Colombo, Aug 2. 2019: Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has thanked his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi for providing “all the help” in the aftermath of the Easter Sunday bombings that killed nearly 260 people.
Prime Minister Modi became the first foreign leader to visit Sri Lanka in June after the April 21 bombings, the country’s worst terror attack.
His visit was considered as a sign of India’s affirmation of solidarity with Sri Lanka in the aftermath of the attacks which also claimed lives of 11 Indians.
“I would like to thank the government of India for all the help that they have been providing,” Wickremesinghe said.
Speaking at the opening of a low cost housing scheme by Tata Housing, he said the visit of Modi “gave us a lot of confidence and boost.”
Some 626 families are beneficiaries of the housing scheme located in the central Colombo’s Slave Island area. The investment made is around Sri Lankan 7000 million rupees, the Indian High Commission said.
During his visit, Modi paid tributes to the victims of the deadly terror strikes at the St Anthony’s church – one of the sites of the horrific attack.
“I am confident Sri Lanka will rise again. Cowardly acts of terror cannot defeat the spirit of Sri Lanka. India stands in solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka,” Modi had said.
Nine suicide bombers carried out a series of blasts that tore through three churches and as many high-end hotels, killing 258 people in the country’s deadliest violence since the brutal civil war ended in 2009.
The Islamic State claimed the attacks, but the government has blamed local Islamist extremist group National Thawheed Jamaath for the bombings.
Under the Modi government, India handed over the first lot of houses built under a US$350 million project for people, mostly Tamils who live in Sri Lanka’s tea plantation areas.