Sirisena Meets Ranil: Hastily Arranged Meeting To Placate India

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe today met President Maithripala Sirisena, a day after his return from New Delhi.

The meeting took place at the Presidential Secretariat and the sources close to the President said the Prime Minister briefed him on the progress of the official visit.

However, at the bilateral meeting with the Sri Lankan delegation, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made no secret of his displeasure over the slow progress of the Indian-funded projects in Sri Lanka.

The slow progress of the projects has been attributed to the resistance stemming from President Sirisena and the SLFP. Modi’s remarks, therefore, was a veiled attack on Sirisena who, at the last Cabinet meeting, vehemently opposed the Colombo Port East Terminal development project being given to India.

Modi, according to a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office, had urged the Sri Lankan government to discuss directly with him, if it had any doubts about the intentions of the Indian government or its leaders.Sources familiar with the matter said the meeting between the President and the Prime Minister today was aimed at expediting the Indian-funded projects in the country.

“It is a sign that the President is alarmed by the strong sentiments expressed by the Indian Prime Minister. He is now trying to placate India by pretending to work with the Prime Minister on the Indian funded projects,” they added.

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