May 25, Colombo: India's soon-to-be sworn-in Prime Minister Narendra Modi today welcomed Sri Lankan President's order to release all the Indian fishermen under custody in the island.
Sri Lanka's goodwill gesture to mark the swearing-in of the Prime Minister-designate was soon followed by Pakistan as well.
"I welcome the step by Sri Lanka & Pakistan to release our fishermen. I welcome our fishermen brothers back home!" Mr. Modi said in a Twitter message.
Sri Lanka Sunday released five fishermen while Pakistan also released 151 Indian fishermen jailed in that country for straying into its waters.
Sri Lanka in an earlier occasion released all the Indian fishermen to facilitate the second round of the discussions between the fishermen associations of Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka.
This is the second time President Rajapaksa ordered the release of all the Indian fishermen as a goodwill gesture towards India. He ordered to free the Indian fishermen to thank India for abstaining from voting the UN resolution on Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council in March this year.
Sri Lankan President, keen to improve the bilateral relations that were estranged during the Congress government, will attend the oath taking of the Prime Minister-designate tomorrow in New Delhi.
Mr. Modi invited all the leaders of SAARC nations including Pakistan to join the ceremony and it will be a historic moment when the Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif attends the occasion Monday.
Invitation to Sri Lankan President has incensed the Tamil Nadu political leaders sympathetic to the Tamil cause in Sri Lanka stirring up public emotions against island nation.
However, Mr. Modi, whose party, BJP, won a clear majority in the Lok Sabha, has welcomed the attendance of President Rajapaksa and other leaders in the region.
"Great having leaders from SAARC nations & Mauritius join us during the ceremony. Their presence will make the occasion more memorable," Mr. Modi tweeted.