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Highlights of Mr. Sirisena, President of Sri Lanka visit to India ( Anaysed from the Hindu and The Indian Express, Relevant for GS Paper II, Topic : Bilateral Relations; GS Prelims)

1.   Mr. Sirisena, who is in India for a visit, accompanied Mr. Modi to the Vaichaarik Mahakumbh held in Ujjain, MP. Vaicharik Mahakumbh in Ujjain is an inter-faith event which has taken place on the sidelines of the Simhastha Kumbh. He will also visit Sanchi, where he will unveil a bust of Buddhist revivalist Anagarika Dharmapala.

2.    Both the leaders stressed the need to develop a mechanism and find a permanent solution to the issue of fishermen straying into each other’s waters.
Sri Lanka currently holds 34 Indian fishermen and 96 Indian fishing boats in custody. In comparison, India has 13 Sri Lankan boats in custody and no Sri Lankan fishermen in custody.

3.    Adoption of Free trade agreement has been an agenda for several years but has not moved ahead. Mr. Modi and Mr. Sirisena reviewed a number of bilateral issues during their talks but the free trade agreement between the two countries which has been discussed earlier was not taken up.

4.    Mr. Sirisena’s visit is likely to provide an opportunity for India to deepen ties with Sri Lanka, especially in view of the growing Chinese influence over Colombo.

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