Sri Lanka yesterday held parliamentary elections which are, as per indications, going to give a thumping majority to the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna(SLPP), a party launched by Rajapaksa brothers.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday held a telephonic conversation with his Sri Lankan counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa and congratulated him on the successful conduct of parliamentary elections in the island country on August 5.

Prime Minister Modi commended the government and the electoral institutions of Sri Lanka for effectively organising the elections despite the constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He also appreciated the Sri Lankan people for their enthusiastic participation in the elections, and said that this reflected the strong democratic values shared by both countries.

Prime Minister Modi noted that the incoming results of the elections indicate an impressive electoral performance by the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) party, and conveyed his congratulations and best wishes to Mahinda Rajapaksa in this regard.

Recalling their cordial and fruitful previous interactions, the two leaders reiterated their shared commitment to strengthen the age-old and multi-dimensional India-Sri Lanka relationship. The two leaders stressed the significance of early progress in all spheres of bilateral cooperation.

The Prime Minister informed Rajapaksa about the establishment of an international airport in the Buddhist pilgrimage city of Kushinagar in India, and said that the city looked forward to welcoming visitors from Sri Lanka at an early date.

The leaders agreed to remain in close touch as both countries address the challenges posed by COVID 19 pandemic, and resolved to take bilateral relations to newer heights in the coming days.