NEW DELHI: On a day former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa was sworn-in as the country’s prime minister, India said it expected the island nation to take forward the process of national reconciliation so as to meet the aspirations of the Tamil community for equality, justice, peace and dignity.
MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had affirmed that he will be the president of all Sri Lankans irrespective of their racial or religious identity and whether they voted for him or not. “The President also stated that he is committed to ensuring the development of the Northern and Eastern provinces and considers India a valued partner towards this endeavour,” Kumar said.
On India-Sri Lanka bilateral relations and close ties between the Rajapaksas and China, Kumar said: “India’s relations with Sri Lanka, or for that matter with any neighbouring country, are independent of our relations with third countries.” The ties between both countries stand on its own footing, deeply rooted in geographical proximity and historical connections, he said.
India had on Tuesday sent External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar as PM Narendra Modi’s special envoy to Colombo hours after Rajapaksa assumed office.