“SL won’t be security hazard for India”
The President of Sri Lanka, Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa, assured India in October that he will not allow Sri Lanka to be used to inflict any threat on India’s security. Issuing a statement following the meeting with Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla, the President’s media unit said that Mr Rajapaksa made the assurance on India’s security describing the importance of the geographical positioning of India and Sri Lanka.
Mr Rajapaksa also explained his country’s relationship with China and assured that India should not have any doubt about it. During the meeting, discussions were also held on enhancing the opportunities for the Sri Lankan military to train in India.
The Sri Lankan President also reiterated the need to reintroduce former Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike’s 1971 proposal to declare the Indian Ocean as a Peace Zone and urged India’s support for this endeavour. The President stressed the need to reintroduce the strong ties between the two countries, similar to what it was during the 1960s and 70s. Mr Rajapaksa also told the Indian Foreign Secretary that his government is taking measures to create an environment for all the Tamil people who left the country to return to the island nation and said that at the recently-concluded United Nations summit, he extended an open invitation to the Tamil diaspora and all Tamil people living around the world. Mr Rajapaksa has also stated that 90 per cent of the lands in the North and East acquired for security reasons during the war have been returned and compensation has been paid to the families of the disappeared. While inviting Indian investors to Sri Lanka, Mr Rajapaksa said that the subject minister has been vested with the responsibility to resolve the issue relating to the Trincomalee Oil Tanks in the East in a way that would benefit both countries.