Colombo: Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants “excellent” relations with Sri Lanka, senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy said as he met President Mahinda Rajapaksa here today and underlined that the end of the LTTE campaign in this country had ensured the security of India too.
Swamy, the chairman of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Committee for Strategic Action, is here to deliver a talk on ‘India under Modi: relevance for the region and the world'. He pointed out that Sri Lanka's security was important to India as he met Rajapaksa along with a BJP delegation at his official residence Temple Tree.
Swamy, who is regarded a friend of Sri Lanka due to his steadfast opposition to the campaign of violence carried out by the LTTE, said that the ending of the LTTE campaign in the country in 2009 had ensured the security of India too. The delegation commended Sri Lanka's initiatives in the Tamil-dominated north and east toward improving infrastructure, bringing better educational opportunities to students and implementing programmes to make the country a trilingual nation.
The BJP team told President Rajapaksa that Modi wants “excellent relations with Sri Lanka”, Colombo Page reported. Rajapaksa told the team of Sri Lanka's interest in establishing a center of excellence in maritime and environmental studies.
The team also discussed a number of issues of bilateral and regional significance, including the functions carried out by the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) and Sri Lanka's strategic importance in relation to this work, indicating that Sri Lanka plays a pivotal role in guarding the Indian Ocean. They pledged their fullest support for a continued Sri Lankan role in this regard, the report said.
Apart from Swamy, the Indian delegation included Seshadri Chari, national convener of the BJP's foreign policy cell, Suresh Prabhu, former union minister, Swapan Dasgupta, journalist and political commentator and Madhavan Nalapat, professor of geopolitics, Manipal Academy of Higher Education. Sri Lanka's Minister of External Affairs G L Peiris and Presidential Advisor Sunimal Fernando also participated in the discussion.