MR bats for sustained Indo-Lanka ties

Despite change of govt. in either Delhi or Colombo



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Leader of the Opposition and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, on Saturday, answering a question by Chairman of The Hindu Group N Ram at the third edition of The Hindu’s Huddle conclave in Bengaluru.


BY S VENKAT NARAYAN


Our Special Correspondent


NEW DELHI, Feb. 10: Sri Lanka’s Leader of the Opposition and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, on Saturday, made an impassioned plea for Colombo and Delhi to ensure that their relations did not fall victim to a change in government in either capital.


Addressing the third edition of The Hindu’s Huddle conclave in Bengaluru, Rajapkasa made repeated references to the efficacy of the "troika" mechanism of senior officials used by the two countries during his presidency.


Admitting that the bilateral journey of the two countries had not always been smooth, he pointed to the 1980s and 2014 as the most troubled of times between India and Sri Lanka.


"We must evolve a mechanism to ensure that misunderstandings don’t take place," Rajapaksa said in his inaugural lecture at the two-day thought conclave.


Rajapaksa, whose government presided over the demise of the LTTE and its once all-powerful leader Velupillai Prabakaran, said Sri Lanka and India must ensure that their territories are not used by groups inimical to the interests of either country.


Calling for strong people-to-people relations, he said the civil services of the two countries — not just the Foreign Ministries — must have institutional mechanisms to foster better bilateral ties.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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