Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe has said Sri Lanka is neither pro-India nor pro-China.
Mr. Wickramasinghe was replying to questions from the media during his visit to the Sreekrishna temple here on Saturday.
As about his controversial statement in an interview to a Tamil TV channel that Indian fishermen might be shot if they intruded into Sri Lankan waters, he said: “The Sri Lankan government primarily represents the interests of Sri Lankans.”
Calling for better ties between the two countries, Mr. Wickramasinghe said: “We must move ahead,” pointing to visits by Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena’s to India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Sri Lanka.” He said he would favourably consider a request by the Guruvayur Devaswom to create awareness in Sri Lanka of Kerala’s art forms, including Krishnanattom and traditional mural painting. Sri Lanka would support the development of Punnathurkotta, the Devaswom’s elephant sanctuary. A team would soon visit it, he said.
Mr. Wickramasinghe said his visit to the temple was for thanksgiving. “I had promised to offer worship in the temple if the results in the Sri Lankan elections were favourable.”
His wife Maitree Wickramasinghe and Sri Lankan Minister for Resettlement, Reconstruction and Hindu Religious Affairs D. M. Swaminathan accompanied him.