Newly-elected Sri Lankan PM says wants to strengthen ties with Pakistan | Pakistan Today

Newly-elected Sri Lankan PM says wants to strengthen ties with Pakistan

COLOMBO: Newly re-elected Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa on Saturday said he is looking forward to strengthening ties between Islamabad and Colombo.

“Many thanks to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan for your phone call and warm wishes. I look forward to mutual high-level visits between our countries to strengthen our friendly bilateral ties,” Rajapaksa tweeted.

The tweet comes a day after Prime Minister Imran telephoned his Sri Lankan counterpart to congratulate him on his party’s victory and during the conversation expressed the hope that their countries would further improve their relations.

The Rajapaksa brothers secured a two-thirds majority in parliamentary elections on Friday. Rajapaksa’s Sri Lanka Podujana Party (SLPP) won 145 seats, according to Election Commission results.

Rajapaksa, 74, and his brother Gotabaya, 71, who was elected president in November, needed to secure a super-majority to carry out their promised roll-back of constitutional changes.

With two-thirds of votes in parliament, they can overturn the reforms made by the previous administration aimed at decentralising power and preventing the rise of another strongman.

Official results showed the party received 6.8 million of the votes cast in Wednesday’s election, which was twice postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. Turnout was more than 75 percent of the 16.2-million-strong electorate.