President Pranab Mukherjee on the eve of the country's 67th anniversary of Independence extended his greetings to the government and people of Sri Lanka.

In his message to Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, Mukherjee said India and Sri Lanka were close neighbours with a long-standing relationship of friendship and cooperation based on shared linguistic, religious and cultural traditions.

"On behalf of the government and the people of India and on my own behalf, it gives me great pleasure to extend to your excellency and to the people of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka warm greetings and felicitations on the occasion of the 67th anniversary of your Independence," the President said.

He said the bilateral ties have matured over time to embrace all areas of contemporary significance."I am confident that our traditional bonds will expand and flourish to our mutual benefit in the years to come," the President added.

Meanwhile, PM Modi took to Twitter and said, "My greetings to the people of Sri Lanka. The bonds of history, culture and shared values that we share are unbreakable," Modi tweeted.

"My best wishes for the development of Sri Lanka in the years to come. I look forward to welcoming President (Maithripala) Sirisena later this month," he added.


The Sri Lankan President is slated to undertake a two-day official visit to India on February 16.

Sirisena, who dethroned Mahinda Rajapaksa after a bitter presidential poll on January 9, has indicated that he wants to have closer relations with India.


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