Sri Lanka's powerful Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa, also the brother of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, said his country looks at India in a "much bigger way" than China.
On whether Sri Lanka was moving close towards China, he said: "We look at India in a much bigger way."
Speaking about the attacks against Sri Lankan pilgrims in Tamil Nadu, Mr. Rajapaksa said that it "hurt" the feelings of Sri Lankan people because it had happened in India, which is regarded as a "big brother and a country which shows the way" for his nation.
"It hurt our feelings, we cannot hide that because we always think of India as our big brother or who shows us the way and how we should work. India has taught us all good things. We never thought this will happen. But we have no hard feelings towards India or its people," he said.
The minister, who is in-charge of reconstruction of the war-torn Northern Province, also noted that most of the pilgrims who were attacked in Tamil Nadu were of Indian-origin Sri Lankans.
Asked whether such incidents will cast a shadow on Indo-Lanka ties, he replied in the negative and appreciated the Indian government's initiatives to ensure that such incidents are not repeated in the future. (PTI)