced their decision on this matter (to pull out of SAARC), the Sri Lankan Minister of Foreign Affairs was flying on his way from New York to Dubai; and in our country, I don’t think that I or the President could have taken the decision ourselves without consulting the minister and getting his views, because these are the matter in which questions will be asked in Parliament.”
The Sri Lankan Prime Minister further said, “After the minister returned, by that time I had to leave to go to New Zealand. As I had spoken with the President, so he spoke to each other and we issued a statement.”
Talking about Bangladesh and Afghanistan’s strong reaction, he clarified as you know Bangladesh had a problem of their own internal security and Afghanistan had a problem of their own internal security, but we didn’t have a problem of our own internal security. And since already Nepal has mentioned the fact, we did say that summit can’t take place. And when I came here to Delhi, your government thanked us for that.”
Earlier today, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe met his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi at Hyderabad House to further deepen the partnership between both the neighbours.
Before that, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj called on Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, who is on a three day visit to India, and is believed to have discussed issues of mutual interest.
Prime Minister Wickremesinghe will attend the Opening Plenary of the India Economic Summit along with Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday.