Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa who is currently in India called on Several congress leaders today.
The Indian Congress Leader Rahul Gandhi , Former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and several others from the Indian Congress Party met with former President Rajapaksa today morning (September 13).
He also held discussions with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and government officials.
Was MR always in good terms with the neighbours?
The former president was not always cordial with the Indian authorities. Tracing back to to the 12th of March 2015 where he gave a statement to the South China Morning Post, he said that the Americans, the Norwegians, Europeans and the Indian intelligence agency ‘RAW’ were openly working against him to defeat him in the elections.
He said that what India was doing was a public secret.
However this hostile stance has seemed to change over the years.
This year New York Times published an article on 25 June on how Sri Lanka’s previous regime dealt with china. It revealed that ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa had received 7.6 million USD from China Harbor Engineering Company, which was involved in the Hambantota Port Development Project. (How China Got Sri Lanka to Cough Up a Port)
This article was written by the NYT South Asian correspondent living in Delhi, Maria Abi-Habib.
Given the criticism this NYT article received and the response to it by the former President, it is surprising how according to the words of the former President himself, China became “just a friend” and India became “close neighbours and a relative”.
Today Mahinda Rajapaksa seems to be having a closer relationship with India and is currently there on an invitation extended by Senior BJP Leader Dr. Subramanian Swamy who was in Sri Lanka recently.
On 10 September Dr. Subramanian Swamy tweets saying “Today Fmr President of Sri Lanka and probably the next President is arriving in New Delhi at the invitation of Virat Hindustan Sangam…”
Indian geo-political interests in play with MR?
The story as it unfolds seem to connect few dots.
It may suggest the possibility that Mahinda Rajapaksa may well have got him self intertwined, unwittingly even, in a political trap with implications for Sri Lankas historical non aligned policies.
The former president in an interview to “The Hindu” yesterday also had stated that Sri Lanka and India should discuss economic issues similar to the Troika mechanism back in 2009.