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Ladakh first Indian Buddhist majority state: Sri Lanka PM hails Indian government's decision to bifurcate J&K

Sri Lanka PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team Colombo Aug 06, 2019, 03.13 PM (IST)

Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has hailed government of India's decision to declare Ladakh as an independent Union Territory to be governed by the Centre. He reiterated that Jammu and Kashmir's restructuring is India's internal matter.

"With 70% of Ladakh's population being Buddhist it will be the first Indian state with a Buddhist majority. Creation of Ladakh and consequential restructuring is India's internal matter, it is a beautiful region well worth a visit," Wickremesinghe said on Twitter.

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The Indian government on Monday announced the bifurcation of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. While Jammu and Kashmir will be a Union Territory with a legislature, Ladakh has been converted into a separate Union Territory but without a legislature. The Union Territory of Ladakh will be administered by Delhi.

Watch: Indians welcome historic decision on J&K

Addressing the Upper House (Rajya Sabha) of Parliament, Home Minister Amit Shah announced the abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35A of the Constitution of India which gave special status to the state and its residents and tabled a bill for the same. The bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha in evening.

Shah presented the bill to the Lok Sabha (Lower House) on Tuesday and reiterated his government's tough stance on Jammu and Kashmir.

"Jammu & Kashmir is an integral part of Union of India. Kashmir ki seema mein PoK bhi aata hai (PoK also comes under Kashmir border)," he said in Lok Sabha.

"Jaan de denge iske liye! (We will give our lives for it)," the Home Minister added.

The revoking of Article 370 was supported by several parties in the Rajya Sabha on Monday including Chandrababu Naidu-Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Mayawati's BSP, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal's AAP, AIADMK, AGP, Akali Dal and RPI.

However, the Congress, CPM, CPI, DMK, SP, IUML and KC(M) voted against the resolution as the JD(U), TMC and NCP walked out the Rajya Sabha.