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Sri Lanka’s newly elected president congratulated by India’s Modi

EconomyNext – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday called Sri Lanka’s newly elected president Maithripala Sirisena to congratulate him, an Indian High Commission statement said.

"Prime Minister also congratulated the people of Sri Lanka on the peaceful and democratic poll process," it said.

"The Prime Minister noted that India was a close friend and neighbour of Sri Lanka, and reaffirmed India’s continued solidarity and support for Sri Lanka’s peace, development and prosperity."

Incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa conceded defeat and left his official residence early Friday morning even before the vote count was over when it became clear Sirisena had a clear lead over him in Thursday’s poll.

Rajapaksa had tilted Sri Lanka’s foreign policy more towards China, forging close military and investment ties with Beijing, causing resentment in neighbouring India

Sirisena, a former health minister under Rajapaksa who defected to the opposition, has pledged a more balanced foreign policy.