Did not wish Narendra Modi on B'day due to Xi Jinping's Gujarat visit: Mahinda Rajapaksa

Written by PTI | Colombo | Updated: Sep 21 2014, 01:03am hrs
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa today told two visiting BJP leaders that he deliberately refrained from wishing Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his birthday because he did not want to disturb the Premier with Chinese President Xi Jinping visiting Gujarat.

BJP national secretary P Muralidhar Rao and the party's global convenor of overseas affairs Vijay Jolly held a 45- minute meeting with Rajapaksa at the Presidential Palace here.

Rajapaksa politely told the visiting BJP leaders that he deliberately did not wish Prime Minister Modi on his birthday on September 17 because he did not want to disturb him during Xi's visit, a BJP statement said.

It said that the Sri Lankan President, however, said he shall wish belated happy birthday to the Indian Prime Minister at the United Nations soon.

The statement said the role and stance of Prime Minister Modi on the concept of "Sabka Sath-Sabka Vikas" was repeatedly stressed by the BJP leaders in their friendly advice to the Sri Lankan government on the vexed Tamil question.

The two leaders discussed a wide-range of issues, particularly relating to ethnic Tamils of Sri Lanka in the meeting with Rajapaksa.

They are in Colombo, participating in the Asian Political Parties conference attended by 41 Nations and 360 Political Parties of Asia.