PM Narendra Modi meets bureaucrats, urges them to uplift lives

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The first meeting of the new council of ministers will be held on Wednesday in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to outline the roadmap of his government, sources said Tuesday.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with Opposition Leader, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Indian High Commisioner's residence during his short but busy stop-over in Sri Lanka yesterday.

In a veiled attack on Pakistan, the Prime Minister said state sponsorship of terrorism is the biggest threat faced by humanity as he called upon world leaders to unite to combat the menace.

Taking an indirect dig at Congress president Rahul Gandhi, PM Modi said some people could not still come out of the election hangover.

"Given the huge mandate we got, some people think expectations and aspirations (on the government) have increased. Assured development partnership including through people oriented projects in Sri Lanka", Premier Modi tweeted. "He used the example of Uber, which he said has ensured that people are not dependent exclusively on the public transport system and made their lives easier, and that of private mobile companies which gave people options other than the department of post and telegraph", said a source who was present in the meeting.

Modi's visits to the Maldives and Sri Lanka "will demonstrate the priority India attaches to its "SAGAR Doctrine", which refers to Security And Growth for All in the Region - a coinage of 2015 by the Modi government aiming to keep the Indian Ocean region 'peaceful and secure".

Modi is the first foreign leader to visit Sri Lanka after the disgusting terror attack of April 21 that killed over 250 people and was claimed by the Islamic State.

In May, Sri Lanka also signed a deal with Japan and India to develop a sea container terminal, a move that showed the Sri Lanka government was seeking to steer away from financial dependence on China.

Following the Easter bombings, several countries issued travel advisories to their nationals, severely hurting the island nation's tourism industry.

The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority said April recorded 166,975 foreign tourists in the country compared to 180,429 in April 2018, a 7.5 per cent dip in arrival of tourists from overseas.

On Thursday, Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said India would continue to provide support to Sri Lanka in the fight against extremist groups.

The Prime Minister also appealed to the diaspora to contribute to India's development.

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