No deals during visit of Indian PM

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi would only attend the UN ‘Vesak Day’ celebrations and no bilateral agreements will be signed during his visit to Sri Lanka next week, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has said.

“No agreements will be signed during Prime Minister Modi’s visit. I am aware that disinformation is being spread on social media on the Indian premier’s visit,” Sirisena said on Saturday, addressing a gathering at Ottamavadi in Eastern Batticaloa district. He said Modi is visiting the country only to take part in the celebrations marking the UN ‘Vesak Day’, which commemorates the birth, enlightenment, and death of Buddha.

Modi is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka next week to take part in the celebrations to be held in Colombo from May 12 to 14 to mark the Vesak event. “I appeal to people not to be misled by false stories that India would acquire areas in our country through agreements,” Sirisena said, amid reservations among Sri Lankans over the proposed deal with India to jointly operate the strategic oil storage facility at Trincomalee port.

Workers of Sri Lanka’s state-run petroleum company last week held a strike to protest the proposed deal with India to jointly operate the strategic oil facility.

The government has announced plans to strike a deal for a joint venture with India to develop the World War II oil tanks.

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