Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Visit to Maldives and Sri Lanka

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Visit to Maldives

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi visited the Republic of Maldives on June 8-9, 2019 at the invitation of Mr. Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, President of the Republic of Maldives to strengthen the bilateral ties, reflecting the importance India attached to its ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy. This was the first overseas visit of the Prime Minister after his re-election. PM was received at Male airport by Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid.

Visit to MaldivesList of MoU’s signed between Maldives and India:

6 Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) were signed between Maldives and India.

Sl NoName of the MoUSignatory from Indian SideSignatory from Maldivian Side
1.MoU for Cooperation in the Field of Hydrography between Indian Navy and Maldives National Defence ForceVijay Gokhale,
Foreign Secretary
Uza. Mariya Ahmed Didi, Minister of Defence
2.MoU on Cooperation in the field of Health between GoI and GoMSunjay Sudhir,
Ambassador of India
Abdulla Ameen,
Minister of Health
3.MoU for the Establishment of Passenger and Cargo Services by Sea between Ministry of Shipping, GoI and Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation, GoMSunjay Sudhir,
Ambassador of India
Aishath Nahula,
Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation
4.MoU for Cooperation in Customs Capacity Building between the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs of India and the Maldives Customs ServiceSunjay Sudhir,
Ambassador of India
Ahmed Numan,
Commissioner General of Customs
5.MoU between National Centre for Good Governance, Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances and Maldives Civil Service Commission on Training and Capacity Building Programme for Maldivian Civil ServantsSunjay Sudhir,
Ambassador of India
Dr. Aly Shameem,
President/ Chairman, Civil Service Commission of Maldives
6.Technical Agreement on Sharing White Shipping Information between the Indian Navy and the Maldives National Defence ForceSunjay Sudhir,
Ambassador of India
Brigadier General Abdul Raheem Abdul Latheef,
Vice Chief of Defence Force

NCGG and Maldives Civil Services Commission signed MOU on Training and Capacity Building

On June 8, 2019, India’s leading civil services training institution, National Center for Good Governance (NCGG) and Maldives Civil Services Commission signed an MoU to train 1000 Maldives civil servants over the next 5 years.

Key Points:

  • NCGG will be the nodal institution for designing and implementation of customised training modules taking into account the requirements of the Maldives Civil Services Commission.
  • The training program will be given in public administration, e-governance and service delivery, public policy and governance, information technology, best practices in fisheries in coastal areas, agro-based practices, self-help group initiatives, urban development and planning, ethics in administration and challenges in the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • Maldives will nominate suitable civil servants in the senior, executive and middle management levels as per agreed timelines.
  • The NCGG will assist the Civil Services Training Institute, a subsidiary of Maldives’ Civil Services Commission, to develop training programmes and materials and to organise the exchange of experts as needed by the Commission.
  • Entire expenses related to the training program will be borne by the Ministry of External Affairs.
  • NCGG had trained 28 Maldives Civil Servants in April 2019. This encouraged the two countries to take the collaboration forward.
  • In 2019, NCGG has successfully conducted training programs for civil servants of Bangladesh, Myanmar, the Gambia and Maldives.

PM Modi and President Solih inaugurated India-built Coastal Surveillance Radar System

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President of Maldives, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih jointly inaugurated Coastal Surveillance Radar System(CSRS) which was built by India.

Key points:

  • CSRS is the primary sensor for Integrated Costal Surveillance System which contributes in creating a network of information to maritime domain awareness in the strategic Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
  • The inauguration was significant as China viewedMaldives as key to its Maritime Silk Road project in the Indian Ocean.
  • They also jointly inaugurated the composite training facility of the Maldives National Defence Force in Maafilafushi and the coastal surveillance radar system by a remote link.
  • India has an older version of these radars in Seychelles, Mauritius and Sri Lanka.

PM addressed Maldives Parliament

Prime Minister addressed the Maldivian Parliament, The People’s Majlis. He highlighted the following points:

  • India will contribute to the conservation of one of the Maldives’ oldest and iconic Friday Mosque, also known as Hukuru Miskiy,a historic landmark made up of coral stones.He called to combat terrorism.
  • For the first time,India will begin passenger cum cargo services directly connecting the Indian mainland with the Maldives from Kochi via Kulhudhuffushi to Male.
  • He expressed his happiness on Maldives’ work towards sustainable development. Maldives had also become a part of the International Solar Alliance (ISA).
  • He stressed on the principle of inclusiveness.India’s vision and commitment for the Indian Ocean in the form Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR) was a blueprint for cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.

Other Facts:

  • PM presented the bat autographed by Indian World Cup Squad to Maldives President. It was signed by the whole Indian team participating at the 2019 ICC World Cup.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi was conferred with the Maldives’ highest honour “Rule of Nishan Izzuddeen” by the President of Maldives. “The Most Honourable Order of the Distinguished Rule of Nishan Izzuddeen” is the Maldives’ highest honour accorded to foreign dignitaries.
  • iHe calledon Maldives Vice President Faisal Naseemduring his visit to the country.
  • He also met the Maldives’ former presidents Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and Mohamed Nasheed, and held fruitful discussions to strengthen the friendship between the two countries.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Visit to Sri Lanka

Prime Minister Modi visited Sri Lanka on June 9, 2019, at the invitation of Mr. Maithripala Sirisena, President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. On the second leg of PM’s first foreign visit to Sri Lanka, he was received by the Lankan counterpart Ranil Wickremesinghe at the Bandaranaike International Airport.

PM Modi met Sri Lankan President Sirisena

PM Modi met Sri Lankan President Sirisena and they discussed bilateral issues of mutual interest. The two sides agreed that terrorism is a “joint threat” that needs collective and focussed action. A banquet was hosted in honour of PM by Sri Lankan President. Modi became the first foreign leader to visit Sri Lanka after the Easter attacks in April.

Visit to SrilankaPM stressed on close economic and strategic cooperation

PM Modi stressed on close economic and strategic cooperation between India and Sri Lanka. They held discussions on issues like unity in efforts for eradicating terrorism, maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region and cooperation in economic development.

Discussion on the expansion of economic relations

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe paid special attention to strengthening and expanding economic ties between India and Sri Lanka.

  • They exchanged their ideas on creating future economic opportunities.
  • They focused on global terrorism and collective actions need to be taken regarding counterterrorism measures.
  • PM assured the Sri Lankan leader India’s full support to strengthen the bilateral relationship through people-oriented development projects.

Other Facts:
i.PM Modi planted a sapling of an evergreen Ashoka tree at the Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena’s residence.
ii. Sri Lanka President Sirisena gifted a Buddha statue in meditation posture to PM Modi.  It is one of the best sculptures in the Anuradhapura era. The original statue was sculptured between the 4th and 7th centuries A.D.
iii.PM Modi visited St. Anthony’s Shrine, Kochchikade and paid tribute to the victims of Easter terror attack.
iv.PM interacted with members of the Indian Community at India House in Colombo and highlighted the role played by the community in strengthening bilateral relations.
v.PM also met the Leader of Opposition and former President, Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa and held talks with him.