PM Modi congratulates Gotabaya Rajapaksa on win, invites him to visit India
New Delhi: Sri Lankan President-elect Gotabaya Rajapaksa has assured India that he would work closely with it to ensure 'development and security', during a phone call made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to him on Sunday to congratulate him on his spectacular electoral victory in the Presidential elections held on Saturday.
Mr Modi invited Mr Rajapaksa to India, and the invitation was accepted, the ministry of external affairs (MEA) said. The reference to 'security' in the MEA statement is being seen as significant. Sri Lanka had suffered terror attacks earlier this year and failed to prevent it despite advance intelligence warnings from New Delhi. The other interesting aspect is New Delhi's security concerns, particularly regarding the issue of earlier movement of Chinese submarines in Sri Lankan waters.
It may be recalled that during the Presidency of Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa's brother Mahinda Rajapaksa a few years ago, Chinese submarines were found moving in Sri Lankan waters and India had expressed its concerns at that time. The Rajapaksa brothers were often seen earlier as having a pronounced pro-China tilt which had caused some anxiety to New Delhi but India is hoping that its policy of active engagement will address the issue effectively.