Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe broke diplomatic protocol and attended the reception held at India House to mark the 66 th Republic Day celebration of India.
Although leaders of State do not attend national day celebration of countries in complying with diplomatic protocol, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe broke the diplomatic protocol and accepted the invitation and attended the event. Earlier, External Affiars Minister Mangala Samaraweera was scheduled to attend the event. But he could not do so as he had to proceed to Brussels urgently to sort out the issue of the EU ban on fish export.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is ‘very interested’ in Sri Lanka and the region, and that this augurs well for Sri Lanka which is in the threshold of a new era.
Wickremesinghe was speaking at the Indian High Commission reception to mark the 66 th Indian Republic Day. The Lankan PM said Sri Lanka is wanting to go beyond strengthening traditional ties to strengthening economic ties to enter the modern age.
He further said that the newly elected President Maithripala Sirisena and the masses who voted him to power share this perspective. Wickremesinghe appealed to Lankan businessmen to link up with India to explore new opportunities thrown up by a resurgent neighbor.