Colombo: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday planted a sapling of an evergreen Ashoka tree at the President’s House here along with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena. Prime Minister Modi arrived in Sri Lanka on the second leg of his first foreign visit after re-election last month, reflecting the importance India attaches to its ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy. Modi was welcomed by Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat, where the prime minister planted a sapling of the Ashoka tree.
“Deep roots. Strong relationship. PM @narendramodi and President @MaithripalaS plant a sapling at the President’s House,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted. A plaque was also put aside the sapling that read ‘Asoka Saraca asoca’, planted by Prime Minister Modi in Colombo on June 9, 2019. President Sirisena also introduced his cabinet ministers to Prime Minister Modi.
Earlier, Prime Minister Modi was accorded a ceremonial reception at the President’s House. He arrived in Colombo from Maldives where he held wide-ranging talks with Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Saturday. Modi’s visit to Maldives and Sri Lanka demonstrates the priority that India attaches to the SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region) doctrine, the sources said.