Published:  12:22 AM, 16 June 2019

Modi's visits to Maldives and Sri Lanka

Modi's visits to Maldives and Sri Lanka

India is following neighborhood first foreign policy. In continuation of that the BIMSTEC (South--South-East Asia) leaders had been invited in Modi's oath taking ceremony. These countries have the civilizational and cultural links.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi honored those killed by militants in Sri Lanka's Easter bombings, vowing support for the island nation as Delhi seeks to enhance cooperation in the region. The hours-long stop in Sri Lanka was part of Modi's first overseas trip after winning a second term. He arrived from the Maldives, where he called for a global conference to tackle the threat of terrorism.

In recent years, China's presence has grown in both in Sri Lanka and in the Maldives as Beijing financed infrastructure projects and sought closer military ties, especially for its navy. The debt from those projects has, however, become a burden for both countries. India is pursuing what it calls a "neighborhood first" foreign policy centered on its allies in South and South-East Asia. "India never forgets her friends when they are in need," Modi, the first foreign leader to visit Sri Lanka since the attacks, tweeted after touching down.

We know almost all the democratic forces of Maldives fought against President Yamin's authoritarian rule and Ibrahim Solih had come to power through election. At that time India along with UNO and other democratic forces supported the democratic process.

Indian PM Narandra Modi participated the oath taking ceremony of President Ibrahim Solih in November 2018 to demonstrate its strong presence. Recently there was a political conflict between President and PM in Sri Lanka. Supreme Court and speaker played to resolve it. In this democratic process India and other democratic forces of the world enhanced the process.

Modi prayed and placed flowers at St. Anthony's Shrine, a Catholic church in Colombo that was bombed on April 21 along with two other churches and four hotels. "I am confident Sri Lanka will rise again.

Cowardly acts of terror cannot defeat the spirit of Sri Lanka," Modi later tweeted. Indian Foreign Secretary said India would continue to provide support to Sri Lanka in the fight against extremist groups. New Delhi is also looking at more multilateral investment projects, modeled on a draft agreement to develop a port terminal with Japan in Colombo that was signed last month, he said.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for a global conference to tackle the threat of terrorism in the region and around the world. During a speech on his first foreign visit since winning re-election, he told the Maldivian parliament in Male that "terrorism is not just a threat for a country, but to the entire civilization".

"The international community has actively arranged global convention and many conferences on the threat of climate change. Why not on the issue of terrorism?" Modi said. He called for a global conference "so that there can be meaningful and result-oriented discussions for plugging the loopholes those terrorists and their supporters exploit".

By this time Indian police raided seven locations in the southern city of Coimbatore on Wednesday in pursuit of a suspected Islamic State cell with links to the suicide bombers who killed over 250 people in Sri Lanka in April, officials said.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) said it was questioning seven men from Coimbatore, aged between 26 and 38, on suspicion of propagating Islamic State ideology to recruit people for carrying out attacks in southern India. Before attack in Sri Lanka concerned authority got message from India. Five Sri Lankans suspected of having links to Easter Sunday bombings were brought home in police custody after being deported from Saudi Arabia, it is reported.

India and Maldives have gone for multidimensional cooperation including defense and maritime development. India will build a mosque in the important center of Island for Friday prayer. It may be mentioned Narandra Modi uses to visit Hindu temples and religious places and gatherings.

At the same time he is doing this in cases of other religions also. Even in international visit, he visited Dhakeshwari temple in Bangladesh, Buddhist temple in Japan, biggest Shahi mosque in UAE and recently St Enthony Shrine Church in Sri Lanka and offered prayers also. It is mentionable that he had been in Ram Krishna Mission for sometime. We know Swami Bibekananda in his speech in World parliament of Religions in 1893 that, If one religion is true than others are also true," that is the spirit of equality and secularism. It indicates that PM Narandra Modi is following this.

By this time PM Narandra Modi met Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin at SCO summit and hope cooperation will be enhanced. President Xi will visit India this year. It is already reported USA secretary of state Mike Pompeo will visit in the last week of June. So these regional and global interactions will be helpful to organize an international conference on terrorism and India can take the initiative. This will be helpful for security, democracy and development.

The writer is an academic, former ambassador and freedom fighter.

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